Some Reflections On 49ers And Ravens, Before The Mets

One of the true beauties of sport is the ability to generate conversation and debate. Before we dive head first into baseball let’s take one more swipe at the Super Bowl, which will go down in history as one of the most compelling in history.

What I root most for in watching games – regardless of sport – are interesting story lines and close games. Yesterday’s game hit on both counts.

As I wrote yesterday, I didn’t have a dog in the fight, but leaned toward San Francisco because of my Cleveland roots. I didn’t waiver, but found myself happy for Joe Flacco because of the heat he’s taken, some of it from his own team.

Timing is everything, and Flacco couldn’t have picked a better time to become an unrestricted free agent. What are the odds? Check them out at

While Flacco is easy to root for, Jim Harbaugh is the opposite.

Harbaugh went from hard to root for to almost impossible to root for because of his whining. After saying he wanted to handle things with class, he proceeded to rip the officiating. Although he was right on that last non-call – it was holding – be gracious and congratulate your brother. Not a lot of warmth in that post-game handshake.

Brother John said he thought his brother is the best coach in the NFL and would be honored to work for him. He also said he loved him. Jim said no such thing. I wonder if Jim will truly be happy for John?

That was a horrible non-call, and I can’t stand that term. “That was a good non-call,’’ said Phil Simms, who praised the officials for “not making a call late in the game.’’ I normally like Simms, but he’s as off-target on this one like a Mark Sanchez pass. Huh? If it is holding, it is holding whether on the first play of the game or the last. What is it? Then call it. I bet he wouldn’t have been that forgiving had he been throwing the ball.

That wasn’t the only bad call in the game. As a matter of fact, two Ravens were caught holding on that play. They were also holding on the kickoff return. And, how does Cary Williams not get thrown out of the game for shoving a ref? He later went on to make several key plays, including tipping a pass in the end zone.

There were numerous other blown calls that cost both teams. It isn’t like the 49ers got screwed; both teams were affected. Like, how about a late hit on Flacco wasn’t called?

I heard a lot about the officials “letting them play,’’ which is garbage. Your job as an official is to call the game, not arbitrarily decide how the game should be played. It is like an umpire’s “personal’’ strike zone. Rules are rules, so enforce them.

That being said, I don’t want to hear how the officials cost the 49ers the game. They had a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher, yet still lost the game. I wonder how many times that has happened. The bottom line is when you score 31 points, you should win the game. The 49ers defense and special teams were horrid, and Jim Harbaugh was outcoached by his brother, John Harbaugh.

Outclassed, too?

Jim Harbaugh inexplicably abandoned the running game at the end, despite Frank Gore’s success in the game and on that drive. Harbaugh, as a former quarterback, should know timeouts are more precious than five yards.

Colin Kaepernick burned a timeout earlier rather than take a penalty, and as the clock ticked down on that final drive, Harbaugh screamed for a timeout rather than take the penalty, despite the five yards possibly helping the receivers maneuver easier around the end zone.

As far as Kaepernick is concerned, he came alive in the second half, but clearly was unnerved early in the game. As Kaepernick struggled, I was somewhat surprised – considering the score – not much was made by Simms on going to Alex Smith. Bill Cowher mentioned it at halftime, but Simms threw an incompletion there.

And, about that safety at the end of the game, there was blatant holding there, but I’m not totally buying it meant nothing because a penalty in the end zone still results in a safety. However, had the penalty been called it there might have been more time on the clock for maybe one more play.

And, who wouldn’t have wanted one more play from a game like last night’s?

6 thoughts on “Some Reflections On 49ers And Ravens, Before The Mets

  1. I agree with many of your points about the game. Niners have no one to blame but themselves. As for the Brothers Harbaugh, neither come out of this game with class. I dont care what John says about his brother. His antics on the sideline and the way he acted when cursing out an NFL suit during the blackout was disgusting and embarrassing. This is what has become of coaching these days.. yell and scream and curse and act like a maniac. Its time for the NFL and the officials to start reigning this in and start throwing flags for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    • Jason W: Thanks for dropping by and your comment. I hope to read you again. You’re right about John’s behavior during the blackout. With all the microphones on the field, I was hoping something would be picked up. Or at least, taped for later. Wouldn’t mind seeing more penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, on the sidelines and on the field.-JD

  2. I find it interesting how the brothers H are being bashed for their antics, yet many baseball fans love the fiery managers like Weaver, Martin, Valentine et al. Many a Mets fan complained that Willie, Jerry, Art and others were too laid back and needed to be fiery. This was the reason many want Wally Backman as manager. Personally, I prefer a more laid back coach/manager, who picks his moments to be fired up. When they do it all the time, it gets old.

    The bigger issue in the NFL is PED’s. Lots of complaining about MLB players using, but nary a peep about NFL players. Ryan Braun appeals and there is screaming about his gaming the system. NFL players appeal and it is “good for them”.

    And for once I find myself agreeing with Evan Roberts. The blackout didn’t swing the momentum. The Niners did what they did throughout the playoffs, fell behind and then came back. If the momentum had swung, wouldn’t they have made the 3rd and 12 conversion right when the game started up and then drove the field for a score? Didn’t happen. But then again, we need the narrative because otherwise the mouths wouldn’t have anything to yap about.

    • Ed: Interesting comment on baseball managers and football coaches. There is a drug program in the NFL, but their testing isn’t as stringent as it is in MLB. … As far as the blackout, the 49ers did what they did in Atlanta. I think the blackout affected players differently. For the 49ers, perhaps it allowed Colin Kaepernick to catch his breath. No they didn’t convert the long third down, by maybe it allowed them to regroup mentally after the kickoff return. I expected the 49ers to make a run, and maybe the blackout was only coincidental.-JD

      • Really?

        Football has a drug program? Is it like a methadone program where the nfl hands out needles and hgh?

  3. It was a great game.

    Beyonce’s half time changed the game. Surely her fireworks resulted in the power outage that changed the momentum in the game making it more interesting.