A Joyful 49er Homer


written by Andy Hawk, ESPN 1320’s resident 49ers Homer

Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Brent Jones sure do look great this year.  At 6-1, The 49ers are ranked by ESPN as the #2 team in the NFL.  Don’t mind me, I just have that tingly feeling anytime someone says anything about the NFL or even football in general.  Come on… six and freaking one!  How did this happen?  It’s felt like an eternity since our team was a dominant force on Sundays.  I mean Alex smith is our QB!  I thought we had holes in the offensive line?  I thought the Niners were too weak at the WR position?  Isn’t Frank Gore too old?  No, nope, nah, and not at all.  The San Francisco 49ers have improved every week in almost every facet.  The defense is so good they’re physically knocking star players out of the game every week. 

 

The 49ers run the ball and can’t be run on.  This spells very bad news for the hapless Redskins on Sunday.  John Beck, you’re in trouble.  I’m so excited for Sunday at 10AM, I can’t stand it!   As the playbook is evolving we are starting to see some serious creativity coming from coach Harbaugh.  Never in our wildest dreams would anyone have guessed Joe Staley and Isaac Sopoaga would both have huge catches for first downs.   I’m not even going to try and predict what trick play we might see on Sunday morning

 

I’m Andy Hawk, your San Francisco 49er homer, reminding you to catch the game this week on ESPN 1320 and hold on…pregame at 9:00am, kickoff at 10:00am, with Ted Robinson and Eric Davis.

November 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Brian Lopez's Blog, Uncategorized | No comment

“Who’s Got It Better Than Us?”…

I love hearing Jim Harbaugh exhorting his team in the locker room, “Who’s got it better than us?”  And they yell back.. “Nooo-bodyyyy!”  The new 49ers head coach is driven, intense, competitive… and he’s as tough as nails.  But the genesis of this celebration goes back to his childhood.  I heard Jim tell the story in Andrea Kremer’s excellent piece on HBO’s Real Sports last summer.  It was his dad, the patriarch of the football family and long time college coach Jack Harbaugh who used to ask his young boys, John and Jim…”Who’s got it better than us?”  They would holler from the back seat… “Nooo-bodyyy!”  When Jack Harbaugh, now 72, speaks of how proud he is of his sons, there are tears in his eyes.  And I know he’s now watching these locker room exchanges, which were born in their tiny house a generation ago.   When he hears “Who’s got it better than us?”…  I can only imagine the pride that fills his heart.

monica’sdad photo

October 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

It’s Not Too Early…

Written by ESPN 1320’s resident “49ers Homer”, Andy Hawk

 

Remember when we were talking about the Niners starting really slow because of the lockout?  How a new coach and new system would have San Francisco starting slow, but in a weak division with constant improvement, winning the division at 8-8 would be a hopeful possibility?  That seems so far away now, after a 45 point win and being undefeated on the road while taking out the 5-0 Lions.  Coming off the bye with a favorable schedule everything has changed in just under two months.  Now, Niner fans are already looking ahead and are expecting a 12-4 season.  Kind of scary right? Boo!

 

While I have been preaching how much better this team is than the sports world has given them credit for, I have to be honest and say that even I, your Niner homer, is surprised at the 5-1 record.  5-1 with the schedule they have played can’t be understated.  Being this excited about San Francisco is the real deal as playoffs will happen this year.  As a fan you can now look forward to winning, a feeling for Niner fans that has been gone for almost a decade. 

 

The Browns come to San Francisco this week with the 27th best offense in the NFL.  The 49ers have the fourth best defense and the best run defense.  Harbaugh has them very motivated, as they need to prove to all the doubters that these six weeks are not a fluke.  No let down or trap game this week.  Join me in catching the 49ers go 6-1 on ESPN 1320, Sunday afternoon!

October 28, 2011 at 10:07 am | Brian Lopez's Blog, Uncategorized | No comment

49ers.. On An Unlikely Roll…

After The Bee’s Vic Contreras pointed out that, for the 49ers, this season feels a little like 1981..  how can you not get excited?  30 years ago, the Niners had come off a 6-10 season… after missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive time.  This year, the 49ers are coming off a 6-10 season… after missing the playoffs for, uh… the eighth consecutive time.  We all know what happened in 1981.  The Bill Walsh-led Cinderella team went all the way to the Super Bowl… and won it.  I know, it’s way too early to think about anything beyond the next game.  But no one expected Jim Harbaugh’s guys to be 5-1 at this point.  Most of the “experts” picked the Rams to win the West.  And no, we don’t have Joe Montana.  But 1981 was long before Jerry Rice.  Their running back that year was Lenvil Elliott… and the tight end was Charle Young.  They were underdogs to the very end.  That’s the way we like it.  So whatever happens….at least 49er football is fun again.  I know we didn’t say that very much last year.

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October 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Troy Polamalu Fined For Calling His Wife

Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been fined by the NFL for $10,000. Why is he fined that much? It’s not for a punishing hit on a receiver coming over the middle. It’s because he called this wifey during a game. I guess the grocery list just can’t wait right? OK…that wasn’t the reason. Troy Polamalu just wanted to let his wife know his hair was OK…that HE was OK on a play. She can’t figure that out by watching the game?

