On a chilly San Francisco evening, my eyes caught a glimpse of one of the 49ers' stadium souvenir cups sitting on a seat once occupied by another hopeful San Francisco 49ers fan. The cup had a picture of Frank Gore on it with the slogan "Talk Doesn't Win Games" written above his photo. Apparently, neither do the 49ers.

Minutes earlier, in the closing minutes of the game with the 49ers down by seven, I was still filled with hope. Then it happened. Alex Smith threw his third interception of the game, which was returned for a touchdown. This essentially ended any hope that I once had for a victory. As piles of fans scoured for the Candlestick Park exits and the team wasted time driving for a worthless touchdown, I sat there staring off into the distance toward the season that could have been. A season full of promises and hope. Promises that this team would be something special. Hope that this team, with special players like Patrick Willis and Frank Gore, would deliver on those promises. I sat there quietly and watched as the clock slowly headed toward 0:00. Once it hit that mark, the door closed on all those promises and hopes. All I was left with was the reality that this was not a special 49ers team. It was yet another team that had lost its way.

Then I realized something. All year long, fans in San Francisco had been spoon fed slogans like the one on the cup. "Don't Tell Me. Show Me" and "I Want Winners" are just a couple to add to the list. In reality, these slogans are just that. They are false hope. They are just words meant to stir some excitement in a team that no one would have otherwise considered a contender. They were cool phrases to plaster on Bay Area billboards and merchandise. They were ways to get season ticket owners to renew and to fill the stadium seats.

In reality, no matter how hard the 49ers try to cover up their faults with cute little motivational slogans, they are no different than the teams from previous years. They deliver hope, but in the end, the fans will just be left disappointed. The team started out with an impressive 3-1 record. Since then, they have dropped 4 straight games. Three of those four losses were to competitive opponents, two of which they had a chance to beat. However, the Tennessee Titans had won only one game this season and should have been an easy opponent to face. If the 49ers struggled against them, what are they going to do as they face better teams down the stretch?

Players like star linebacker Patrick Willis, obviously drinking the same kool-aid as most of the fans, promised a long awaited return to the playoffs. Now, that promise looks to be fading away.

Fans seem separated when trying to figure out who to blame. Is this the fault of the players? Is it the fault of the play calling? Is it Mike Singletary's fault? Maybe the answer is "All of the above."

The players make too many mistakes. Dropped passes, stupid penalties, and sloppy mistakes are abundant. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye's offense is both predictable and boring. In no way does it strikes fear in the hearts of opposing defenses. Stop Frank Gore and success will follow. Only when the 49ers fall behind do the coaches open up the offense, usually with some success. But they are not built as a come-from-behind team. Even when leading in a game, as they did at halftime on Sunday, the uninspiring play calling allows for an opposing team to mount a comeback. Then there is Mike Singletary, branded and marketed as the savior of the 49ers. The man who hired Raye and who fully supports this style of offense does not seem to have any answers. He only offers more motivational speeches to try and cover up the overall issues. However, until the team starts delivering, they are still just empty words delivered by a man trying to give the impression that there is some grand scheme in development. His players look unprepared and overwhelmed. Sure there have been some injuries, but most NFL teams have to deal with that.

Weeks ago, after a blowout loss to Atlanta, I asked if this team was a contender or a pretender. The answer is now abundantly clear. I have a new slogan for the 49ers. "Win Some Football Games." Only then, will they be taken seriously again.