Now that’s what more like it! One week after San Francisco seemed to turn my preseason prognostications of doom upside down with a 20-3 stomping of the Vikings, we got a game that lined up a lot closer with my expectations. The Steelers abused the Niners by a score of 43-18, and the game never really felt that close (Pittsburgh was up 29-3 in the second quarter). Let’s take a walk into the fire and try not to get burned (or at least not as badly burned as Kenneth Acker).
The Joe Starkey Award (Best Words About the Game): My Attorney Matt
Every year, I get together with my three college roommates—my attorneys Matt, Josh, and Rob—for a weekend of debauchery. Last year, we met up in Vegas for Week One of the season, and were rewarded with San Francisco’s best (and only) game of the season, a pummeling of the Dallas Cowboys. This year, the Dawgs came out to NYC to hang out with me, and one of the festivities we planned was to watch the Niners at Finnerty’s, the Big Apple’s Bay Area expat sports bar. None of the guys had been to Finns before, except for Matt, who went to watch one game there with me in 2013—a miserable Week Three loss to the Indianapolis Colts (I won’t even link you to the column I wrote about it, because it was so short and depressing). Well, right around the time the Steelers were dropping the cold, dead, cement-shoed husk of the 49ers into the Ohio River, Matt looked around the bar, turned to me, and said, “I’m never coming here again.”
On a related note, I think we’re gonna stop tying Dawgs Weekend to football.
The Sarah Connor Award (Person Burned Alive in a Nuclear Holocaust): The Niners Secondary
As I watched Antonio Brown sprint across the field toward the end zone, uncovered, again and again, I was trying to remember the last time I’d seen someone burned as badly as the Niners’ DBs repeatedly were. And then I figured it out.
Brown finished with 9 catches for 195 yards and a score. I’m pretty sure the only reason he didn’t set a league record for receiving yards was because the game was over by halftime. The only thing missing from Kenneth Acker’s Judgment Day was Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “September 20, 2015, Antonio Brown becomes self-aware.”
The Ray McDonald Award (Person That Makes Me Hate Football): Ben Roethlisberger
The fat-faced quarterback with a history of assaulting women was going to win this award no matter what he did in the game. The sad thing is, he had the sort of game that reminds us why guys who are good at football continually get second chances: He went 21-for-27 for 369 yards and three TDs, coming just short of a perfect quarterback rating. It’s pretty easy to do that when the defense you’re playing against collects a grand total of ZERO quarterback hits. Fuck you, Big Ben.
The Denny Green Award (Player Who Is Who We Thought He Was): The Entire Niners Team
Get used to this, y’all. Won’t be the last time I play this video this season.
Overall Rating For This Game (On a scale of Zero to Twelve Anchors, in honor of San Francisco’s favorite beverage): 3 Anchors
Yeah, the game itself was horrible, but I can’t go all the way to zero this early in the season, because we’re probably gonna have worse losses than this. Also, I got to spend Sunday afternoon watching football and drinking a few Anchors with my boys. How bad could it be?
Yeah. Pretty bad.