• By Matt Faust
    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:42 PM 5 comments
    Midnight runs by billionaire owners, Hall of Fame quarterbacks waiting by the phone for his call and media clinging to his every movement, Jim Harbaugh is the belle of the forlorn franchise ball. While uneasy coaches' wait as the axe hangs loosely over their head, the courtship of Prince Harbaugh has gone from overt to downright obsessive. But what does this savior of franchises bring to the table that no other man alive can offer? A handful of Super Bowl rings? No. An innovative offensive scheme never seen before on the football field? Sorry, try again. A sure-fire coaching method that is guaranteed to bring instant success to even the most dysfunctional franchises? He's turned a few heads down on the Farm (What's your deal?), but that's a stretch....
  • By Matt Faust
    Jul 30, 2008 at 10:08 PM 0 comments
    While last year's disappointment is still fresh in our minds, the 2008 season is already upon us. The 49ers are at a crossroads, and with past glory a fading memory they are in need of a hero to save them from their current despair. While watching the actors in Dark Knight earn every bit of critical acclaim they have received for their roles in the movie (If Heath Ledger doesn't win an Oscar it's a crime), I wondered which 49er players would be best suited for each role. Could these players save San Francisco and help the team reach its destiny? *If you haven't seen the movie yet, beware of possible spoilers* Mike Martz as Bruce Wayne/Batman - A man who already has the money, seeks to avenge past painful memories by saving San Francisco. Fans...
  • By Matt Faust
    Feb 4, 2008 at 8:08 PM 0 comments
    Blasphemy. Kick him off the website. Who does this guy think he is? Heck, who is he? But 49er fans, whether you want to admit it or not, or want to kill me for even saying those words, we were 35 seconds away from having to seriously enter that debate. Thank you, Eli Manning. After 25 years of being certain of three things: Death, taxes and Joe Montana as the greatest quarterback of all time, even I was entertaining the possibility that the latter may no longer be so certain. Let's look at the stats. Tom Brady has played eight years in the league. Through eight seasons he has 197 touchdown passes. Joe Montana had 141. Tom Brady has three Super Bowl rings, Joe Montana had two through eight seasons. Brady threw 50 touchdown passes this year,...
  • By Matt Faust
    Nov 4, 2007 at 11:55 AM 0 comments
    Following the 1985-86 season, the Boston Celtics were on top of the basketball world for the 16th time in franchise history and third time in the last six years. Not only did Boston have one of the most imposing front courts in NBA history in Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish returning the following season, they also owned the second pick in the NBA draft due to a 1984 trade of Gerald Henderson to the Seattle Supersonics, which struggled to a 31-51 record for the second straight year. Does this scenario sound familiar? While most sports historians know all too well the tragic story surrounding 1986 second overall pick Lenny Bias and subsequent fall of the Celtics dynasty, few remember what happened to the Celtics' trading partner. With a boost from second...
  • By Matt Faust
    Jul 30, 2007 at 10:36 PM 0 comments
    What makes men great? Is it success? Taking a desolate franchise coming off of a 2-14 season, with 6 head coaches in their last five seasons, to the top of the football world in three seasons and then, sustaining that success through two more championships for a total of three in ten seasons. Is it innovation? Creating an offense based on timing and precision that by the mid 90's had been copied or used in some form by more than half the teams in the NFL, five of which won world championships. Is it leadership? Holding the title of President, General Manager and Head Coach while molding a mix of NFL vagabonds and inexperienced collegians into the Team of the 80's and laying the groundwork for five NFL championships in a 14 year span. Is it...
  • By Matt Faust
    Jul 15, 2007 at 9:42 AM 0 comments
    Nate Clements, 8 years, $80 million. Michael Lewis, 6 years, $30 million. Tully Banta-Cain, 3 years, $8.7 million. Aubrayo Franklin, 3 years, $6 million. Ashley Lelie, 2 years, $4 million. While these names should be mentioned in any conversation about the 49er's playoff chances this season, a few others should not be forgotten as well. Tarik Glenn, Marvel Smith, Matt Light, Roman Oben, Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace. These are the men protecting the blind side of the last six quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl. While only Ogden and Pace stand out as elite performers, all have been steady, reliable and healthy during their teams run to the Super Bowl. So while Clements, Lewis, Banta-Cain and others grab headlines this offseason as evidence of an improved,...
