Red and Gold, Black and White

Disclaimer: I’m sorry if you’re looking for an actual point. These are just my thoughts after the game.

Drained. Faded. Gone. Those are the three words that come to mind when I reflect on the once elite franchise of the San Francisco 49ers and the Monday Night Football debacle that we all just witnessed. The deep scarlet and brilliant gold colors may as well have been black and white Monday night as Shaun Hill snapped the ball on the two yard line with four seconds left and clumsily pushed it into the chest of third down running back Michael Robinson, who was stopped for a loss. That one play summed up the better part of the last six years for most of us. Aimless.

While the previous play was under review, Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz had plenty of time to prepare for what was coming. A franchise with any leadership or front office at all would have had their men on the sideline laying out last second plans or in the worse case scenario, options for their mobile quarterback.


Instead, I was left with my jaw dropped wide open, standing four inches from my television screen, trying to contemplate what my eyes had just seen in the previous three seconds, the previous sixty minutes, and the previous two thousand, one hundred ninety days, and for a second, I take a breath to argue to the sofa a thousand things. Why not a roll out option? A screen? Swing pass? If you’re going to run why not Gore? Why not stretch the end? No noise comes out of my gaping mouth.

The thoughts rush in and rage along the rapids of my emotions, but the only sound I can finally manage is the word “aimless”. That word rasped from my throat and broke the cool night air, breaching the ears of my sleeping wife, slipping into her subconscious and dying like a stray ember from the raging inferno inside my head. It doesn’t just describe our team, our franchise, and our season. It describes the league, coming off of what is in my opinion, one of the worst officiating performances ever in any sport. It describes our fans, who can’t feel anything but lost right now. And perhaps most deeply, it describes me. After all, it is me who keeps putting the emotion and energy into watching this team lose year in and year out. I angrily wonder why.

And like a match struck on the pores of a brick wall in the dead of winter, my burst of thoughts ceased, leaving me cold and tired. And just like every time, it leads my mind to other things. Work. House work that needs to be done. Deadlines. I push them aside, pour a glass of tea, put on my house slippers, and saunter into the basement to hammer out my thoughts at my desk. Which leads me to this; Football is not existential. But the emotions and thoughts and strong feelings that something you hold as dear as the game stir, can lead you to think about existential things. It always awakens a resolve in me to keep struggling, to keep rising from shattering blows, to demonstrate that no matter how many easy breaks the other guy gets while I am shortchanged, that I will keep hitting back like a freight train. The definition of a true champion, in life, or in football, is not someone who constantly wins. It is someone who finally wins.


  • shane

    Last nites game almost felt like a playoff loss. Atleast for me, it took a lot out of me. It didnt help any watching it at a bar in buffalo, not to mention it seemed that everyone there either had boldin, fitzgerald, warner, hightower, or breaston on their fantasy teams. It sucked. Only good news is that we'll get another high draft pick most likely. The schedule gets easier, but not to sure on how we do. The division is almost unreachable being 4 games back. I feel with the first round pick shoot for a QB again i guess. Id say DT or OL, but i think we can pick up some quality guys with free agency for them positions, we need immediate help at those positions. I like Shaun Hill even though he made some rookie mistakes, he plays with a lot of heart. Nobody can question that after fighting for an extra 3 yards with 300lb guys having a grip hold on him plus without a helmet. I dont know though, i just dont know

  • RaphL

    LOL… is this poetry?

    Anyways…yes, I’m drained too. Rooting for this team is proving to be bad for my health.

  • Nick Newton

    Raph, not necessarily poetry. Just what came out late last night right after the game. I felt strongly about it at the time, now I can laugh a little at it. It is a little dramatic, but all the same, Its what I felt like.

  • Vin

    I can relate…. I sat there with virtually no expression after the loss. I got up from the chair, laid in bed, and went to sleep (im on the east coast). Honestly, I’m amazed that I can still watch every single game, and feel shafted if I miss it. I cant believe that I can yell and cheer when they make a good play, yet numb to the dissapointment of the eventual loss. We are the modern day cardinals. Fitting that this realization comes on a night when A. Williams is honored and Steve Young is in the studio anylizing the game. The franchise still lays on the ground where Steve young eventually got up after his final concussion.

  • ShaneO

    You know after some of the garbage i read out there today i really feel bad for Singletary. I think this guy has done a hell of a job, tryin to make this team tough, keeping them balanced, playing some youth (which Nolan NEVER did, hell if Nolan was the coach Jason Hill wouldnt have even played until his 5th year, and he was a 3rd round pick)however all the “experts” say he should worry about game management and all the things Nolan didnt and stay out of the Offense and the X’s and O’s. So then Martz makes a horrible call at the end of that game and i read 3-4 different articles today sayin Singletary blew it when that was Martz’s Call!!! i think Singletary is doing a great job and i would love to see this team win 5 of the last 7 games and go into next year with a glimpse of hope and a tuff, smart coach not afraid to make some changes…. fuck you Nolan!

  • Lowrance

    If you’re going to run Robinson, why not spit out 4 receivers and give the boy options on where to run. Our OL can’t power anyone, let alone the whole defensive team that was all within the tackles because of our formation.
    I agree…. with all that time, Martz could have picked anything else. Unless your OL has power and has been knocking people off the line all day…why choose that surprise play and hope?

    I will watch forever…. but these days instead of screaming at the scream, you sit back…nervous.. because you realize somehow…someway… they’ll probably lose… no matter how hard you hope and pray….

  • Deekon52

    yes that was the worst officiated game i've ever seen..It was bad for both teams though…but that one at the end eas extremely rediculous where the back judge didn't see the man with the ball get his helmet ripped off..his job was to see if he got in or not, or where his knee was down so how did he not see the facemask? incredible