So 2020, the year with a million pejorative adjectives attached to it, actually just got *worse* for the 49ers.
Like, that’s impossible, right?
How can something that is already the worst, get worse?
That sounds like a bad riddle.
But in year that has seen a pandemic ravage the globe, the 49ers have experienced even more bad things up close. 2020 has seen them lose Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dee Ford — do I need to go on?; 2020 brought you the ‘Brian Allen Game’ against Miami; 2020 bequeathed you Nick Mullens throwing pick-sixes to Eagles and 2020 added in a Sunday in which the 49ers unveiled punt return disasters in New Orleans, too.
To that, we add yet another level of suckiness.
The 49ers have been told to get the hell out of their homes, for at least three weeks — maybe more.
The San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara are now the San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara by way of Glendale, Arizona.
Rolls off the tongue.
On our show, Paulie Mac likened it to the opening credits of the legendary TV show ‘The Odd Couple’, in which Felix Unger’s wife tosses him from their home —and punctuates the exit by handing a frying pan out the door.
The 49ers got the frying pan from Santa Clara County.
These are the times that try a team’s soul.
Even coach Kyle Shanahan seems a little fried — pun intended — by the latest blow. He spoke to the media of his frustration. He noted that when the 49ers have traveled for a week’s worth of practice in the past — they did it earlier this year between the Jets and Giants games, and have done it one week each of the past few seasons — the team is ready to go home after a week. Yes, it’s a productive week. But the team is “sick of each other”, in Shanahan’s words, after that week, and ready to get to their own beds.
Pretty funny to think of which 49ers would get on each other’s nerves the most. Like, does the hotel elevator door open and Fred Warner rolls his eyes because wacky and rambunctious George Kittle is already on, way too caffeinated? Or does Trent Williams get upset when Nick Mullens blasts his music too loud in the room next door, and pounds the wall angrily? The mind reels.
But the joke gets old after a week, Shanahan says. He is genuinely worried with how the team will handle this cabin fever, especially given the Christmas season. Many of these helmeted gladiators are family men, and it sort of stinks to be away from your family at this time — particularly in a jolting, unplanned exit. Shanahan even said Thursday he has told the team to watch out for other teammates who may be struggling mentally with the move to Arizona.
That sounds fairly serious.
So the playoff dream is alive, yes. I’ve been a proponent of keeping that dream alive, always noting that late-schedule games against the Rams (they won) and the Cardinals and even the Seahawks means the 49ers have a good chance to have a say on making it to the tournament.
But you’d be a fool to not think that forces are conspiring against the 49ers. The Buffalo Bills are 8-3, and a good team with a winning quarterback. They’d be 9-2 if not for the absurd ‘Hail Murray’ play the Cardinals pulled out of nowhere.
And now the 49ers need to beat them on Monday night, with their heads spinning and duffel bags packed and strange hotel rooms closing in on them.
I’ll leave you and them with some good news, tho.
2021 is just four weeks away.