Wednesday, April 20, 2022

This Deebo Thing: My Fault

So, Deebo. 

Instagram. 

Drama. 

My fault (as shown above).

Dammit. 

I was listening to a recent edition of 49ers Talk, and I did this because Maiocco, well, he's subtle. He's subtle with the breaking news (go back to the Bobby Turner news and how that broke for the first of a few confirmations that he knows before anyone knows), and when he played the replay from his Super Bowl Interview with Deebo, which states "I ain't going to California" in multitude of ways, along with a blurb about how his college coach Will Muschamp warned John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan that Deebo liked his offseasons, both of which I found "cryptic". I was concerned. 

Today, April 20th, 2022, the 29th anniversary of Joe Montana being traded to the Chiefs, Deebo Samuel told ESPN's Jeff Darlington, who has no affiliation to the racetrack, that he has requested a trade away from the 49ers.

4/20 blues, indeed. 

The draft is in less than a week, and teams have a multitude of options. Deebo, who had more touches last season as he did in the 2019-2020 seasons combined, probably wants more than anyone since he plays 2 positions (Oh hey he does, allegedly). The 49ers were probably looking at the Diggs/Hill deals and looking for ways to be creative, and Deebo decided he was done. The truth will probably pop out at some point, but for now... Where could he go? 

You would think the Jets, being in year 2 of the Douglas/Saleh/LaFleur Monarchy and fresh off not getting a rose from Tyreek Hill, would pony up and pay the man, in this case Lynch (with picks) and Deebo (with cash). Deebo is a little under 5 mill for a cap hit this year, so picks 10, 38, and 69(Nice) for Deebo and Pick 61 or 93 would help the 49ers fill 3 immediate spots with limited funds, including maybe guaranteeing yourself a chance at Christian Watson to help recreate the Burrow to Chase chemistry. Maybe they try to get picks for next year in a much deeper draft. 

As someone who has lived in the northeastern part of the country for a loooooong time, there are teams that think receivers are like running backs in terms of being able to develop and replace. If you are a team who thinks you can develop on the down-low, you go on the cheap in those areas and load-up in others. In this case the load-up is at left tackle with Trent Williams, inside linebacker with Fred Warner, tight end with George Kittle, and fullback with Juice, as those 4 are among the top paid at their respective positions. Nick Bosa will be catching that train very shortly. Looking at the cost for edge rushers, I thought even before this that it was highly likely that in a Bosa vs Deebo scenario, Bosa stays, and Deebo goes. 

There is also one other factor in this. A magic factor, if you will, as seen by the photo above. I bought my son a Deebo jersey (By the way, if you have a spare kidney for that young man above, let me know on the Tweeter). Yes, it's true. My son made a video game character, and he picked a 49ers jersey, complete with 75th anniversary patch, for the character's shirt. It's #19, Deebo. Thought it would be a nice photo to recreate. I am not kidding you when I say as soon as I paid for the order, like 2 days later, Deebo and the 49ers social media breakup was happening. The day after I picked it up, Deebo advised Jeff Darlington he wanted a trade. So this, like the NFC Title Game loss to the Rams that I did not attend because I was snowed in, is my fault. 

I will try to do better.  

In terms of the draft, this is like last year, only we do not know the trade-up ceiling. Would Jacksonville or Detroit entertain offers? Is anyone worth moving up that high for? Last year, the Dolphins were the ceiling. Neither the Jags nor Jets were going to move down, so when SF decided they wanted a new QB and wanted their pick of who was left after Lawrence and Wilson, they got #3 from the Dolphins. I could see Carolina moving up, if only because they have bad memories of not taking Mac last year, and knowing that if Atlanta wants, say Malik Willis, they could jump to 5 and block Carolina at 6. Do the Giants call Carolina and say "Hey, uh, Atlanta wants 5, how about you?" Maybe it does not come to that. Maybe someone decides they need Jimmy after the draft when they can't get who they wanted. Malik Willis might be a guy folks trade up to get, based on recent betting movements at DraftKanggggz, which has seen his action at the 4 or 5 spot pick up quite a bit. Would the Jets or Houston or the Giants trade down with Atlanta or Carolina or New Orleans? New Orleans, who recently picked up the 16th and 19th picks in the draft, seems primed to try and make a move into the late top 10, not the early top 10. I can't imagine Houston or Detroit or either MetLife Stadium tenant would want to drop THAT far. Would New Orleans trade Alvina Kamara or Michael Thomas? That might change things, and they definitely need some cap help. I could see New Orleans maybe looking at that 10 pick. Maybe Willis drops. Or maybe Pickett is there after Carolina and Atlanta. Or maybe they navigate to move up to get Matt Corrall. The Jets could spin the 10 for the 16 and 19, so they get more chips, which gives them options. I wrote most of this last week, and surprise, today he asks to be traded. I would bet my life the 49ers trade him to the Jets. Can't wait for that (heavy sarcasm font) -------

