Until you walk in another man’s shoes, you can never know what he’s gone through, what he’s thinking, what he fears most. For Jason Collins, the first openly gay male athlete in a major American team sport, this is your time. He told George Stephanopoulos, “.. when you finally get to that point of acceptance, there's nothing more beautiful than just allowing yourself to really be happy and be comfortable in your own skin.” The small minded haters are still there, and will spew their predictable vitriol. But I can only imagine that the groundswell of support for Jason Collins is just beginning. Now, had he been a loudmouth punk for 34 years, let’s face it… we’d be a little uncomfortable. But from what I’ve read, Jason has been a caring, hard working, decent human being his entire life. That really shouldn’t matter in the whole scheme of things… but it does. Thanks for your courage… Good luck, young man.
Can you imagine the gut wrenching tantrums had the 49ers lost 49-6 yesterday? It was dangerously close to getting there in the third quarter. Down 28-6, I poured a premium bourbon… and Crabtree got in the end zone. So I poured another one… and Frank Gore got in. Oh oh. So I downed number three.. and Kap raced in. But the guys came up short. Five yards away from the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and they couldn’t get it done. Do I wish they had? Of course. But it would have given them the false sense that they’ve “arrived.” They haven’t… not yet. Look at those mistakes. Illegal formation, fumble, offsides, interception… all at crucial times. The Ravens, to their credit.. made them pay. Yeah, it’s tough to swallow, but you can’t get down 28-6… then complain that you ran out of time. It was a hell of a season, but the Ravens deserved it. By the way, on that 108 yard touchdown return, I think Bruce Miller was being held.
Derek Moore and I actually talked about this on Monday, when the Kwame Harris story broke. Someone is bound to ask 49er players about gays in the locker room. We figured, as long as you’re smart, use good judgement and be a good human being… things would be fine. We were wrong. As for Chris Culliver, whose anti-gay comments have brought a 10,000 pound distraction that no team wants, what the hell were you thinking? The moment Artie Lange asked you “how many white women you plan to sleep with this week?”… did it occur to you for a moment, that this might not end well? You can believe whatever you want, but your insensitive comments, during the biggest football week in America…. brought shame to your team, to Jim Harbaugh, Jed York, your teammates and to your fan base. I hope your apology is sincere. Garrison Hearst, one of the greatest running backs to ever wear a 49ers uniform, made similar anti-gay comments once. That was TEN years ago, and he’s still remembered for it.
For San Francisco fans, how does it get any better than this? We’re still high on the euphoria of the San Francisco Giants claiming their second World Series title within three seasons. Now, the trumpet summons us again. Well, it could be a giddy weekend is what I mean to say. But as Super Bowl Sunday approaches, I’ll worry about… everything. The flu bug, a practice injury, tripping over a gutter on Bourbon Street. I want to enjoy the week, but the butterflies are starting to flutter. Is the team ready to make history? Are they prepared? I sure as hell hope so. As they say in poker, “you don’t have to win every hand… just the last one.”
I don’t care what anyone says about this week’s NFL matchups… this is the only one that matters. Seattle-49ers… a battle for supremacy in the NFC West. Oh, but it’s so much more than that. Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have a healthy contempt for each other that goes back years, so this will be better than an episode of Real Housewives. Add to that, the fact that the Seahawks are NFL’s darlings right now. Come on, their quarterback is showing superstar stats, Marshawn Lynch is a beast, they put 50 points on each of their last two opponents…. and their painfully loud stadium gives them an unrivaled home field advantage. Pete Carroll want this game so badly. As for Jim Harbaugh, in the words of “The Cincinnati Kid”…. “I’m not gonna let it happen.” Who’s got it better than us?
For a while there, I don’t know what dominated the headlines more… the “fiscal cliff” or Colin Kaepernick. Yeah, Alex Smith was having the season of his life when he went down. We get it. Who wouldn’t feel badly for him? And had The Kid played poorly against da Bears, we wouldn’t be talking about this. But somehow, he’s provided a spark… and the 49ers beat a couple of good teams, then struggled against those conniving Rams. So the biggest game of the year is always the next one. The Miami Dolphins come to the Stick this Sunday, and as Alex steams, Colin has a chance to be The Man… again. If the 49ers take the Dolphins lightly, it will be a very morose Monday morning. If Kap dominates, Harbaugh will look like a genius. I can’t wait.
Now the national baseball pundits can return to their real job….. talk about what the Yankees and Red Sox need to do to get back to the big show. So please, go about your business…. we have a PARADE to catch. Oh, and stay the hell off our lawn…
The Giants have done the unthinkable… After losing two games at home, they shocked the Cincinnati Reds by taking three games in a row at their ballpark. It was every bit as riveting as the World Series. Now they’ll move on to the NLCS on Sunday, a prospect thought to be extremely remote last weekend. To me, the low point was in Game 2, when Jose Mijares slammed his glove down in the dugout, the picture of frustration and hopelessness. But here comes Reverend Hunter Pence, who joined the club barely nine weeks ago. His impassioned pre-game speech did something. I can’t explain it… except it seemed to bring this disparate bunch together, and the results speak for themselves. Yeah, Reverend Pence was the Tipping Point in a series that won’t be soon forgotten. Oh, and Buster’s grand slam didn’t hurt, either.
Thanks to the Minnesota Vikings for that humiliating beat down, which was directly responsible for the video game scores that would follow in the next two wins.. 79-3. Yeah, the experts are still fawning over New England, Houston, the Bears, Atlanta, the Ravens and of course the World Champion New York Giants. The 49ers? Strictly second tier. As for the Giants, who come to Candlestick Sunday, Jim Harbaugh will say they’ve got an elite quarterback, all the weapons, and they’ll give us all we can handle. Only this time, he’ll actually mean it. Yeah, it’ll be the first playoff game of the season. At least it’ll feel like it. By the way, if you can’t get excited about the New York Giants taking on the 49ers, take a cab to the airport and catch the first flight to Palookaville… cuz you don’t belong here. Ted Robinson and Eric Davis will have all the action… 1 o’clock Sunday on ESPN 1320.
This is one of those rants that looks good on paper. Oh, we’re so outraged about the Clown Car that is the Replacement Ref Fiasco… that we need to boycott the NFL games. Don’t go to the stadium, don’t buy the beer, don’t buy the rally towel, don’t watch on TV. Right, like we’re gonna miss our favorite team on Sunday. That’s beyond laughable. Let me know if that brings professional football to its knees.