The Invincible M.A.E. (harleymae) wrote,
The Invincible M.A.E.

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How far did it go? Oh, a couple of Akers

The Bay Area might be the only region in the country where you have two baseball teams in close proximity and you actually have a significant number of people who support both teams. Think of Chicago or New York or LA. I get the impression that fans of one team in those cities either hate the other team or, at best, are indifferent. I'm not sure why the Bay Area is different. I mean there are people who cheer for one and hate the other (usually A's fans hating the Giants, but that seems to be rooted in resentment over the financial situation or Bonds) but it's a small number. Must be the hippie thing. :P

It's been a weird week of cumulative sleep deprivation but I got a full 8 hours last night and my brain works again!

I went to a sports bar yesterday with Chip and a couple of his friends to watch the 49ers game and it was a ton of fun! The team played great, it got close towards the end and David Akers made a dramatic 63 yard field goal (tying the NFL record) that bounced off the cross bar and over.

He had the best expression after he made the kick.

Akers says kick like a ‘Disney story’
Posted on September 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm by San Francisco Chronicle

Green Bay, Wis. – After David Akers tied the NFL record Sunday with a 63-yard field goal just before halftime, several teammates lifted him, Akers gave his trademark index fingers to the heavens and the 49ers jubilantly ran off the field.

About 10 minutes later, the dream sequence continued for Akers, who ran into Jan Stenerud on the field after leaving the locker room at halftime. Stenerud, 69, the only pure placekicker in the NFL Hall of Fame, happened to be at Lambeau Field as part of an event honoring the Packers’ alumni.

Akers, who is well-versed on the accomplishments of his kicking predecessors, said it was like a “Disney story.”

Stenerud “just said ‘Congratulations. Great, great kick,’ ” Akers said. “That’s pretty incredible to come from a Hall of Famer, the lone Hall of Fame kicker.”

After his 63-yard blast landed on the crossbar and bounced through the uprights to give the 49ers a 16-7 lead, Akers joined three kickers in the NFL record book: New Orleans’ Tom Dempsey (1970), Denver’s Jason Elam (1998) and Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski (2011).

Akers’ previous career best was 57 yards. What did Jim Harbaugh think Akers’ range was before he sent him out Sunday? “Sixty-three yards today,” said Harbaugh, who had seen Akers drill a 61-yarder in the same direction in warm-ups.

“Felt like there was a good shot at doing it,” Harbaugh said. “You’re talking about maybe the best kicker in the history of the game.”

Indeed, Akers, 37, already had dotted the NFL record book before Sunday. In his first season with the 49ers in 2011, he set league marks for field goals made (44), attempted (52) and most points with no touchdowns (166).

“Records aren’t really that big of a deal,” he said. “I’d like to just fly under the radar.”

Tough luck. After Akers’ kick flew 63 yards, he was in the spotlight, the star of his own Disney story.

Alex Smith makes me so happy. There has been a progression from being criticized to being grudgingly praised in a backhanded way, and now people are actually saying nice things about him without having it qualified with "compared to how bad he was before".

49ers’ Alex Smith looks very comfortable
Posted on September 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm by Scott Ostler in 49ers

Green Bay, Wis. — Slight change in job titles for Alex Smith.
On Sunday, the 49ers‘ “game manager” was more of a game warden, controlling the wild beasts on the Green Bay Packers’ defense and the wildly emotional fellows on his team.

Sure, it was the same Alex Smith we got to know last season, but even more efficient and effective. He outplayed the game’s state-of-the-art quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, in the 49ers’ 30-22 win.

It was a great victory on the road, although Smith has been treated much more harshly at home than on the road in his career, so what’s 70,000 howling Packers fans to him?

The Great Rodgers threw more passes than Smith, 44 to 26, and each had two touchdown passes, but Smith won the quarterback-rating duel, 125.6 to 93.3.

If this is any indication of the way Smith and the 49ers’ offense can handle the ball, it’s going to get harder and harder to downplay the Old Game Manager’s role in the team’s success.

In a preseason USA Today rating of the league’s starting quarterbacks, Smith was No. 17. If this was politics, he’d be considered a centrist, milquetoasting his way down the middle of the road, nobody’s superstar.

On Sunday, though, he was the man in command of the offense that beat the team considered Most Likely to Win the Super Bowl.

Smith was so good that head coach Jim Harbaugh, Smith’s No. 1 puffer-upper, seemed almost to hold back his praise, maybe so as not to put too much pressure on Smith and the team too early.

“Patient, all game,” Harbaugh said in his signature shorthand. “Used his legs, his arm, used his mind, used his toughness. Really accurate … Was really efficient, played a heck of a game.”

Nice words, but lacking the fire of Harbaugh’s 2011 Alex for Pro Bowl campaign.

Smith, too, dialed it back postgame, further proof that he and Harbaugh are ridiculously in sync, twin brothers of different mothers.

Smith was asked if this performance was an example of his new comfort level, the result of him having the same head coach and offensive coordinator as he had last year. He said with a smile, “You guys are the ones talking about it.”

Then added: “No, it was a good start. It was by no means perfect today for any of us, especially our offense, myself included. Just things to get better on and continue to improve. But yeah, it was a good start. Win the opener, good start.”

Blah blah blah.

It was a great start. Harbaugh, jumping off the postgame-interview riser, slapped columnist Tim Kawakami so hard on the back that Kawakami might be contacting Jim Schwartz’s injury attorney.

Jerry Rice said recently that Harbaugh needs to take the diaper off Smith, let him be a man. Did that happen Sunday? Depends. (Pardon the pun.)

The 49ers were one of four teams last season that ran more than passed, and on Sunday, the run/pass ratio was 32/26. That’s what they like.

But Smith was no dinker-dunker. His first three passes went for 39 yards, including a 20-yarder to Randy Moss, Moss’ welcome e-to-the-49ers catch.

Really, if Smith didn’t have all that weird baggage from his first six NFL seasons, people would be hailing him as a really good quarterback and leader.

Example of Smith’s cool: He has thrown 185 passes in a row without an interception. There’s a fine line between efficiency and swashbuckling, and Smith might have hopped onto the other side Sunday.

And as I mentioned, Smith took care of everyone. Last year, Vernon Davis, a man who yearns to contribute, was left out of the fun early, and it bothered him. On Sunday, he caught three passes, including a short touchdown that gave San Francisco a 23-7 lead.

Moss, that emotional time bomb, was welcomed quickly with a 20-yard pass on the 49ers’ second possession. He caught the 49ers’ first touchdown pass of the season, and had four receptions.

And you know how Moss supposedly dogs it when he’s not the target? In the third quarter, Moss lined up left and ran a deep post, sucking the defense with him, while Davis lined up right and ran underneath, into the vacuum created by Moss’ jet stream, hauling in a 29-yard pass.

But it’s early, as Smith and Harbaugh seemed to be telling us, so don’t get too giddy.

Appropriately, Smith, named one of the NFL’s 15 best-dressed by GQ magazine, left Lambeau Field in understated attire: sloppy canvas shoes, nondescript pants, a blah polo shirt and his signature San Francisco Giants ball cap.

It’s part of the stealth campaign. Harbaugh and Smith don’t want attention. They’ll take the wins and go quietly about their business. On Sunday, they might have blown their cover.

Apparently Aaron Rodgers lost a bet and will have to wear a 49ers jersey this week LOL.

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