Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Niners Victory Over Steelers Leaves Fans Dazed and Confused...

Gary Mialocq
Sep 24, 2019 at 10:03 AM14

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I'll admit the first half of the 49er victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers was painful to watch and very confusing. While the defense dominated the Steelers' offense, the offense looked like it had overslept. In fact, the new long snapper had enough and retired after the game. It was obvious that the 49ers were struck by nervousness. Here they were with an opportunity to move into a lofty first-place tie at 3-0, but the entire offense looked like a deer in the headlights.

Dante Pettis and Matt Breida dropped passes that resulted in interceptions; Jimmy G fumbled a snap which may or may not have been caused by poor timing on the snap; Raheem Mostert took his eyes off the ball on a pitchout, but miraculously recovered it away from two Steelers while losing 18 yards on the play. Then, after an excellent run into the red zone, recorded his first lost fumble of the season. The offense looked like it was playing in a fog with four first-half turnovers.

The second half was an entirely different story as Breida and Mostert overcame their earlier jitters and ran all over the Steelers with the offense running up 436 yards (168 rushing and 268 passing) for the game. Jimmy G withstood a solid beating from the Steeler defense and spread the ball around completing at least one pass to each of his receivers, and both Breida and Mostert are now on a pace to record over 1,000 yards rushing, EACH! Dante Pettis overcame his earlier drop with the game-winning reception. Incredibly, the 49ers won a game they would not have won in the recent past. At no time did I feel nervous that they might blow this game. It was apparent that the 49ers were easily the better team despite their Keystone Cops first-half display.

A visit to online forums revealed a confused Niner fanbase. Profanity-laced comments show a fanbase that knows NOTHING about winning. Trade Jimmy G! Cut Mostert! Armstead is a bum! Hatred for Bosa because he likes Trump! Lynch and Shanahan should both be dumped! At the same time, others are saying we will go 15-1 or 16-0 easily. Who are these fans??? Having been a 49er Faithful since seeing the team practice in the Polo Field in GG Park in 1946, and attending my first game at Kezar in 1947, I am used to the members of the Niner Faithful who were LOYAL to the core. The sad thing about today's fans is they know little to nothing about the team's incredible history.

Case in point: One guy said this win with five turnovers was UNACCEPTABLE and that no great team puts itself in such jeopardy! My mind flashed back to January 10, 1982. The most famous game in 49er history ended with Dwight Clark's legendary catch and a 28-27 victory. Few people realize that Joe Montana was sacked three times in that game. He also threw three interceptions, and the 49ers lost three fumbles. Add to that seven penalties for 106 yards along with six turnovers and three sacks in the greatest victory ever and the depth of what a miracle this victory was becomes even more apparent. However, few people remember or even know that it took a shoestring tackle by Eric Wright to preserve the victory. Had Eric not saved the day with that tackle, Dwight's amazing catch would have just faded into history.

Wins never come easy and seldom without great defense. Great teams make mistakes, plenty of them, but the greatest overcome them. I asked the fan if the greatest victory in team history was UNACCEPTABLE. No response, other than initial disbelief.

That performance against the Steelers showed a team with a lot of heart. It also showed a team with a tremendous defense, especially the new linebacker combination of Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander, which reminds one of Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman.