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Bad News - Good News

This column is entitled "Bad News, Good News" because, well, bad news (for me I guess and the dreams of like maybe 4 other people) I will be staying home in this snowy hell lovely Maine this weekend while we get battered by winter storm Surtur.
The accuracy of that meme, man. The good news: You get a column. Lucky, lucky you.

Maybe you saw me here:

Or read about me here:

Or you followed me here because I usually have decent video on my Twitter page:

Whatever road you traveled here, thanks for dropping by. With the 49ers getting ready to head to LeFi, I decided to go back 40 years to 1982. The final four of San Diego vs Cincinnati and San Francisco vs Dallas. While we know what happened with SF and Dallas, if Twitter existed then...or First Bad Takes or whatever stupid ass shows y'all watch for whatever reason I truly do not know, the popular opinion match-up was Dan Fouts and the Chargers vs Tom Landry's Cowboys. The bright young QB Star vs America's team. Except, it didn't happen. Dwight Clark and Eric Wright got the 49ers to the Super Bowl later in the afternoon. But earlier in the day, the Chargers, coming off of an 84 degree shootout w/ Miami, had to go to Cincy and play in -59 windchill. 25 mph winds. Dan Fouts' passes were only missing quacking sounds and feathers. Ken Anderson would have aged 25 years that day if he didn't already look 25 years older than he was. In spite of a godawful holding call on a fake field goal, the Bengals covered the 4.5 point spread and kept it under the 45 point total. (WHO ON THE PLANET THOUGHT -59 DEGREES WAS GOOD OVER WEATHER???)
I thought last week in Lambeau was cold, but my goodness I would a wear a golden banana hammock in last weekend's weather before I would go out -59 below in anything other than scubagear and a snowsuit.

Weird-ass connections with this 2021-22 Final Four vs 81-82 Final Four: San Diego had a safety in Glen Edwards starting that they lured out of retirement (Hello Eric Weddle in LA) 3 of the 4 QB's in 81 had been coached by Bill Walsh (Fouts in '76, Anderson from 71-75, Montana 80-that particular present). In 2021-22, all teams have branches of the Walsh-Holmgren-Shanahan vineyard. The Bengals head coach is the former Rams QB coach, the Rams head coach is the 49ers head coach's former quality control expert, and the KC head coach is who got started under Walsh's former OC Mike Holmgren (who prevented Reid from becoming SF OC in 1997, fun fact). Basically, the Walsh variants are everywhere. What would it be like if Joe Montana played for the Bengals and Ken Anderson players for the Niners? Well, I guess we are looking at it. I am not sure if Spider-Man is causing this multiverse season for the Niners, but think about it: Their archrivals throughout the years all show up this year: Cincy (which needed an extra game added and a weird way of deciding the game to even be on the schedule); Dallas, Green Bay, the Rams. The Rams have been their rival since 1950, and of course since the Week 18 Invasion/Takeover/Sea of Red Water Park, this thing has plenty of juice. Oh, and the whole Kyle and Jimmy never losing to McVay thing. Now it's either a Cincy rematch by swapping QB's from 40 years ago, or a chance to vanquish the KC demons. Oh, and slide in a Joe vs Steve dynamic with Jimmy v. Trey (in fan's minds, anyways) to sprinkle that tiny bit of '88 in for good measure. I wonder how much Bill Walsh would have been ripped on Twitter? 9ers over Bengals in the Super Bowl is +1400 on DK, in case you were wondering.

