Four acts of blasphemy after 49ers' win

October 10, 2011, 1:42 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- On a day rich with highlights at La Candeliere, four acts of blasphemy stood out.The first was the event itself -- the 49ers crushing Tampa Bay 48-3, the largest number of points and winning margin in eight years. Thats pretty out of the norm right there, and an indication that the bad old days might not necessarily be over, but over is visible on the horizon.The second came when Colin Kaepernick entered the game for Alex Smith with 10 minutes to play, and the crowd expressed a clear and enthusiastic preference for the status quo.

And the other two came via the spoken word, the first being when Jim Harbaugh was asked about the passing of Al Davis, who once hired him in Oakland.I think Al would have been very proud of the way we played today, was his response, and the next sound anyone heard were the aortas of several DeBartolos and Yorks seizing like an overheated motor.And the final came from Frank Gore, who has yet again eased toward the third rail of running backery only to back away and break into a 125-yard sprint. After copiously lathering credit upon the offensive line and wide receivers for their work, and laying it on double thick for my guy Alex Smith, he said:For the first time in seven years since I got here, we can do whatever we want to do.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new version of Whats Your Deal?True, there was no rebuttal to be had for Gores analysis Sunday. The 49ers played their most complete and minimally-flawed game in eight years, both statistically and aesthetically.Smith nearly set a personal best in quarterback rating, the occasionally useful rubric, with a 127.2 -- no picks, no sacks, three scores. Gore, abandoned as done two weeks ago for the perfectly good reason that he looked it, rolled up 125 yards (6.3 average) and a score. The defense choked the allegedly smart-moving Bucs to 272 mostly useless yards (they got inside the 49er 30 once all day, five plays out of 61), picked off two passes and recovered a fumble ...
Oh, the hell with it. They knocked down a 3-1 team and jumped up and down on its chest for a full three hours, tying their next opponent, Detroit, for the most points and widest margin of the season.Is everything fixed? Surely not. If you havent figured it out by now, the National Football League cannot be figured out. A stinker is always right around the corner for everyone, and this weeks triumph means nothing next week.But thats as close as one can come to downing on this game -- unless, of course, you throw out Als name in support of the team he always found his greatest and most immediate irritant.Not that Harbaugh cares, mind you. Barring the fact that Davis would have watched the 49ers and spat with derision if he watched at all, the fact is Davis would have been almost content if he had seen Harbaugh do that for his own team. As it was, he and his newfound afterlife companions would have to find solace in his own teams 25-20 win in Houston -- another 3-1 team.But the ownership must have gritted a bit of enamel off their teeth hearing Harbaugh connect their team to Davis even for a moment, given that his passing throws their own stadium plans into disarray -- starting with the fact that nobody knows who will control the Raiders in a year, let alone where they will be controlled.Gore, too, tempted fate a bit by uttering the new battle cry, because hubris is not something that the 49ers have been very good at. Mike Singletary was the last one to try, and, well, lets put it this way. The last time the Bucs and 49ers met, in 2010, the Bucs won, 21-0, and held the 49ers to 187 yards. The 49ers have improved in a year by 66 points and 231 yards.In other words, tis better to sneak up on an opponent you mean to harm than to talk smack and let him know youre coming.In fairness, though, Gore hasnt been able to say anything like it since he left Miami. If it comes off as harsh or a bit too cocksure, well, chalk it up to the exuberance of the persistently beaten-down.The 49ers are, for the moment, one of the seven best teams in the NFL by record. There have been years when they havent been one of the top 27. So heres to Al Davis, who would be proud as hell of the boys ... except that he wouldnt be ... and wouldnt actually give a damn, since the two teams dont play again for the foreseeable.And heres to doing whatever you want to do, at least until Monday practice.