In a movie with countless memorable quotes, there is one line in Animal House that adequately encapsulates how the 49er Faithful should feel heading into next season.
“We have an old saying in Delta House,” Daniel Simpson Day, better known as D-Day, reminds Kent “Flounder” Dorfman, “don’t get mad, get even.”
Despite the two losses in Seattle last season, this war between NFC West powerhouses is far from over. Just ask Bluto.
Many 49er fans see Richard Sherman as the bad guy; the Douglas C. Neidermeyer to San Francisco’s Dorfman. There isn’t anyone they despise more than the lockdown corner from Stanford by way of Compton, CA. While he isn’t Tony Montana in terms of ruthlessness, he has no problem playing the bad guy card. Ask Skip Bayless.
There is no questioning his supreme talent, but the outspoken cornerback’s mouth runs a non-wind aided 4.3 40, and that’s enough to motivate a frustrated San Francisco receiving corpse hungry for the franchise’s sixth Lombardi title. If the Niners want to shut Sherman up, they need to do it on the field, and there’s one guy who can do that in a bigger way than any other 49er receiver.
While I’m confident Colin Kaepernick will make great strides as a pocket passer next season, Michael Crabtree is the man to quiet down Sherman. If Crabtree is tired of being called “sorry” and “medicore” by one of his biggest rivals, he needs to prove it on the field.
If Sherman is Niedermeyer, Pete Carroll is Dean Vernon Wormer. He is the anti-Harbaugh. Full of rah-rah and cheer, always upbeat and smiling, Carroll abandoned ship at USC before sanctions were handed down at the University (a smart move) and turned the Seahawks into champions. As of now, he’s put the 49ers on their own “double secret probation.” One more blowout loss in Seattle, and another playoff loss could mean the Niners window in the Quest for Six is closing sooner than expected.
The Seahawks winning the Super Bowl isn’t a bad thing. It gave the 49ers seven months to adjust for next season. While CenturyLink Field remains a thorn in San Francisco’s side, the Niners now have a renewed motivation to win in the Pacific Northwest and reclaim the division and NFC Championship. Take away the late turnovers and give Kaepernick an extra foot on his final pass to Crabtree and it would’ve been the 49ers playing yesterday.
But it all leads back to the words of D-Day: Don’t get mad, get even. Add that threat to the slot receiver position. Grab that run stopping nose tackle. Shore up the secondary with more physical, bump and run corners. Remember Faithful, nothing is over until we decide it is. 2014 is our year.