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The Sidelines

February 8, 2013

It was all just too perfect, wasn’t it? Like something straight outta Hollywood, once the lights went out in New Orleans, we knew hero Number Seven would propel his team to an inevitable victory. For 34 minutes America sat in anticipation of Number Seven’s emergence, the grandest stage on which to legitimize what had been all too unreal of a season. Most of America was still unfamiliar with His Greatness. The ascension to glory didn’t come easy; in 2011, Number Seven attempted only five passes during the Alex Smith era, a time when Smith’s marriage to coach Jim Harbaugh was still in its honeymoon phase. Fast forward to week ten of 2012, when a concussion rendered Smith unavailable. Out of the shadows came an unheralded Number Seven, still with much to prove. Though his team could only muster a tie with the Rams that night, America took notice the next week, when Number Seven completed 12 of his first 14 throws and the ‘Niners embarrassed Da Bears on the Monday Night stage. For the next eight weeks, Number Seven and his ‘Pistol’ offense dissected opposing defenses, racking up points and sending sports pundits into a tizzy. The passing of the torch was unlike anything in recent history; this was no Montana-Young, Bledsoe-Brady or even Favre-Rodgers. At the time of the injury Smith led the NFL in completion percentage, and there were MVP whispers from those in ‘the know’. Number Seven remained undaunted. Two months after it all got started, Number Seven stood beneath the blacked out horizon at the Superdome as San Fran’s last hope in a whirlwind season where The Pistol seemed to have all the answers. It almost looked like Super Bowl XLVII would be no different. A 31-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree midway through the third, then a 15-yard scamper for a score with ten minutes left, and the Legend was growing, but this time Number Seven’s defining moment was a failed two-point conversion attempt, setting the table for an intriguing sequel, the most epic of dramas. (Note: The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Kyle McEwen.)

Kyle McEwen
Sports Editor

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