I suggest that Niner fans chill. I realize winning is new to them, but having seen every 49er team in history, it's easy for me to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. This team is on the verge of greatness. Enjoy it. Jerry Rice said this team is capable of winning the Super Bowl, and after this guts and glory performance over the Steelers, I wouldn't bet against it.
  • Gary Mialocq
  • Written by:
    Native of SF. Attended Washington HIgh (HOF Basketball & Golf), CCSF and SF State University. Investor & Startup Business Consultant, Former Juvenile Detention Counselor, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Self-employment Specialist, Real Estate Investor, Genealogist. Senior Pro Golfer.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Li Tai Fang
    For the most part, lost fumbles and tipped interceptions occur randomly. The fact is that for the vast majority of the plays, the 49ers clearly looked like a pretty good team, gaining plenty of first downs on offense and forcing 3-and-outs on defense.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 3:25 PM
  • Snake Plissken
    SNAKE PLISSKEN NEVER SAYS DIE! I was so friggen drunk during that game, and just about 80% of the Ericson-Now eras that it was all awesome to me. Real 49ers fans always stay optimistic. You have to really have that Dr. Strangelove "flying down to doomsday" rodeo attitude to be considered "faithful". Blood in, blood out, and a big shout out to NCCommand, Marvin49, Mayo, ABRULEZ, and CROWN! RIDING INTO HELL AND BACK!!! WE DON'T QUIT! I LOVE THIS TEAM FOREVER!
    Sep 24, 2019 at 3:23 PM
    Response: That's better, Snake...
  • rebel4life
    Great article, thanks! Completely agree about today's fanbase, they have become so arbitrary, though I guess that is due to the current zeitgeist. Funny (though consequential) you mention The Catch game, I'm right now reading through Maiocco's "Letters to 87" and it's heartwarming. Maybe some of the young "Faithful" should pick it up too and learn a thing or two about what our Niners are all about.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 2:45 PM
  • Devon
    Totally agree! Absent the goofball mistakes (tipped passes, fumbles), this team totally dominated the Steelers. And those kinds of mistakes are the kind that go away with playing time... as the season progresses. This team is learning the key thing a team has to know to be an NFL champion.... and that's how to win. The Patriots are where they are because they know how to win. They NEVER expect anything else. Winning is a habit this team is picking up.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 1:44 PM
  • Matt C
    I love this article, you have said exactly what I have for years. Fans now a days dont know the history of the team so they are running their mouths with things that loyal fans that know the teams history would never. A win is a win, ugly or pretty it dont matter as long as our 49ers come out with the W. This article was well written and spoke truth!
    Sep 24, 2019 at 1:04 PM
  • Darrell
    Bang on, succinct, and well written.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 12:46 PM
  • Okozumi
    Winning tough, ugly, hard fought games are what create champions. This younger "fantasy" generation can't see past the end of their own nose. Let alone look back on history. Their whole lives are fantasy. They're not the best, most handsome, and most intelligent around. No one but their mommy's thinks that about them. And no, just showing up should not win you shit. Trying your supposed best is not enough to be a champion. Wise up youngsters, this team is on the verge of championships again. When that day comes, remember you were wanting to break up this great culture that's started with losing multiple games...
    Sep 24, 2019 at 12:43 PM
  • Joseph
    Today's generation (fans) expect instant gratification, so if something threatens that they demand the harshest immediate penalty. This generation is heavily involved with fantasy football and will actually root against their team if it helps their fantasy team win. True fans would ALWAYS root for what's better for the Niners. They also believe politics have an influence in a person's play. Also the player must be inferior or their integrity is suspect If he doesn't "publicly" agree with their point of view. They are fickle and child like and should be viewed as such. Sit back and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts and put the "children" into their room and ignore them.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:51 AM
  • Justin Stewart
    Niners faithful from Louisville ky, love this article, been a Niners fan all 33 years of my life. We have had some up and downs, but we are in the verge of greatness right now!!
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:24 AM
  • mbniner
    Gary, Sounds like you're an old geezer like me! I saw the Niner's first game at Kezar against the NY Yankees of the AAFC. So I too witnessed the ups and downs. Great teams survive adversity which happens to everyone. I saw Tittle-to-Owens Alley Oop passes pull many a game to a win after being apparently beaten. How about the final drive against Cincy in the Super Bowl when all seemed lost. The NFL has great players and every team can play extremely well in spurts. It's the teams that do it consistently and don't fold under pressure that succeed.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:21 AM
  • Sole
    Nicely said. Only true fans ride till die. Win or loose still cheering for the niner.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:20 AM
  • Jerry
    Great article. Truly showed the heart of the team. By the end of the year this defense will be scaring everyone.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:17 AM
  • Niner-Sam
    They are not confused, they are ignorant!
    Sep 24, 2019 at 11:07 AM
  • Marianne
    Some really sharp coach once said, "Great teams aren't always great. They're just great when they have to be."
    Sep 24, 2019 at 10:26 AM

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