Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where have you gone, Mike Singletary?

Samarai Mike. #50. The top of the Bermuda Triangle. General Secretary of the Union Nations of Defense. These were some of Mike Singletary's nicknames when he captained the Chicago Bears' famous "46" defense. I grew up loving everything about Mike Singletary. I loved how such a fierce competitor on the field could be such a bookish, almost nerdy, student of the game off the field. He showed that jocks don't have to be dumb.

When he retired and got into coaching, I couldn't be happier. I couldn't say I was ever a fan of any of the teams he coached--since none of them were the Bears. I nonetheless loved that a man of his qualifications was getting to pass on his knowledge and intensity to a new generation of players.

And now Mike is head coach, which should be great news, except he's an interim head coach with the 49'ers. Oy.

Maybe I can chalk it up to Mike playing back before the days of blogs and YouTube. How else can we explain his complaint about locker-room pep talks becoming headlines the next day?

Still, I can't explain the lack of defensive intensity, allowing the Cardinals to get back into the game on Monday Night Football. I also can't explain the final play, running up the middle with 3 yards to go for a touchdown.

Chalk it up to learning on the job. I hope that he can turn it around soon, or the interim tag will be replaced with former.

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