49ers have no place in prime time

By Mike Young  |   Wednesday, November 07, 2007  |  Comments( 13 )

San Francisco 49ers
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What is it that makes millions of people across America want to spend three hours on Sundays in front of their televisions watching NFL football?

With the Internet and both cable and satellite TV, there are more entertainment options available available to us than ever before. The average time an American spends at work continues to rise each year. Families seem to face more issues with every passing day, which should call for parents to spend more time with their kids.

Still, every Sunday, people fit Tom Brady, Payton Manning and Ray Lewis into their schedules. I understand. The games can be exciting: The gunslinging of Brett Favre, the relentlessness of Adrian Peterson, the ease of Randy Moss. It's fun to marvel at the size and quickness of Osi Umenyiora, the fearlessness of Bob Sanders, the pure speed of Antonio Cromartie.

The league can be exciting, but it can also be brutally boring. Yes, the Patriots and Colts can capture our imaginations with a prelude to playoffs in November, but they are two of the few in teams in the game that are worth watching. Teams like the Raiders, Dolphins, Rams and Cardinals show what's out there on a more regular basis. There are maybe eight teams this season that are playing compelling football.

The 49ers have shown nothing the entire year that would make even the most rabid football fan want to stay tuned in. The defense has demonstrated some positive flashes, but the unit also laid down on the road against the New York Giants and at home versus New Orleans. The offense is historically bad, scoring the fewest points in the league and putting up smaller numbers than Niners' teams of recent past led by Ken Dorsey and Cody Pickett. It's hard to be that bad.

As part of the NFC Worst (West), the numbers say the 49ers still have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs, only two games back of the Seattle team they face this Monday night. (You know the league regrets this scheduling blunder.) The reality is that the 49ers don't have a prayer against the Seahawks - Frank Gore, Alex Smith, Mike Nolan all withstanding.

The 49ers, and many other teams in the league, need to give people a reason to watch their games. Sunday after Sunday have been wasted by hundreds of thousands of fans (and columnists) across America watching the putridity, I mean parity, that is the league. If this sounds like the team you root for, do yourself a favor and make other plans. Read a book, play with your kids, take your wife out to dinner. Leave the torture of watching the games to those who have to write about it.
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