As I watched the 49ers issue a beating of biblical proportions on the Detroit Lions last Sunday, I received a text from a good friend (who has asked to remain nameless, as said friend is a NY Giants fan). The text read, "Sweet Jesus, who kidnapped the 49ers and replaced them with these guys? This is the toughest team in football right now. They should be charged with assault for a beat down like this."
The text, admittedly, was a bit over the top...but the question it posed brought to light something that many in 49erland may not have realized: while we've been watching our team pound their opponents into pumice almost weekly since the start of the Jim Harbaugh era, the rest of the league hasn't really been paying attention…not beyond the box score or the highlights, anyway. After the first two weeks of this season, however, it has finally begun to dawn on the NFL and the football watching public in general: these are not your father's 49ers.
This 49er team has a new identity. They don't just beat their opponents...they BEAT
their opponents. From Anthony Davis' perpetual rag-dolling of Cliff Avril to Aldon Smith's outright abuse of Jeff Backus to Frank Gore's soul crushing block on the second of Michael Crabtree's 4th quarter third down conversions, the 49ers set out to mangle the Lions, and by the time they were done, the pride of Detroit was nothing more than a pile of kitty litter. Used kitty litter.
But prior to Sunday's game everybody knew that the defense was tough. Everybody knew that Frank was a tank. That didn't make them a tough team…it made them one dimensional.
Then the 4th quarter rolled around. Having physically dominated the game to that point, the 49ers needed to kill some clock and score some points. On 2nd and 10 from the Detroit 42-yardline, Alex Smith dropped back to pass, took one quick look up field, tucked the ball and took off. Smith gained 20 yards and began to slide…and received a forearm shiver to the face from Lions safety John Wendling for his trouble.
The shot was as cheap as they come, delivered by a frustrated player who had been torched on a Smith to Davis pass for the first score of the game. After the blow, Smith rolled on the ground, his hands went to his head and everyone in 49erland head their collective breath. When Smith found his feet and walked back to the huddle, he looked like "Rocky" in round 15. Blood was streaming from a gash in his nose. Three plays later, the football watching public found out exactly what the San Francisco 49ers are made of.
On 2nd and 3 from the Detroit 23 yard line, Smith took the snap and rolled right. He extended the play with his feet, and lofted a perfectly thrown ball to Vernon Davis, who weaved his way through Detroit's defense for 17 yards and a touchdown. The score sealed the victory and the reputation of the 2012 49ers: this is a team that will kick your ass and
take your lunch money.
When today's game in Minnesota kicks off, the Vikings had best be careful. Chippy play might intimidate some teams…but not this one: Don't make them angry…you wouldn't like them when they're angry.
By: Big Mike
Date: September 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM
Comment: Part 2:
It can say: "All is right and good in 49er land, the arrow is pointing up, nothing the 49ers do is ever bad or wrong, our game plan was brilliant this week, Jed York is the best owner in sports, Alex Smith makes Aaron Rodgers look like chopped liver, all of Trent Baalke's player acquisitions are brilliant, Jim Harbaugh's game plans are never too conservative, none of us know more than anyone involved with the 49ers, all is part of the plan, zone blocking." Every week, instead of reading Jeff's columns, the Dans can just read AJ's affirmation and get everything they ever wanted."
By: Terry B.
Date: September 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM
Comment: Big Mike, nice try changing the argument. You write, "you never outright attacked AJ?" and then try to prove me wrong by posting one of my attacks on AJ. But where did I claim that I never outright attacked AJ? You just made that up to knock down a straw man didn't you? Of course I attack AJ. Why would I deny that?
By: Terry B.
Date: September 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM
Comment: So, Big Mike, to make the case that I did say that the 49ers were doomed, you posted two long comments in which I did not say the 49ers were doomed? That's your idea of supporting a point? Let me guess, you didn't get through school did you? And nice try saying you'll post whatever I write, AJ, since you haven't done so, have you? Where's yesterday's comment?
By: Big Mike
Date: September 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Comment: Hey Terry, you never said the Niners were doomed? You never outright attacked AJ? Wow.
Remember this? I snagged it from the comments in one of Kaplan's articles:
Comment: It is clear what must be done. People on this site can be divided into two camps. "Fans" and "Homers" would be the most accurate description, but I think I'll go with "Fans" and "Dans" because of the nice rhyme. Fans are those who love the 49ers, but still think critically and want to read thoughtful, objective journalism. Dans are those who think everything is always right and good in 49er land, can't handle anything even remotely negative, and are only interested in reading columns that tell them exactly what they already think. Jeff's columns serve the fans well. But, for the Dans who can't handle Jeff, I suggest an alternative. Normally, I would just send the Dans to AJ to have all of their dreams fulfilled, but AJ only writes twice a year, so clearly that won't work. Instead, there can be a permanent column affixed to one of the home page's four corners that tells the Dans what they want to hear. Maybe AJ would accept the task of writing it. We can call it "AJ's Affirmation" or something."
