The San Francisco 49ers' Candlestick showdown vs. the high-flying Seattle Seahawks won't commence until Sunday -- but the team is already on the defensive.
A cringe-worthy letter making the Internet rounds purportedly sent to team ticketholders patronizingly instructs Niners fans on how to properly cheer the home side. Left unmentioned in the letter: How to eat food instead of smashing it into one's face; how to properly relieve oneself in an indoor plumbing situation; and how to avoid the problem of putting on one's shoes before one's pants.
"Communication at the line of scrimmage is critical," reads the letter, imparting information that won't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever watched a football game or heard the game discussed in passing. "Keep it quiet when the 49ers are lining up to the ball on offense. Save the noise for the play!"
Fans are also inculcated in the proper sound to emit when the Niners register a first down: "Ahhhh-ooooo, ahhhh-ooooo, ahhhh-oooo."
Well, that's embarrassing. But not for the reasons you might think (AHHHH-OOOO!). Team officials tell SF Weekly that no letter was ever sent to 49ers fans or anyone else. In fact, this is actually an internal memo regarding stadium operations that was never intended for the general public.
The only portion of this message actually meant for the fans, we are told, are the bits about encouraging attendees to wear red and show up early to avoid traffic nightmares.
The bits about not audibly disrupting the team's offense; bellowing "ahhhh-oooo"; hitting the drum cues for "Let's Go Niners!"; and proper foghorn etiquette were all apparently meant to stay in-house.
So, at least in this sense, the 49er organization's gameplan for Sunday has gone off half-cocked. It remains to be seen if the team on the field can execute to a higher standard.