The 49ers fired head coach Mike Singletary too late. The team had already clinched their tenth consecutive losing season weeks ago but in bedraggled NFC West they had not lost the vague possibility of making the playoffs and possibly winning the division. The St. Louis Rams delivered a day late Xmas gift by snuffing out the 49ers with a 25-17 loss and ending Singletary’s reign of error as well when team owner Jed York fired him with one meaningless game to go in this death march of a season.
The man who bellowed, “I want winners!” turned out to be just another loser in the sad-sack 49ers clown car of failures. Not as good as Mike Nolan and maybe not as bad as Dennis Erickson, but with a record of 18-24 even more disappointing than both.
If nothing else, I respect Singletary for getting talented, but unmotivated players like tight end Vernon Davis to tap into his immense potential. Everyone knew Singletary wasn’t an X’s and O’s guy. He had never been a head coach, coordinator or assistant on any level. His main qualification was he was Nolan’s linebacker coach. He had a personality as opposed to the stoic Nolan and he was a Hall of Fame player with the Chicago Bears sporting a Super Bowl ring. For a while, Singletary’s force of will compensated for his lack of skill as a coach. The 49ers looked good coming off of this year’s undefeated preseason beating up on rookies, free agents and scrubs
But the year the Lions went 0-16 they had won every preseason game too. When the real season began, Seattle exposed the Niners and Singletary as the complete frauds they were. Players retired suddenly, starters were benched, cut and traded, Singletary supported and then fired his offensive coordinator, screamed at his rotating roster of has been, never weres and never will be quarterbacks and after every disappointing loss said he would have to “look at the film” before he could explain what had gone wrong. Look at the film? All you had to do was look at the 49ers sucking every Sunday to see how sorry they were and how completely they had bought into its own hype.
The 2010 San Francisco 49ers were the biggest steaming pile of shit in the NFL. They were one of only two teams to lose to the league’s worst team, the Carolina Panthers, and it wasn’t even an upset when they did.
I can’t recall the last time I saw a head coach in the NFL who was so utterly overwhelmed and unprepared for the challenges of the job as Singletary. He made QB switches like a fan, traded away Shaun Hill so Alex Smith had a clear path and then threw him aside like a used Kleenex, realized too late why everywhere David Carr has been he’s proven he isn’t a NFL caliber quarterback, pampered Michael Crabtree, never developed any sort of consistency on the offensive line, couldn’t produce a pass rush, and watched the overpaid and under talented Nate Clements steal money without a gun.
But I got over being mad about the 49ers after the Chiefs throttled them in the third game. I’d turn on, watch a while, see them bumble, stumble and fumble and knew Singletary didn’t have Clue One in how to right this sinking ship. I have no idea why Sing would wear a headset during the game. It’s not like he knew the plays or called any. But now I know why he wore that huge crucifix around his neck. He was praying for divine guidance.
By the time this week’s game rolled around, I was almost pulling for the Rams. Color me spoiled, but I saw those great Montana and Young teams winning divisions and Super Bowls. Was I supposed to get excited about a 5-9 crap team trying to make the playoffs with a sub .500 record?
The 49ers used to be the league’s Gold Standard. They’ve been fool’s good for so long it’s hard to remember when they weren’t a terrible football team. A decade’s worth of losing will do that to your memory.
This was a mercy killing. Singletary will go on to have a great career as a motivational speaker but unless he gets a shot as a position coach or defensive coordinator (and he’s given no sign he’d be any good as one) he will never be a head coach in the NFL again.
Singletary turned out to be Dingleberry.