Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ack, I’m in a (temporary) luck downturn in poker, that pendulum swing backwards that always takes some of my bankroll. Odds-on favorite hands are losing. Pot odds don’t exist for me. Domination? It’s an illusion perpetrated by the poker gods who wish to mock me.

AK against AJ on the bubble? No good. Board makes two pairs and makes the kicker moot. So next hand, QQ against AQ? No good. River spikes an Ace. Very next hand, now I’m the shortstack forced all-in preflop with TT against 87s. No good. Q87 flop. Makes runner-runner flush to boot. AK, QQ, TT in consecutive hands. Split, lose, lose. IGHN.

I found myself applauding the 49ers on Sunday, despite the loss. I was almost like a little league coach rooting for his youngsters, cheering their effort rather than their results. Alex Smith looked like an NFL quarterback, something I didn’t see at all last year. Frank Gore is a stud, though he runs almost too aggressively… It’s gonna be hard to keep him healthy. Vernon Davis looked great, he looked young, he looked inexperienced, he looked like Jerry Rice in his rookie year (I hope).

The pass defense looked absolutely abysmal. If you have any fantasy receivers going against the Niners this year, play them. I don’t care if you think they’re your fourth and fifth receivers, play them. They will score against these guys.

The turning point was in the very first quarter on Arizona’s first drive. The Niners had marched down on their first possession and scored a touchdown rather authoritatively. Arizona had started to drive into 49er territory just as authoritatively when Kurt Warner threw a mistimed hook route right into the arms of Sammy Davis (some rookie DB) who had nothing but green grass between him and the endzone. He dropped the ball, leading to my “He would’ve had it if he didn’t have a glass eye” comment to my wife. If he makes the pick and runs it back, the score is 14-0 and the Arizona fans would immediately be taken out of the game. I knew right then that the Cards would score on the drive (they did), and the 49er defense would be torched (they were).

But the team showed some offensive hope, which reminds me of the 1980 team who put up some nice offensive numbers, but had a terrible defense. That team went 6-10 with a 2nd-year quarterback (some guy named Montana) and blossomed the next year after a draft of almost entirely secondary players (Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, Carlton Williamson). Of course, this team has a lonnnnnng way to go before they can approach that level, but I have more hope today than I did last week.

Which is more than Raider fans can say.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Guys at my draft said "WTF" when I drafted Gore in the 4th round as my 3rd RB.

Now they're starting to see the light. He might not put up stud numbers all year, but he's looking damn good right now.


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