Predictions for the weekend:

Bengals 34 , KC 20 KC should win this game. Steve Spags' defenses have put quarterbacks into the turf who are better than Joe Burrow on many an occasion. Yet...this dude got sacked 900 times last week. Still won. Cincy defense playing well, fairly healthy, has already played KC this year, which helps them understand the speed/Mahomesness a little better than another team. Watch the Cincy running game or 2nd/3rd receiver be the stars of the game. There's all this talk about the world being put back on its axis if the 49ers beat the Chiefs, but do we get a redo of the last 40 years if the Bengals beat the Niners (which is +2000 on DK right now)?

49ers 23 Rams 13 3 Robbie Gould field goals, an Elijah Mitchell touchdown run, and a Kyle Jusczyk touchdown catch for the 9ers. Cooper Kupp with a late TD catch, and whoever kicks for the Rams with 2 field goals. It shouldn't be like this. The Rams should be a better team by a mile. But this 49ers team is running on spite right now. Full spite. Like Stone Cold at the 98 Rumble. A team that has a 40 year stretch of misery with special teams wins a playoff game specifically because of special teams? Sure. Now if you will excuse me, I have to manifest enough good energy to get to Los Angeles in 2 weeks and be able to see the game without binoculars or while watching on a black and white TV in an RV in the parking lot.

PS: If the 49ers lose I promise you it will be because of a garbage-ass call. Circa 1983.

Friday, December 31, 2021

The Friday Fahnhorst: The Best Way to Preserve Madden's Legacy


Hope Mr. Big and Tall is still around thanks to this (RIP Keith). Anywho, welcome to the end of 2021, which, when translated phonetically, spells Twenty-Twenty-Won. Uplifting stuff. 

Before we get to picks of the week, previewing Sunday's "I have no idea what the eff is going on with this team and you don't either so don't even try" game vs Houston on Sunday (Final home game of the year in all likelihood, unless the 7 seed manages to make it to the NFC Championship vs a 6 seed SF), let's discuss (ok, I am going to write it and you may or may not read it so whatever) the best way to honor John Madden. 

Madden was a great coach, who went 103-32-7 with a Super Bowl win in 10 seasons as coach of the Raiders. He stepped down due to health reasons and occupational burnout, meaning he is one of the first major coaches to publicly announce burnout as a contributing factor, so he was a pioneer in acknowledging mental health. Coaches, and assistant coaches, tend to work some insane hours, and their families, and own mind and bodies, suffer for that. He also avoided that Shawn Michaels in Saudi-level comeback that inevitably stained a great a coaching legacy. He just went on to the next thing, broadcasting. 


 
The first shot in that video is of the play by play announcer being creepy as hell with a female in the stands. Madden deadpans: "I didn't even know people looked like that" and we are immediately reassured Madden has no time for your bullshit, because he's here to talk football, not boobs. That video above is the first game of Madden's broadcast career, a tilt between Bill Walsh and OJ Simpson's (yes, really) 49ers vs Archie Manning's New Orleans Saints. It takes less than 2 minutes for Madden to break down how tough Steve DeBerg is while playing with a cast on his left wrist. He was comfortable right away, and we were better for it. So the best way to honor him? 

Maybe to honor the Sabols as well? 

NFL Games On-Demand. 

I like to get caught up on 49ers games from the past. Like, the way past. BW (Before Walsh) games, even. Doing so makes the 1981 NFC Title win seem that much bigger at the time and moment, and adds more context to the 90's battles versus Dallas as well. The problem with going back this far is the level of quality found on old YouTube broadcasts (There are other sites as well, TOKY Video had all the Super Bowls, for example) and it is not always the best, audio or video-wise. There are also tons of games missing. Who wouldn't want to see the Steve Young-led Tampa Bay Bucs in the White Creamiscle jerseys battle the Packers in the snow in 86? Or the full game of SF vs Philadelphia in 1989 when Montana led a furious 4th-quarter comeback vs Buddy Ryan's Eagles? Nope. First Bill Walsh win? Also, no. Sure, you can find the old NFL Films weekly highlights, but you have to take the context they provide, and are unable to glean your own.

It's 2021. Where are the games? 

