October 10, 2011
At 4-1, the San Francisco 49ers are one of the real surprise teams of this young NFL season. Not only do they already have a two-game lead in their division, but they've got the NFL's best point differential through five games at +64.
Their strategy, apparently, is to make opposing teams quit. It's not easy to do, but if you can execute it consistently, it's pretty foolproof. Frank Gore(notes) said the Eagles quit last week, and now Vernon Davis is accusing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of quitting this week (note: loud, autoplaying video at that link).
"They were really frustrated." Davis said. "I mean, I felt like they gave up. That's what I saw. I felt like they gave up. I was trying to tell, I think it was Barber, Ronde, I was telling him: 'Get your guys. Get your guys. Y'all got to play harder, y'all got to play harder.'"
If Ronde ever got his guys and exhorted them to play harder, it didn't show. Even when the 49ers put in the backups late in the game, they mauled the Bucs, too.
When you win 48-3, you've earned the right to say pretty much whatever you want, but something about it feels unwise, or at the very least, unsportsmanlike. You humiliated the Bucs on the field. You crushed them in every aspect of the game. Let that be enough. You don't need to tell the world that they're a bunch of quitters on top of it.
Besides, the 49ers themselves aren't far removed from being the league's chew toy. The guy making these statements, Vernon Davis(notes), may never have quit, but he was forced to sit down in the middle of a game once because of his own mental issues. They've won four of five, and that's great, but I don't know if it's time yet to appoint themselves the league's czars of effort.
Gracias, Joe Bucs Fan.
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