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Here is the opening of my Sunday column about 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and The Curse:

Old Coach says, “Jimmy doesn’t know it but there’s a curse.”

Jimmy is Jim Harbaugh. Old coaches still call him Jimmy.

“What curse?” I say.

“13-3, that curse,” Old Coach says.

“What’s cursed about it?”

“People expect you to do it again, like it’s easy. It isn’t easy. He doesn’t get into the Super Bowl this season people think he failed. Going 13-3 his first season was a curse.”

“He won 14 games,” I say. “There was that playoff win against New Orleans.”

“Curse,” Old Coach says. “He raised everyone’s expectations. Teams don’t always meet expectations.”

“That is a curse,” I say.

“What did I tell you?” Old Coach grumbles.

To read the entire column, click here.

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21 Comments

  1. Hank

    Before I read (reed) your column, let me just say that you, Lowell, in a recent article, hit the nail on the head when you praised Colin Kaepernick. I don’t think “Jimmy” succumbs to the curse because he will not accept an Alex who fails. The Niners will succeed this year. It might be with an average winning margin of 4 (Alex), or it may be 14 (Colin). I’m excited.

    September 2nd, 2012 7:47 am

  2. Hank

    I think you miss the point with those 5 games. If Singletary had been the coach, the Niners would have LOST all 5. But Jimmy’s boys won them all. It’s not luck, it’s not the breaks, it’s not things. Jimmy installs confidence in his mighty men and in turn his mighty men give us all they’ve got, at the start, yes, and, especially, at the end, when lesser men crumble.

    Games this year will not be so close. The Niners’ biggest areas of improvement are at RB and backup QB. With a healthy stable of runners, these Niners will win TOP in every game, and because of their diverse strengths, they will not be stopped in the scoring zone as so often they were last year. Frank Gore was used up when last season began. Yet he rushed for 1200+ yards and carried the ball more often than all but one other year in his career. And while he was successful, he was not dynamic, as Kendall, LaM, & Brandon all are. Games won’t be close this year. The D will dominate and the running game will deliver touchdowns. David Akers will have an “off” year. If Alex gets injured, and Colin gets in the game, then we can even start talking about the WRs.

    There is no curse. The best is yet to come.

    September 2nd, 2012 8:51 am

  3. Peter

    As a columnist rou analyze, review and deliver your opinion. You are not expressly for or against. I believe you believe you are not openly rooting for the home team. But I think you are a 49er fan and want them to win. If the 49ers do not succeed – I mean fail to win the title – as a fan you would be dissappoined. And as a columnist you reasonably explain the possibility for mediocrity, which lowers the fan’s expectations.

    September 2nd, 2012 8:58 am

  4. CohnZohn

    Peter, I assure you I am not a fan of the 49ers, Raiders, Giants, A’s, Warriors. I am not even a fan of Stanford and I went to Stanford. The teams play them, I write them. Period.

    September 2nd, 2012 9:07 am

  5. Brady

    Really great article. I certainly agree with what you said (though it’s also worth noting that 3 of their 4 losses were also the result of “luck/things/breaks” going the other teams way). I think this also shows the overly-high expectations of fans: the niners are contenders, and we as fans should be happy with that, regardless of whether there’s a regression to the mean this year.

    September 2nd, 2012 11:33 am

  6. Tiburon Dave

    I agree completely with your premise but the rest of the NFC West is a disgrace and this team wins the division by default.

    They get a bye in the first round even if the wheels fall off. Then they go as far in the playoffs as alex smith can take them.

    “Jimmy” will continue to be worshipped by the faithful until the first year they miss the playoffs…from the looks of things in the NFC West…that’ll be a while…

    September 2nd, 2012 2:36 pm

  7. Hank

    Niners fans from the Walsh/Montana years will always be disappointed with anything less than a Superbowl, which is a GOOD thing. Otherwise we might as well just be Seahawks fans from the Hasselbeck era.

    September 2nd, 2012 2:57 pm

  8. Dennis

    As that old saying goes, ‘it is what it is’. And they play the season to find out exactly ‘what it is’.
    -
    I think they will have a winning season and I think they will be in the playoffs. I think the Rams will be better than everyone thinks and I also think the Seahawks will contend. But a 10 win season will win the division and I think the Niners, curse and all, will win the division. The only way that doesn’t happen is if Harbaugh gets hurt or is suspended for PED’s.

    September 2nd, 2012 3:47 pm

  9. B-Rad

    Back in July, Kevin Lynch was on KNBR and mentioned a study from the National
    Football Post:

    “Over the past 10 seasons, 29 teams have gone from 7-9 or worse to win 10
    games or more the next season. 26 of those teams reverted back to 7-9 or worse
    the next season.”

    Three reasons they gave why the Niners could fall back:

    1 – Alex Smith threw only 5 INTs – an unsustainably low number.
    2 – The Niners were 7-2 in close games – records in close games are often random.
    3 – The Niners were unusually healthy – particularly on defense.

