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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Role models for NFC West, part 7

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 2008 Arizona Cardinals. The maligned Cardinals slipped into the playoffs at 9-7. Then, scoring at least 30 points a game, they beat… Read More »

Role models for NFC West, part 6

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 2007 Golden State Warriors. Don Nelson returned as coach, and the team returned to the postseason for the first time in 13… Read More »

Role models for NFC West, part 5

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 1979 Los Angeles Rams. After making a change at quarterback from Pat Haden to Vince Ferragamo, the Rams won four of their… Read More »

Role models for NFC West, part 4

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 1976 Phoenix Suns. After slouching into the playoffs with an unassuming 42-40 record, this team suddenly discovered its chemistry, melding rookie of… Read More »

Role models for NFC West, part 3

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 1973 New York Mets. This team barely broke .500 with 82 wins. Nevertheless, on the strength of pitching (Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman… Read More »

1-6 and playoff bound? It’s happened

Niners coach Mike Singletary has taken a lot of criticism for his Pollyanna-like optimism, saying the 49ers still have a shot at the playoffs even though they’re record is 1-6. Well, there has been precedent. The 1970 Cincinnati Bengals started 1-6, won their final seven games of the regular season to finish 8-6, and made the playoffs. The ’70 Bengals are the only team in NFL history to start 1-6 and make the playoffs. The legendary Paul Brown was the… Read More »