  • By Matt Faust
    Dec 14, 2006 at 10:40 PM 0 comments
    For some boys it’s making their first shave on a sparsely stubbled face. For others it’s their first kiss. The rev of the engine of their first car, a handshake of a principal upon graduation or the turn of the key to a brand new apartment. For Alex Smith, it was a third and six at his own fourteen on a dreary Seattle night. "The boy just became a grown man today, baby," Frank Gore said to a national audience following the game. "There's a lot more to come." Alex Smith, you have arrived. A team needing an answer following three straight losses found one in the media’s favorite scapegoat of the last few weeks. After meandering through the first three quarters on Thursday, Smith led three fourth quarter touchdown drives in Montana-esque fashion leaving...
  • By Matt Faust
    Dec 24, 2005 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    'Twas the day before Christmas, and in the Faust home, The Niners were on TV, no one would dare roam, Memorabilia was hung, by the chimney with care, In hopes that one day, the 49ers would emerge from despair, Matt was resting comfortably, alone in his bed, With visions of Reggie, dancing in his head, Mamma wrapping gifts, while Dad takes a nap, The game was going nicely, not one little flap, When on the TV, there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed, to see what was the matter, Away with the football, the 49ers had come, How in the world, could they be so dumb? All year long, we had suffered through this mess, Reggie was to be our savior, San Francisco his new...
  • By Matt Faust
    Aug 1, 2005 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    From the very beginning, I haven't liked the Alex Smith selection. Nothing against the guy, he had a good college career and has loads of potential, I'm just skeptical that it will translate to the NFL level. Questionable arm strength, playing in a gimmicky offense and weak competition at the collegiate level leave me with a laundry list of doubts. But why be a glass half empty kind of person? Here is a list of reasons why Alex Smith will be successful in the NFL. Why? Because I'd like to think that $57 million goes as far as it used to. 1. He is smart. Smart people do well in life. Bill Gates is smart, and he created a billion dollar corporation. Albert Einstein was smart, and that theory of relativity hasn't failed him yet. Now Alex...
  • By Matt Faust
    Mar 2, 2005 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    The Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock. Wait......Wait, WHO'S on the clock? Yes 49ers fans. Welcome to unfamiliar territory, the first pick of the NFL draft. What was once considered the great NFL franchise has now been cast out of NFL Heaven by the football Gods. But, alas, 49er fans, this doesn't have to be an annual occurrence. We don't have to sit through countless 2-14 seasons. We don't have to pick in the top five each year. We don't have to pick a quarterback. The top pick in the draft should not just fill a need, he should set the tone for the franchise. He should be a signal to fans that change is in the air and we will not settle for mediocrity. The top pick should be worthy of such an honor, someone who changes how the...
  • By Matt Faust
    Aug 23, 2004 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    Every break in the school year while attending the University of California, Santa Barbara, I would try to go home for a few days. Along highway 101 from Santa Barbara to Pismo Beach lies some of the most breathtaking views this world has to offer, and as I get into the car, I look forward to my journey home. But much like a Halloween candy induced cavity, for every enjoyment in life, their is a price to be paid. Two hours into my four and a half hour drive, the beautiful California coastline is now a distant memory and miles of nothingness remain. I now begin to wonder, is this what I've been waiting so long for? Such is the 2004 San Francisco 49ers. Led by a quarterback that has gripped the door handle of a doctor's office more than a football,...
  • By Matt Faust
    Apr 24, 2004 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    When the 49ers entered the day, they had eight draft picks and a lot of question marks. After day one of the NFL draft, San Francisco came away with four players with huge potential and two additional picks for day two. So as the sun sets on the bay, general manager Terry Donahue and his staff can sit back and look at a day one well done. First round maneuvering - which suspiciously had a Bill Walsh feel to it - left San Francisco with additional fourth and second round picks as well as a #1 receiver they coveted, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods. The Oklahoma City native broke every school and Big 12 Conference and career records for receiving was a steal for Donahue at 31 and put the 49ers on the path towards replacing the losses of Terrell Owens and Tai...
  • By Matt Faust
    Apr 21, 2004 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    Predicting the NFL draft is a crap shoot. Just when you think you have the board figured out, picks or a top player gets traded and the whole board shifts. So as we approach the final days before the draft, be ready for anything to happen. For the second time in five years the 49ers are entering a transition phase with their franchise. Star players Jeff Garcia, Terrell Owens, Garrison Hearst and Derrick Deese are all out the door, as well as Ron Stone, Jason Webster, Jed Weaver and Tai Streets. The 49ers offense will now rely on a young nucleus of talent led by emerging star running back Kevan Barlow. The fourth-year University of Pittsburgh product had his first 1,000 yard season last year and led all running backs with 6 touchdowns. San Francisco placed the franchise tag on...
