Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Bowl Bound Forty-Niners Overcome Deficit, Win NFL West

Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life, it is no surprise that I am a 49ers fan, as are all three of my sons. I first started rooting for the team around 1970.  However, when the Niners went up against a very solid Atlanta Falcons yesterday, I was prepared for a San Francisco defeat (expect the worst, hope for the best -- a motto of mine).

I turned on the radio on the way to band practice to learn the first quarter had just ended, with the Falcons ahead 10 - 0.  In the next few minutes, the Falcons made it 17 - 0.  The Niners defense had apparently taken the day off.  Oh well, I thought:  those who go to the Super Bowl have to earn it, and I won't begrudge the Falcons for showing up, while the Niners were apparently AWOL.  It is what it is, and even though I identify with the Niners, I don't actually play on the team and none of the glory of victory is really mine, except as a vicarious thrill.  Just keeping it in perspective, folks.

Serenading the gods with feeling and panache,
thereby assuring a 49ers victory
But then the Niners, who hadn't had a single first down in the first quarter, dominated the second quarter and brought the score up to 14 - 17.  Aha, I thought, the Niners have awakened and this game isn't over by a long shot.  The energetic Falcons, however, scored another touch down before the half, making the halftime score 24 - 14 in their favor.  Still doable, but the Niners would have to step up.  Meanwhile, I arrived at the band practice site and began stroking my beautiful red Rickenbacker bass guitar in loving fashion, producing gloriously deep bass notes and serenading the gods with feeling and panache.  I did this until the last half of the fourth quarter, when we of the band put our instruments down and went to watch the last of the game.

When we turned on the TV, the Falcons were deep in Niners territory and trying to score again.  The score was 28 - 24, but we didn't know who had the 28 and who had the 24.  I whipped out my iPhone and brought up Drudge, who indicated that it was the Niners who had the 28 (huzzah!).  In order to win, the Falcons would have to score a touchdown in the last two minutes of the game, and were knocking at the door, a scary situation.  Somehow, the formerly moribund Niners defense rose to the occasion and stopped the drive, returning ball control to the Niners with a minute left to play.  The Niners simply ran out the clock to confirm the win.

The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl, in their first appearance there since 1995.  If they beat the Baltimore Ravens, they will tie Pittsburgh at six Super Bowl victories apiece.  If they win, San Francisco will have the distinct honor of hosting two championship teams in the space of a single year:  the San Francisco Giants baseball team, and the 49ers football team.  The Super Bowl this year will have an interesting angle, as both coaches (Jim Harbaugh of the Niners and John Harbaugh of the Ravens) are brothers.  The only good thing about this is that the Harbaugh family is guaranteed a Super Bowl victory, one way or the other.  (Think their dad is one proud papa?  Talk about bragging rights!)

Ah, if only our state politicians were as good as our coaches, we might be the nation's most prosperous state instead of the nation's financial basket case and laughingstock.

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