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Friday, September 17, 2010

Mike Singletary -- Has He Lost His Mind?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Mike Singletary, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
  • Mike Singletary, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
Mike Singletary, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
Going back to the days of Emperor Norton, San Francisco has been a place that celebrated and made heroes of people who, for lack of a better way of putting it, were deeply off their rockers. The San Francisco Giants are, astoundingly, alone in first place. But the San Francisco 49ers are the team that has delivered championships to the city -- and, in our giddiness over the possibility of a witnessing a non-awful football season this year, I fear we may have overlooked some Norton-like behavior from head coach Mike Singletary.

The coach's bizarre-yet-quotable meltdown during a televised interview with CBS' Dennis O'Donnell is not his first foray into call-the-guys-in-the-white-suits behavior. Fans will recall him dropping his pants at halftime to illustrate just how badly his team was getting whupped. And, of course, who could forget his profoundly entertaining rant regarding then-truculent Vernon Davis -- that was so well-put it found its way onto the team's billboards ("I want winners!").

In the wake of last week's profoundly disappointing opening-day loss in Seattle, Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole wrote an article about deep-seated problems between the team's players and coaching staff -- specifically, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and Singletary. In brief, the article contends that quarterback coach Mike Johnson can't properly decipher the plays Ray is calling in from the booth -- and Singletary "isn't an X's and O's guy" and wouldn't know one play call from another.

The head coach responded to the article by blasting the "rats" who leaked to the press -- just as he did about the pants-dropping episode, incidentally. Internal dissension in the face of a Monday night contest vs. the defending Super Bowl champs is bad enough. And it doesn't inspire confidence when the man leading the charge behaves like this on live TV:

Among Singletary's best/worst lines:

  • Don't base a man's entire career on a dad-gum Yahoo commercial

  • I don't want to talk about the Yahoo deal. It really pisses me off.

  • [Quarterback Alex Smith] will be fine Monday night. ... I don't want to talk about time, I don't want to talk about clock. I want to talk about New Orleans if you want to talk about that.

  • (Asked how they'd try to stop New Orleans Saints all-world QB Drew Brees) We will not try to stop Drew Brees. We will stop Drew Brees. Next question.

  • (Asked how they would move the ball against the Saints' defense) We will not try to move the ball against the New Orleans defense. We will move the ball. And we will score.

Best of luck to the Niners and Singletary. And let us be the first to coin the nickname "Emperor Sing."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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