Friday, November 03, 2006

Why the 49ers should give you hope about the Patriots

Do you ever despair that the Patriots are now just going to be good forevever? Does it seem like as long as Pioli, Belichik, and Brady are there, they're going to be Super Bowl favorites every year, and you really aren't going to enjoy the next decade of football?

Well, they may indeed dominate for a long period of time. But it can't last forever; professional sports, in general reflect the ebb and flow of life. Just look to the San Francisco 49ers.

From 1981 to 1998, the 49ers made it to the playoffs 16 times. That means over 18 years, they missed the playoffs TWICE. They won 10 or more games 17 times. They won 13 or more games 8 times. They played in 10 NFC Championship games, and they won 5 Super Bowls.

Since then, the 49ers have had two playoff years, and have suffered through 4, 6, 7, 2 and 4 win seasons. They had the most successful long-term dynasty ever (I would argue this: the longevity and consistency outdoes the Steelers of the 70s and is not quite matched by the Browns of the 50s), and are now one of the league's worst teams. These things cycle around. I'm sure some Ram of Falcon fan in the 80s or 90s thought that they'd have to watch the 49ers dominate forever, and now they get to watch the 49ers get trounced week in and week out.

So cheer up, everybody. Maybe in 10 years, the Patriots will have a losing season, and maybe it will come sooner than that.

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