49ers Cinderella Season Comes to an End

Almost 70,000 San Francisco 49ers fans stare blankly onto a rain soaked Candlestick Field as New York Giants players run frenziedly all over it. Overjoyed and enthralled by their hard fought victory against the home team, the Giants earned themselves a ticket to the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. The look in every pair of eyes in the stands was one of unadulterated shock and horror, reminiscent to the empty gaze of a recently traumatized person who had just witnessed a catastrophic accident. A Stadium that was only moments earlier more ruckus then it has been in decades was now as silent as a funeral procession, with exception to the few Giants fans and Giants players that can be heard yelling in jubilation from the field. Their screams of joy can be heard from the upper deck. Both 49ers players and fans alike either stood or sat in dismay, obviously dejected past the point of moving a muscle, numb to what had just occurred. Many infuriated fans immediately looked to place the blame on Kyle Williams for his two costly fumbles, shouting profanities and unnecessary comments. One severely intoxicated fan even roamed the stadium chanting without shame, “Does anybody know where Kyle Williams lives?” Needless to say the atmosphere was a dark one.

To put it into perspective, a city that had won five Super Bowls in 13 years had not made it back to the big show in the past 17 years. And it was right there, one big play away. So many in the stadium could taste Indianapolis on the tip of their tongues, everyone was starving almost drooling for what many thought was absolute fate this year, to bring a 6th Lombardi trophy back to San Francisco. But it wasn’t meant to be after all. Fate was not on the Niners side this time around. The Cinderella season had come to an abrupt stop. All it took was one swing of Lawrence Tynes right leg and the dreams of millions came crumbling down. But what those millions had forgotten in the bitter sting of recent elimination is that they weren’t even supposed to be there. Most experts and analysts had projected the 49ers as a team in transition, with a first year head coach and a severely shortened off-season, along with a huge question mark at quarterback. With so much success so early, you can see why it was easy for fans to forget that Peter King predicted the 49ers to go 5-11 in his yearly Sports Illustrated predictions, not to mention choosing the Saints to beat the 49ers 23-19 before the playoffs started, along with most other analysts agreeing. The 49ers had well exceeded expectations this year, other then the bad taste left in their mouth to end the year, the season was a complete success in every phase. A factor that was hard to overcome for the inconceivably young 49ers, was the complete lack of playoff experience against a Super Bowl tested Giants squad. Almost every starter for San Francisco had never played in a playoff game before the New Orleans Saints victory in the divisional round. This goes for Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff as well, because it was a learning experience for them in their first year.

All things considered the future will be overwhelmingly luminous in San Francisco for the remainder of this decade. Especially if the mindset of the team is what I perceive it to be, I know that this loss will be a positive loss in the grand scheme. Because I know that the entire team will use the darkness of the moment to throw coal on their already burning fire. I know that our boys in red can’t wait for OTA’s and Training Camp to start. They were burned badly the first time they got to touch the stove, but that burn has ignited a spark that will stay lit inside the hearts of every player until that 6th Lombardi trophy is paraded through the streets of San Francisco once again. For every fan and player that was shedding tears in that stadium, your tears will not be in vain, a tree of glory will grow from them and we shall all come back to Candlestick next year to pick the fruits of that tree in the form of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. This may be the end of our season in 2011, but it undoubtedly is the start of a new dynasty by the bay.

NFL Playoff Divisional Round Picks – Sports Illustrated
Recap – Yahoo Sports

Scouting Reports – 09.05.11 – SI Vault – Sports Illustrated

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *