I was wrong about the Niners’ game. I said the Niners would score 19 and they did. It’s just that I said the Seahawks would score 23 and they scored 17. So how do I feel about being wrong, as many of you told me I was and am?

Well, it doesn’t feel good to be wrong. But I took my best shot, believed what I wrote and, in the real world, I didn’t hurt anyone, didn’t start a war or rob a bank. One thing I like about my job, there’s very little hurting.

So, as athletes say, I take full responsibility, and then I wipe my hand across my mouth and move on. Now for a story.

After the game, we all went to the Niners locker room. Everyone wanted to talk to Donte Whitner who’s the best. As I maneuvered into position around writers and cameramen, I tripped over an athletic bag I didn’t see. I started to fall. I said to myself, “I’m falling, but I’m in control of this. I won’t fall down.”

I kept falling.


My son Grant tried to grab me and missed.

Tim Kawakami tried to grab me and missed.

I kept falling, the slowest fall in history.

I kept telling myself “I won’t fall.”

I hit the floor.

C.J. Spillman yelled, “Down goes Frazier.”

Niners head of PR Bob Lange said, “You OK, Lowell?”

I couldn’t see Lange’s face. I did see his shoes right next to my eyes. I said to myself, “Bob has really nice shoes.”

Funny what you think at times like those.

Was there symbolism in the whole episode?

Lowell takes the fall for predicting wrong.

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  1. Max

    What a good sport you are, Lowell! And I especially like that “there’s very little hurting.” And also am glad that your fall was slow enough not to hurt you. And about your prediction: I’m delighted it went this way instead of you predicting ‘Niners would win – and then we lose by one point, which almost happened.

    December 9th, 2013 9:59 am

  2. Stan

    Sort of Freudian. Subliminal acting out of a metaphor of acknowledging defeat. Might even have felt as if a physical being pushed you down or at least the bag seemed to move just enough on its own to trip you when you were sure a moment ago it was more to the side. And in public no less as a mea culpa.
    The Universe is only 5% matter,the rest is dark,but real,and unknown says science.
    Something to think about.

    December 9th, 2013 10:04 am

  3. Mark M

    Careful, they may try to trip you in the future as part of some running joke. At least you fessed up, a rarity to see any type of mea culpa from a sports journalist around here….unless his job is threatened.

    This team still strikes me as a major work in progress with the offense needing to get a lot more proficient. Way too many field goals out there still. We clearly have big time red zone issues. But we beat the best team in football and showed some improvement against them. And our defense may be the best in the league. It’s a good Monday, no small fete.

    December 9th, 2013 11:01 am

  4. Frank In Minnesota

    Lowell….you are the best!!!!!! Fun read……

    December 9th, 2013 12:36 pm

  5. Jason

    Impressed that young mr. Spillman knows Frazier and cosell’s call of the fight. My high school age nephew only knows foreman as the grill pitchman. Sigh!!

    December 9th, 2013 1:02 pm

  6. Brett

    Jason – great grills for tailgating. I have the one shaped like a little Weber Round Top. Uses one of those little propane canisters. Grilling in minutes and cools down and cleans up easily.

    December 9th, 2013 2:20 pm

  7. htwaits

    “The Universe is only 5% matter,the rest is dark,but real,and unknown says science.”

    Stan, look closer. Matter isn’t matter either.

    Lowell, every time I do one of those slow falls, the landing is still abrupt. Great prediction, even better results. Of course, as John M. likes to say, “That’s why they play the games.”

    December 9th, 2013 4:03 pm

  8. Ryder

    I can empathize a bit Lowell. I fell, in front of everyone, off of the raised seating platform in a small auditorium at the start of the intermission during my son’s tap dancing recital. Folding chairs fell and scattered everywhere and I severely sprained my ankle. Painful and embarrssing. I’m pretty sure I was wrong about something that day too.

    December 9th, 2013 4:34 pm

  9. Johnc

    Yesterday’s game was a flashback to the 2011 season whereby the Niners win on defense but can’t score a TD in the red zone. We all thought it was Alex Smith’s fault but now we know it is the coaches who have trouble coming up with a wrinkle to throw the defenses off balance in such situations.

    December 9th, 2013 4:42 pm

  10. Sunset Boy

    A great win by the 49ers.

    The offense was at times efficient, at times ugly, but did enough in the end. Gore’s run and a great performance from Dawson was the final difference.

    The defense, on the other hand, continues to prove that its championship caliber. Its clear that if the 49ers are going to be contenders this post season, its the defense that has to carry them.

    I’m confident that the 49ers can win anywhere against anyone, except, of course, against Seattle in Seattle. Its a forgone conclusion that the rode to the Super Bowl in the NFC will go through Seattle. I don’t see anyone beating Seattle at home, unfortunately.

    Surprisingly, I’m OK with that, as I don’t think this is the 49ers year. Too many injuries, a sputtering offense, and not enough development from Kap. Seattle just has too many advantages at this point. I fully expect the 49ers to be contenders next season. But this year, I just hope for them to represent themselves well against good teams. That will build the character they need to get themselves to the promised land in the future.

    December 9th, 2013 7:45 pm

  11. russell

    I know I saw pretty much exactly what I expected, minus the team on the winning end of the score. I posted that I was thinking 17-16 or 20-19, and that was the game we got. The problem I see with SF is that the D has no margin for error with good teams. Now, on D, Bowman is an absolute stud – I am not sure how he overtook (is that a word??) Willis on the stud meter, but that guy makes plays all day, every day. The real problem is that until the Niners can score TD’s in the redzone instead of FG’s they won’t win meaningful playoff games. This is not to say they aren’t capable of doing so, just they need to actually demonstrate that they will before an objective person truly believes.

    December 9th, 2013 9:02 pm

  12. glenellen

    Hey Lowell, Ok, so you were wrong, you had a fifty fifty chance of being right.

    What is still getting played about you is that you are a name caller in your columns. In this past Sunday’s letters to the editor, a writer is still offended about your “Fatso ” column.

    Do you receive negative e mails ?

    December 10th, 2013 12:47 pm

  13. CohnZohn

    glenellen, Do I receive negative emails? Oy vey.

    December 10th, 2013 1:39 pm

  14. Brett

    Johnc – Good point. That whole game was a flashback to an Alex Smith win.

    December 10th, 2013 2:52 pm

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