October 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

4-1 With No Respect

written by ESPN 1320’s resident Niners Homer, Andy Hawk

No one wants to read me bragging about how I’m the only one on the planet who has predicted the 49ers start.  I know I don’t.  The 49ers are 4-1 and have looked better every week.  The last two seasons the Niners were predicted to win the division;  they had the most talent in the NFC West, and it made a lot of sense. Unfortunately, Singletary proved to be the worst coach in the NFL, which led to severe underachievement in the city by the bay.  This year they signed a half dozen quality free agents, and had a decent draft.  It’s like no one saw this coming.  They’re now more talented, with VERY good coaching.  Harbaugh is not only a much better head coach than Singletary, but most importantly, his staff is exponentially better with Greg Roman and Vic Fangio.  So, no, this great start at 4-1 was not unforeseeable.  The really exciting part is that these wins are coming out of division with a 2-0 start on the road.

 

Which brings us to this week… Niners and Lions, the game of the week.  4-1 vs. 5-0.  We have learned nothing is impossible for the 2011 49ers.  Subtract one long play from Megatron last Monday night, and one long run from Jahvid Best, (and honestly the Lions did not look like some imposing force), and both teams would be 4-1.  Detroit’s last opponent, the Chicago Bears, offensive line has looked as bad as any team in the NFL, and they still ran the ball well on Detroit.  By the way the Cowboys and the Vikings moved the ball pretty easily, too.  With a 49er offensive line and running game putting it all together over the last two weeks I see the Lions having their hands full.  I’m Andy Hawk, your Niners Homer and I can’t wait for 10:00am Sunday on ESPN 1320.

October 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Brian Lopez's Blog, Uncategorized | No comment

A True Homer Is Ready For A Change

Written by ESPN 1320’s resident 49ers homer, Andy Hawk

You might be expecting me to go off on how an ugly win on the road is a good win, and we should get pumped on this team.  The Niners are 2-1 which is a great start.  Heck, if the 49ers beat the Eagles on the road this week I might start talking Superbowl. Well, maybe I’m getting carried away.  However, it will be crazy if they head home 3-1 with complete control of the NFC West.  At this point we can surely talk playoffs.  Besides, an injured Vick with no Maclin could struggle against San Francisco.  LeSean McCoy has looked invincible, but could the Niners #1 defense against-the-run make Philadelphia very vulnerable against the 49ers this week?  Hmmm?

 

What I, and many other 49er fans, really want to see is the beginning of a new era, or at least a look, in  the backfield.  Frank Gore has looked terrible this year. TERRIBLE.  None of us want to see an injured Frank Gore NOT be able to hit the holes and stumble for 2 yards a carry, again and again.  Hunter and Dixon were the highlights of the NFL pre-season.  Let’s see what they can do!  PLEASE!  Let Gore get healthy or right.  C’mon, he’s had bad ankles for years, bad knees, and he’s coming off hip surgery.  I’m not surprised he has looked the way he has.  Seeing Kendall Hunter exploding through small holes and catching the ball out of the backfield, and moving the chains is what I’m looking forward to watching and listening to on Sunday morning on ESPN 1320.

 

I even have a new Niner shirt to wear this week. 3 and 1, coming home baby!

September 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Brian Lopez's Blog | No comment

Was That The “Deke” Of The Year?

My reaction was…”Wait a minute… what just happened there?”  Late in the Bears-Packers game, the Chicago Bears nearly  pulled off one of the great misdirection plays in the history of televised football.  The Pack, with a comfortable lead, punted to Chicago.  Then, things got more than a little weird.  Devin Hester, the most dangerous return man in football, pretended to drift under the ball… and so did his teammates.  The Packers headed straight for him.  But the ball actually came down on the other side of the field, where it was caught by Johnny Knox, who streaked down the right sideline for a touchdown… or so we thought.  A holding call negated what will be remembered as one of the coolest trick plays in the NFL archives.  Actually, Joe Buck didn’t get too excited about it… I kind of wish Al Michaels had the call.

monica’sdad photo

September 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Tom Nakashima's Blog | No comment

Get Ready For 1st Place After Week 3

Written by our resident 49ers Homer, Andy Hawk

 

On a week after a heartbreaking loss where QB Alex Smith had a secret concussion, the starting WR’s are injured and out of the lineup, and Frank Gore looks a step slow and ineffective – is there a reason to be a 49ers HOMER this week?  Sure, mainly because the Niners are playing The Cincinnati Bengals this week.  Hey, the Bengals are young and hungry, but they are still the Bengals.  The Niners, even with their struggles right now, are favored on the road this week to win plus 2 and half.  That’s how little the Bengals are thought of.  San Francisco to start 2-1.  Yeah, I can still be a Homer this week.

 

We can say for sure the 49er run defense looks great.  That’s not a problem.  SF should figure out their issues with the secondary this week against a rookie QB and batch of very young receivers.  While the Bengals have shown promise, there won’t be Pro Bowlers like Witten and Austin on the field this week.  Last week may have been some good medicine the Niners secondary had to take preparing them for better for the rest of the year.

 

With limited weapons Harbuagh is certainly going to earn his money with a creative game plan this week.  I’m predicting a 24-16 win on the road this week, and will be listening early on Sunday morning on ESPN 1320.

September 23, 2011 at 9:59 am | Brian Lopez's Blog | No comment

Raiders Sellout Game Against Jets This Sunday

The Oakland Raiders have sold out their game against the New York Jets this Sunday. Hey, believe me this is a marquee moment for several buddies of mine. Home games are a mad scramble to figure out what buddy lives outside the 75 mile radius, who has NFL Redzone, or what sports bar they are going to go to. Being able to actually sit in their own home and watch a Raiders game has happened only twice in their last 16 home games. For a Raiders fan this is like being told your TV works to watch the Super Bowl.

September 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Derek Moore's Blog | No comment

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