    September 2nd, 2012 4:43 pm

  10. Stan

    I caught the end of a Marty Lurie phone call with a fan..I heard Marty say,”He’s a very smart man with a built in excuse. Sabean has always put himself on the line”..from that I deduce it was a “Who’s better,Beane or Sabean? and Marty was truth telling again on Slicks habit of take all the credit when things go right,and none of the blame when they lose..then Its the city of Oakland and others with no power like the fans or the building itself as at fault.
    Sabean meanwhile blames nothing if the Giants don’t win. And he of course hasn’t had to make many excuses as the Giants have been consistent winners since he came here.
    So,I know that you blog got a lot of answers on the who’s better? post you did. Marty who at times is almost as smart as me,says it’s Sabean.

    September 2nd, 2012 6:30 pm

  11. Dr. Feelgood

    It was not believable that the press are not, on some level, a fan of the teams they cover. Then, one year as part of my job, I was assigned to maintain communications equipment in the 49ers press box on game days. This was back in the Jeff Garcia era. I was stunned by the atmosphere in the press box, slightly louder than a library (there was a speaker system that announced the impending replays). The press sat, typed, chatted and went about their business, just like regular office workers (except of course, office workers would have a TV on and be screaming with the touchdowns).
    For your sake,I hope the food has improved.

    September 2nd, 2012 6:43 pm

  12. Stan

    And Marty did also point out Beane is in a no lose situation..
    Just what you hate about people like that.

    September 2nd, 2012 6:56 pm

  13. Streetglide

    Here’s the thing Lowell-san: sports are about hope. For the average Joe with a dead-end job, grumpy wife and two fat kids, the thought that something they have bonded to has a bright future makes the day that much better.
    .
    Even if the Niners go 9-7 and bomb out in the first round of the playoffs, if they do it with style and a chance for a better next-year, all is good.
    .
    Over the years you have claimed to be no fan of any team, but in that sense you are against all teams everywhere. You can claim that; it’s your right. But at our age, with CAT scans, biopsies, BP medicines, blood thinners, hair thickeners, weenie pills and the like, hope is most important.
    .
    Therefore I hereby relieve you of the grumpy old-guy persona and transform you SHAZZAM! into the grand old boy of all things good in a man ‘s life. Write about sports if you wish. Slam this team or that player, but only in moderation. Let’s hear about wine, travels, merry mirth and parties with the interesting and well connected.
    .
    Leave the grumpy old fart stuff to people better equipped at their stage of life to trundle. Like Stan — he’s perfect for the job. In the meantime, autumn is here, Frisco has a great baseball team and perhaps a solid contender on the gridiron. Huzzah for the class of ’63 and let’s enjoy life before we fill a pine box.
    .
    Hell of a Bluegrass pickin’ party last night. First time I took a hit of weed in 24 years. The key lime pie was out of sight!
    .
    Street…

    September 3rd, 2012 7:23 am

  14. Eric Janssen

    Please, we’re not even supposed to mention the word ‘C….e’! Everybody now toss some salt and make the sign of the cross.

    September 3rd, 2012 8:01 am

  15. CohnZohn

    streetglide, OK I’m grumpy. I plead guilty. I mean no harm. Here’s a quiz for you based on something you wrote in this grumpy guy comment. What superhero said the word shazam to transform himself into that superhero?

    September 3rd, 2012 9:18 am

  16. Stan

    Streetglide? You old fart and a half. Your a regular life is a Cabaret guy aren’t you? When good times come around I enjoy them..and when I hear BS,lies,and phony ,I call it down.
    So have a good day and don’t spill your half full cup of water..its gonna be warm today..

    September 3rd, 2012 9:40 am

  17. Streetglide

    Thanks Stan and a big sloppy lick on the face from my Golden Retriever coming your way.
    .
    As for shazam, I believe that would be Billy Batson, radio cub reporter, right? (Thank you wikipedia)
    .
    Oh happy day! Just stopped by the house where the picking party was last night. Kathy just retired from State service and the cream of norcal Bluegrass players were there along with her workmates. Kathy is a nationally known picker; the music was off the charts and my Martin D-18 played like a champ. They had a ton of beer, wine and champagne-like liquids left over. I rode the Harley the 500 feet to their house, filled both saddle bags and headed back home.
    .
    Lowell-san, the Amador County Bluegrass Festival will be held in Plymouth in a few weeks. Good core event to attend and major wine tasting in the region. Streetglide says five stars ***** check it out.

    September 3rd, 2012 11:37 am

  18. Dennis

    streetglide, well put. You have to wonder why grandpa wowell’s glass is mostly half empty when it comes to the 49ers.

    September 3rd, 2012 12:05 pm

  19. Dennis

    I am sorry I meant to capitalize the W in Wowell.

    September 3rd, 2012 12:10 pm

  20. CohnZohn

    streetglide, Billy Batson’s other identity was Captain Marvel.

    September 3rd, 2012 4:09 pm

  21. Dave T

    For Niner Fans, here is hoping he goes the way of Mike Tomlin, who lost in the playoffs his first year as head coach, then won it all in the second year. An accomplishment to be sure, but I would give the nod to Harbaugh over even Tomlin because Tomlin had proven winners beforehand, and continuity with is coaching staff with the Steelers. Harbaugh has installed new things across the board. I really like Harbaugh and wish him well, even as a Steeler fan. Though all bets are off if they meet in the Super Bowl.

    September 4th, 2012 4:07 pm

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