  • By Matt Faust
    Feb 5, 2004 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    Let me start off by saying I like Tom Brady. I really do, and what's not to like? In three seasons as a starter, he not only has become the toast of Boston, but the darling of a nation. He is young, rich, good looking, talented and...oh ya, has two Super Bowl titles. Tom Brady is a lot of things. But Tom Brady is no Joe Montana. The similarities between Brady and Montana have been regurgitated time and time again. Both have had overwhelming success early in their careers. Montana won two Super Bowls in his first five seasons (one of those included the strike shortened 1982 season) and Brady did it in 4. Both relied on a strong defense for their first Super Bowl title. Both had master minds as head coaches. Both have seemed magical on the field, while humble off. But to...
  • By Matt Faust
    Jan 14, 2004 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    When the 49ers hired Dennis Erickson last offseason, San Francisco fans knew that change was in the air, for better or for worse. After a 7-9 start to Erickson's San Francisco career, they got their answer. While the 7-9 season can't be solely blamed on Erickson, the 49ers enter the offseason with a lot of question marks and not a lot of answers. Will the team be able to resign future perennial All-Pro Julian Peterson and corner Ahmed Plummer? Will emerging state Kevan Barlow return after his first 1,000 yard rushing season? Where will Owens end up and will we be compensated? After such a great start against Chicago in the opening game, what went wrong? The team's first and most obvious priority is re-signing Julian Peterson. Teams must game...
  • By Matt Faust
    Oct 26, 2003 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    This isn't the 49er's team I've grown up loving. The team of the 80's that I remember elicits memories of 55 yard touchdown passes from Montana to Rice, Roger Craig catching 90 passes a season, and final scores in the 45 point range. No, this team bares no resemblance to the glory of the past, and it's about time. Powered by a running game that rushed for 217 yards against the defending the Super Bowl champs, the 49ers may have righted their sinking ship just in time for a playoff run. Erickson's plan for a wide open offensive attack was scratched for a powerful ball control rushing assault that resembles the 2000 Ravens more than the 49ers of past lore. The defense was overpowering, the offensive line looked rejuvenated and the...
  • By Matt Faust
    Sep 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    After years of analyzing and trying to figure out Terrell Owens, it seems Budweiser gives us the best perspective on the receiver. In a recent commercial, a reporter asks a football player in the locker room about the team's recent loss. Leon, the player interviewed, responds, "This is a team game, and I have to put the loss squarely on the shoulders of my supporting cast." The reporter then asks, "You don't think those four fumbles played a part in the loss?" Leon responds, "Not if one of those guys fell on the ball, once again, Leon can't do everything." True. To 49er's fan's, this poke at selfish players seems all too familiar. Owens, never a top candidate for teammate of...
  • By Matt Faust
    Sep 10, 2003 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    With 11 minutes left in the game in Detroit, a Jason Hanson PAT helped the Lions finished off a 42-24 win over the Cardinals, giving Steve Mariucci his first win as Lions head coach. Three hours later, the 49ers proved they could do their old coach one touchdown better. In an impressive display of offensive, defensive and special teams' dominance, the 49ers blew out the Chicago Bears 49-7 on Sunday. With new formations and a new attitude, San Francisco scored 23 points in the final six minutes to break the game open and headed into the locker room with a 33-7 lead, their biggest first half output in more than a decade. "To be honest, you can't ask for a better start," Erickson said. "We blitzed a lot, we came after them … and everybody did...
  • By Matt Faust
    Aug 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    "Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." Superman symbolizes greatness beyond the reach of most men. To be like Superman is to be more than human, to be able to do the unthinkable. Superhuman feats are rare, but I've been fortunate enough to witness a few of them. I was only seven when I first started going to 49er games in 1989. From the moment I stepped foot into Candlestick Park and saw the 49ers on the field, I was in awe. Over the next 14 seasons I witnessed more amazing plays than I can remember. Terrell Owens' game-winning catch against Green Bay in the 1998 Wild Card game, Garrison Hearst's 98-yard touchdown run against the Jets on opening day of that same year, just to name a...
  • By Matt Faust
    Aug 11, 2003 at 12:00 AM 0 comments
    From Gene Washington to Ronnie Lott to Bryant Young, San Francisco rookies have a history of coming up big in their first NFL season. The 2003 draft class was unveiled last night, and through their first test, raised hopes that they too will come up big in their first season Seventh round draft pick Ken Dorsey, showing no signs of the weak arm that made his draft stock fall, connected on 4 of 7 passes for 39 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Lloyd made an instant impact, hauling in his first catch of his career for a 39 yard touchdown to put the 49ers up 7-3 early in the second quarter. Not to be out done, Arnaz Battle caught a 15 yard touchdown from Dorsey for the first catch of his career. Battle also recovered a fumble and recorded a tackle on special teams. Aaron...
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