CBS and NBC had rights for years, as did ABC, then ESPN, Turner, then FOX. The NFL has Game-Pass, which is great in theory, but is choppy, and can be missing things in the app or the fire stick app that you can only find via desktop, mobile (it also only goes back 10 years, and shows condensed games, not full). Why can we not go back as far as we possibly can? AFL Teams had an ABC contract starting in 1960, in the NFL the Browns had an independent deal with SNI and everyone else with CBS, but then joined on with the rest of the league's deal with CBS in 1961. The content should be somewhere, no? 

Give us all the games. 

The Holy-Roller. Staubach's comeback vs the 49ers in 72. The Heidi-game (a guy at the Arizona game that I was sitting next to attended that game live). The Hail-Mary. Bears vs Dolphins MNF 1985. Any/all NYG/SF matchups from 1981 to 1993. All of them. Make games sortable by team, network, broadcaster (The Madden Collection, anyone? From 9/23/1979 to 2/1/2009, SB XLIII Arizona vs Pittsburgh). They could set it up the way WWE Network used to be. Monthly subscription...and use a lot of it to fund retired player funds or pay players who played in these games directly. No league has been better at documenting their own content better than the NFL...now is the time to release that content and profit, while using it to honor the folks who helped make this sport what it is today. Or work deals with the individual streaming services for them to be able to broadcast their old games?

In lieu of waiting on these giant streaming companies to replay All-Madden like what happened this past week, why not let football fans honor Madden in their own way, and watch broadcasts he called of the teams they love?

That seems like a great, and impactful, way to honor Madden, no? 

On to this week's picks: 
Pass- Houston +13 at SF Is it Trey? Is it Jimmy? Is it Trey Sermon or Elijah? Is it Houston last week or Houston two weeks ago? SF wins, but they never seem to blow anyone out, so 13 seems like a bit much. Maybe put a sheckle on Deebo for first TD, or build a DFS Showdown lineup around the Texans' #1 wideout, but that's about it. 

Actual Picks: 

KC -5.5 Seems like the Chiefs are reminding everyone how good they actually are, and the defense has been holding tough the entire time. Also, alot of money on Cincy in this one. 

Was +5.5 Philly is also another darling, getting mucho dinero and a lot of the picks. I expect a much better effort from a healthier Washington team a week after getting pantsed by Dallas on national TV. 

AZ/Dal Under 51.5 Arizona, doing the annual Joe Walton fade as opposed to the annual Bill Parcells late-season push, is not the offensive juggernaut it was. A couple of long drives ending in failed 4th downs or field goals can keep this under the total. 

Trey vs Jimmy 
Starting Trey Lance before he is ready is not a great way to set him up for success. Letting a less than 100% Jimmy Garoppolo play when a healthy Trey Lance is right there is bad for optics. Jimmy sitting with injury and not looking as though he is trying to get back and play like a Baker Mayfield would not be helpful for his optics, either, particularly when he is probably looking for a new job next year and this is his chance to audition. Prediction: Trey starts, Niners win. Any prediction after that is based on if either SF or LA is playing for anything next week. 

Am I going to the game this weekend? I am not, I usually have the kids on alternate holidays, and New Year's fits that mold. I have attended 8 games this year, with a record of 5-3, the most recent being the Atlanta home win. I also was in Detroit, Philly, Home for Seattle, Arizona, and Atlanta, and trips to Jacksonville, Seattle, and Cincinnati, where the hotel on night one had no hot water and no where served food after 8:30 PM. I was also saddened by the fact not one station in Cincinnati had the call letters WKRP. Like, WHY?

Monday, March 29, 2021

1979 - Walsh, Year 1

1979 marked the first year of the Bill Walsh-era for the San Francisco 49ers. It was not only a new era for the franchise, which up until this point had been known as the Generals to the Dallas Cowboys' Globetrotters, and had not recovered since losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Cowboys in the 1972 playoffs. It was OJ Simpson's final season in the NFL, and the Niners started the long road to respectability with a 2-14 mark in their first year w/ Walsh. Steve DeBerg started at QB and threw for over 3600 yards and 17 touchdowns, but spoiled it with 21 interceptions. Future key contributors Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Ray Wersching, Lenvil Elliott (see, The Catch), and Dwight Hicks all saw action this year...providing a foundation for future years. The franchise finished 7-9 against the Spread, including 4-3 as a home dog. 

