Finally: the 49ers make a clear, definitive statement

During the past decade, there has been an evolving question about the 9ers ---

"Not good enough yet?"
"Just not good enough."
"Not good."
"Bad. Meaning really not good."
"Shamefully pathetic"
 and finally:
"The most clueless team since Custer decided it might be a good idea to ride down into the Greasy Grass Valley by the Little Big Horn River"

Head Coach -- Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer
OC -- Major Marcus Reno
DC --  Captain Frederick Benteen
GM -- General Alfred Terry (Well, IF the 9ers had one)
OWNER -- Nicholas II (Last Tsar of Russia-- allowed one of the great powers in the world to slide down down down into total ruin.

Notable quotes:
"Send in Benteen ... no pull him, send in Reno, put Benteen back in... "

"But Custer was such a great player in the Civil War."

And from Sitting Bull:
"I know I'm the only one to have ANYTHING good to say about Custer, but Iron Ass, as we call him, was the only white man who could ride a horse as far and long as a Sioux."

And from Crazy Horse:
"Custer? Yellow Hair? Was he there too?"

(It was 104 degrees that day -- Custer had cut off his long blonde hair and taken off his fringed buckskin jacket. It wasn't until some time after the battle any of the braves knew who it was who they'd fought. 

This fact courtesy of the late Eric von Schmidt, an authority on the subject, who did a 100th anniversary museum show in Houston in 1976. The show included a large and viscerally stirring painting he'd done -- the first such ever painted from the doomed soldiers' point of view, looking at what they saw coming at them.  The show was titled:  Here Lies Custer.)


Mike Singletary's firing immediately brought to mind a line from a very nice little 1985 movie The Gig, a movie about some guys who get together every week and play jazz and get an actual professional gig at a hotel in the Catskills.  

It's a line what I thought Singletary should know, he being a man I admired and had been CERTAIN could be a great coach.

Cleavon Little played a real pro musician -- a union session man who'd played with the great bands -- brought in to replace the one guy who couldn't make it. 

The group gets bumped because a 50's singer -- in 1985, people said it was supposed to be Frankie Valli -- was coming in to resurrect his dead career, and the singer's manager, putting together a backup band, picks only Cleavon Little and one of the amateur group as a start. (The others can't even figure out the notations on the lead sheets.)

One of the other players (clarinet, I think) obsesses all day and night about "Why did they pick him? He doesn't even practice. Why didn't he pick me?"

The next morning, the clarinet player is outside, practicing at around 6AM. And Cleavon Little says to him something that I think, perhaps, Mike Singletary didn't know before:
"It's not a religion -- 
  devotion alone isn't enough."


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