49ers FangirlGeneral

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions

By December 10, 2014 No Comments
San Francisco 49ers

Distractions have a way of becoming main attractions, and in the world of professional sports, that means detracting from the success of a team. As I think about the San Francisco 49ers’ season thus far and how it went so wrong, so fast, two dates come to mind – January 19, 2014 and February 21, 2014. Let’s start with the latter.

  • February 21, 2014 was the day it was first reported that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns; the day it became public that the coach and the management weren’t exactly besties. There were rumblings before, but this report put it out there for the world, the players, and the NFL to see. And this was the beginning of the end. Months passed, training camp started, and the rumors were back.
  • Then the Niners lost their first-ever home game at Levi’s Stadium in an embarrassing fashion to the Chicago Bears, and the grumblings got louder. Then they lost the next week to Arizona, and it’s plagued the team ever since. You see, it’s hard to focus on football when reports about disputes with owners, GMs, and players are coming out left and right. It’s hard to focus on football when every time you talk to the media, you are being asked about where you’ll be coaching next year – which is weird when it’s October and there’s a lot of season left to play for the team you’re currently coaching. And it’s hard to be a player asked week after week if he likes his coach and if he wants him to stay and why.
  • And this brings me to January 19, 2014 – the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, which we know the Niners lost. LB Navorro Bowman tore his ACL and MCL in that game (on a controversial call that may have won the game for the Niners, but I digress). The injury was so horrific that Bowman has been out the entire season and was only activated yesterday. Aside from losing a stellar defensive player that day, San Francisco lost one of its team leaders and greatest example setters. Then Patrick Willis, who was the official pre game speech giver, went down. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and his defense have stepped up and performed in an outstanding fashion all season, despite these losses. But what’s missing is the X Factor. Bowman and Willis lead by example, in their demeanor, their practice style, their work ethic, and their play. Even though they are fixtures on the sidelines, they are not able to lead in practice and on the field on game day. And this team so desperately needed that this year.

The 49ers have endured the Harbaugh distraction, numerous injuries, suspensions, and arrests. It’s been a mess off the field, which has translated to a mess on the field. They play distracted, they play unprepared, they play like they’re over it. There are actual football issues plaguing this team, I know that. But I also know this team is made up of competitive players, hard workers, and really good guys. I know this team has the ability to shake it off (thank you Taylor Swift), hold its collective head high and perform. I really hope that whether or not Bowman actually plays this season, just his presence in uniform in practice is a boost for this team. It’s a boost for me, but hey, I’m just a fan. There’s only so much I can do on Sunday.

Tracy Sandler

Tracy Sandler

I created Fangirl Sports Network as a place for female sports fans to follow their favorite teams with content and coverage that speaks directly to females. It started with one and then eight and now 32 NFL Fangirls and 15 NBA Fangirls.