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NFL: 49ers Fire Mike Singletary

This story is more a general NFL topic, but it has relevance to our little blog. Yesterday afternoon, after 49ers head coach Mike Singletary got into yet another shouting match on the sidelines with his quarterback, Troy Smith, before pulling him in favor of Alex Smith (the man Singletary had benched in favor of Troy), the Niners were eliminated from playoff contention for the 10th year in a row and the third in Singletary's tenure.

This morning, Singletary, whose sideline antics and locker-room insanity have embarrassed and disgraced a once-proud organization, was finally fired.

Now, the reason this is relative to Stampede Blue is that way back in 2009, when Singletary was at the height of his popularity, when people were praising him as a potential 'Coach Of The Year' candidate after he guided the '09 Niners to a 3-3 start, we were calling him a 'bum.'

Obviously, this didn't sit well with 49ers fans at the time. Today, they are singing a different tune.

We kind of pride ourselves around here as being decent judges of character and talent. We're not 'geniuses,' nor are we 'good' judges of such traits. But, we're pretty decent, and it was obvious to Stampede Blue back in 2009 that Mike Singletary was a dishonest bum of a head coach.

In fact, we wrote that he was such in November of 2009.

During a 2009 regular season game between the Niners and Colts, I listened to Indy's radio broadcast team of Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. In the second quarter of the game, with the Colts offense driving, Wolford and Lamey noticed the 49ers utilize a tactic that, to put it bluntly, was nothing short of cheating. I wrote about the incident here, and this is what I posted after the game:

Let me first say the obvious one more time: Mike Singletary is a bum. I said it in my quick recap. I say it again. BUM. For all his silly talk of "playing tough" and being "tough minded," this schmuck is nothing more than a poser. In the third quarter with the Colts driving to gain the lead, Indy started gaining success by running a hurry-up offense. From the booth, Colts radio announcers Bob Lamey and Will Wolford noted that 49ers players were receiving signals from 49ers coaches to "go down" and "fake an injury" in order to stall the Colts offense. This was a tactic used by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots years ago, and it was dusted off and used liberally by Mike Singletary and his cadre of puppets on the sideline. The tactic designed to stop the game, rest the defense, and disrupt the Colts offense all while not sacrificing a time out.

In other words, it's cheating.

The tactic of 'faking injuries' was confirmed by SF Chronicle writer Kevin Lynch during the game. Thankfully, the tactic didn't stop the Colts from scoring on that drive. But, it was obvious from our vantage that Singletary was an embarrassment to his profession, and his antics since that episode have only solidified this.

Now, he's unemployed.

At the time we were calling everyone's 'Flavor of the Month' coach a 'bum,' folks like me were taking heat from shortsighted 49ers fans who simply did not understand that HOW you play a game is as important as whether or not you win (Watch Peyton Manning's slide at the end of the Raiders game yesterday to see an example of how to win).

The 'heat' we took was in the form of 'wonderful' comments like these:

Anyway, I can’t believe you’re continuing this "bum" thing. You honestly should not have any control over this blog.

I will assume that you are intelligent since your post and writing have some logic within them, but your attack of Mike is unfounded and unsubstantiated. You are attacking a coach over heresy. To say that Mike was cheating just because someone else said so, come on now…taht is so fourth grade. To make a claim like that you need "proof". Without it is speculation.

I’m a huge Colts fan, but having lived in the Bay Area for 20 years, I know that the 49ers are an extremely classy organization. I also believe Singletary is all about winning "the right way," and wouldn’t order a dive. Yeah he had a misstep early with the pants-dropping, but immediately regretted it and has shown leadership ever since. He’s old school and hard-nosed, but not a cheater.

I joined SBnation because this was supposed to be a very classy community.

Name-calling is unnecessary.

I think it is unfair that you call out the head coach for these incidents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim Tomasula (D-line coach) was behind this.
But to call Mike Singletary (a HOF linebacker that made a career out of working his butt off) a bum is completely unnecessary.

Wonder how those people feel today.

During last season's little slap fight over me calling a spade a spade, we had all manner of fans coming here attacking Stampede Blue, and me in particular, for daring to call a Hall of Fame player a bum. As I was brought up to understand, it doesn't matter if you have medals on your chest or a 'kick me' sign on your back, your actions define you, not your accolades.

And when multiple, reliable sources said Mike Singletary and the 49ers coaches cheated in that game, it's my job to call such antics the work of 'bums.' If I didn't write it here, I'd say that to Singletary's face right now. Cheating is cheating, and bums cheat. That a 52-year-old man like Singletary doesn't understand that is sad. Following that loss to the Colts, Singletary went 11-13 for the remainder of his tenure with the Niners, missing the playoffs both years while coaching in the putrid NFC West.

As we often say around here, being 'polite' is for churches and for your grandmother's house. Here, we don't hold back. It's one of the reasons we have become as popular as we are. What sometimes happens when someone like me stands up and calls a bum a bum is people get 'offended' by the name-calling. They ask 'Why not just point out the cheating and leave out the name-calling?'

Well, quite simply, pointing out the 'cheating' isn't as effective and pointing out the cheating and then calling the cheater for what he or she is. As I said back in November of last year when this whole thing happened:

Classy people

Call out cheating when they see it. They don’t act "nice" and pretend cheating isn’t there.

Being "classy" sometimes means you need to call a punk a punk. Turning the other cheek when you’re slapped is one thing. But when someone is trying to cheat you, you don’t just shrug it off. You point a finger and call the cheater what he is.

If you are unwilling to do that, you are mistaking "class" with "cowardice."

For any of you folks out there who are interested in this kind of stuff, part of being an effective blogger is checking the 'nice' at the door and taking stances that are, shall we say, 'controversial.' In the case of us calling Mike Singletary a 'bum,' the label we placed on Singletary was indeed correct. It wasn't popular. It's wasn't 'nice.'

Rarely is the truth popular or nice.

Most of the time, people are going to attack you if you write the truth. In this case, our little blog was about 14 months ahead of of the curve.

Back in November, when 49ers fan were getting all red-faced and pissy at me for calling out their obviously deficient head coach, I said that an organization like the 49ers deserved better than Singletary. Hopefully, this time around, ownership will bring in some truly classy people to run the franchise and coach the players. My good friend David Fucillo deserves better. The fans overall deserve better, even if they don't like me and don't think I'm very 'nice.'