Week 1: 49ers at Vikings

Ahmad Rashad and Tommy Kramer team-up to give the 49ers their first of 14 losses in year 1. The officiating assisted. The call was so bad the 49ers tried to protest the game, like they do in Major League Baseball. 



Week 2: Cowboys at 49ers

A long ways away from the catch...the Cowboys hold off the youngsters at the 'Stick. 



Week 3: 49ers at Rams 

97 degrees on the field...Pat Haden leads the Rams to victory


Week 4: Saints at 49ers

Archie Manning drops 355 on the Niners in SF as Dick Nolan gets a measure of revenge against his old squad. 0-4 for the Niners...2 td's and 3 picks for the one-armed DeBerg. 



Week 5: 49ers at Chargers

Full-game replay, Dick Stockton and George Allen talking to the booth is top notch. Watching Orenthal limp around: no. 

This game was much closer than the final score indicates. A wild offsides penalty on a missed San Diego FG in the 4th led to new life for Fouts and Winslow. A touchdown pass later, it was 24-9, and as  Allen and Stockton stated after the extra point "that'll about do it for this one". The Niners coughed it up one more time, the Chargers tacked on one more with 8 seconds left, and it was on to a home game vs Seattle.


Week 6: Seahawks at 49ers

Ray Wersching led the game off with a tone-setting tackle on the kick returner...Steve DeBerg threw for 306 yards...and a bone-headed interception that changed the tide against the home team. The Seahawks had 4 touchdowns on the ground, and the Niners were now 0-5. Marv Albert and and former Bronco Mike Haffner (who has apparently dropped off the face of the earth since) with the call. 


Week 7 49ers at Giants

Phil Simms throws for 300 yards and everyone talks about how much they hate Joe Thomas. Joe Montana continues to learn from the sideline. 

Week 8: Falcons at 49ers

Bill Walsh gets his first win as NFL head coach. Freddie Solomon rushes for a touchdown, Paul Hofer rushes for 2 more, and Joe Montana completes a pass for negative 8 yards. Literally no highlights exist for this entire week 8 on the internet, like they wanted to hide Walsh's first win. 

Week 9: Bears at 49ers

The defensive secondary lets DeBerg down again...and the Niners miss an opportunity for their first winning streak in the Walsh-Era.



Week 10 49ers at Raiders

Bob Costas and Roman Gabriel behind the mic on CBS (really) as Kenny Stabler and the Raiders battle DeBerg and the Niners. The Niners drop to 1-9, and continue to invent ways to beat themselves. 


Week 11 - @ New Orleans

Chuck Muncie rumbles for 3 touchdowns, and Archie Manning and the Saints sweep the season-series. 




Week 12 vs Denver

Yet another missing game/highlight reel, yet another loss. And this is kind of a big one: Joe Montana's first NFL touchdown pass.

Week 13 vs Los Angeles

Vince Ferragamo and the eventual NFC Champions , aided by future 49er-champions Hacksaw Reynolds and Wendell Tyler (and some horrific officiating) pull away in San Fran. Nelson and Hornung on the call is great stuff. 

Highlights

Game



Week 14 at St Louis

2 more turnovers...another close loss. Paul Hornung wearing a fur, however. 



Week 15 vs Tampa Bay
Another win that is literally MIA on the internet. 2 wins for Walsh, no highlights, no replays. That West Coast bias is real and ever-lasting. 

Walsh's freshman year 2 wins, 14 losses,  and OJ's swan song (2 rushes, 12 yards) come to an end in HotLanta. 3 turnovers negated 449 yards of total offense. Despite the 49ers 2-14 record, they finished the season 7-9 Against the Spread...an indicator that their level of play is starting to tick upwards. While still two seasons away from a Super Bowl, the seeds were planted. 

Missing Games, Highlight Reels: Season recap, weekly games not shown above. (IF YOU HAVE COPIES OF ANY OF THESE GAMES, CONTACT US ON TWITTER)

This Deebo Thing: My Fault

So, Deebo.  Instagram.  Drama.  My fault (as shown above). Dammit.  I was listening to a recent edition of 49ers Talk, and I did this beca...