By: Big Mike
Date: September 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM
Comment: Wait a second...you never said the Niners were doomed? You got up in AJs face (figuratively speaking) when he wrote that the Niners were improving after their win in Philly last season. Only instead of using facts, you personally attacked him. All he did here was write a piece about the Niners being a tough team, and the first thing you do is try to discredit him for using a COMMON phrase in his piece. I've used it. My buddies use it. My Dad has used it. The PFT article that you quoted actually bastardized it to make reference to the fact that the Niners do well in early starts. A completely different use along with different words. I said it before and I'll stand by it now. You're an idiot. Funny you should talk about courage...I don't see you writing anything.
By: Terry B.
Date: September 25, 2012 at 8:05 AM
Comment: I guess you didn't read my stuff, Little Mike. I actually have always maintained that Harbaugh is an excellect coach, and I never said that the Niners were doomed. But I do think Alex sucks. Oh, and by the way, AJ is a coward and a hypocrite. Last year, he said that if I had anything to say to him to post it under his column. He also likes to tell others to grow some balls. But now he is too cowardly to post my comments. I guess I will move my criticisms of AJ back to other places. Look for future critiques of AJ under the columns of writers who don't censor comments. Oh, and if you don't believe that AJ ripped off PFT, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you. Oh, and your definition of plagiarism would get you kicked out of first grade.
By: Big Mike
Date: September 25, 2012 at 5:44 AM
Comment: Yo Terry...seriously? The "plagiarized" quote you pointed out isn't even the same phrase used by AJ, it was used in different context and it wasn't the central theme of the article. You were the d-bag that kept saying that Alex Smith was a loser, right? That the Niners were doomed last year? That Harbaugh didn't know what he was doing? Funny how you disappeared after the Niners started winning. AJ won't say it but I will...you're a one note joke, Terry. You only show up to talk shit after a loss, and even then you offer no valid insights. Laughable. Utterly laughable.
Date: September 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM
Comment: Good article. After this weekend's anomaly against the Vikes, all I have to say if you think they were mad last week......just wait until the Jets game. The last thing the Jets need is a sleeping giant that just woke up.
Date: September 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM
Seems the fight left San Francisco for unknown places...
By: Terry B.
Date: September 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM
Comment: Gee, AJ, plagiarize much? PFT: "49ers Beating People Up, Taking Their Breakfast Money." AJ: "this is a team that will kick your ass and take your lunch money."
Of course, today they did neither. Arrow down.
Date: September 23, 2012 at 9:51 AM
Comment: I have never seen that pic of Justin Smith before.
Date: September 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM
Comment: Easily the best 49er article I've read. And I've read quite A few in my days
Date: September 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM
Comment: Great read, awesome job.
Date: September 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM
Comment: Hell yeah they are my fathers 49ers. Remember Hardy Brown? That guy would light up the ball carrier with a well timed shoulder.
But not only are they my Father's 49ers they're mine too cause they had some very rough focused characters back there in the 80's. An these guys remind me of those guys. Only these guys are that kid that everyone picked on. Couldn't get a moments peace. Even the teachers and the Principal picked on the poor dude. 'Til one day out of desperation the kid hit back. And it felt good when he knocked the bully square in the schnozzle and the bully stunned didn't know what to think and started bawling like a little baby.
Now the kid is back and delivering payback to the other kids who think that was ever going to be the last time the kid defended himself. He found that he actually liked defending himself. That he could defend himself. And he chose then and there that was going to be the last time anybody bullied him from that moment on. Nobody was going to point fingers at him and laugh ever again.
The 9ers are who we always thought they were back in '09. '10 was a travesty other than Smith's finally having had enough of being bullied by his own teacher.
Date: September 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM
Comment: just tell da vikings to be on the look out for Moss... he brought his work shirt and lunch pail... #49ers2k12
Date: September 23, 2012 at 8:16 AM
Comment: Great article! It is amazing because I have also had a bunch of people who know I am a 49ers fan, come up and tell me it is just amazing watching how good and physical the 49ers are! I have been telling them we have been this way for awhile, but it is nice watching them find it all out for themselves.