Niners’ season fading fast as they flirt with elimination 

It’s torture all over again.

The Giants’ 2010 season was playfully dubbed “torture” by Duane Kuiper, the best baseball announcer nobody ever mentions when talking about the best baseball announcers, but the 49ers’ season has taken the label to a whole new level.

It’s nothing short of torture watching the product put on the field by the 49ers this year. Niners fans have to lead the league in third-quarter channel changes.

The 49ers have lost four games by three touchdowns or more. The Carolina Panthers, owners of the league’s worst record, have lost only three games by that margin.

The crazy thing about all this is that Niners fans are still schedule watching to see if this train wreck of a team can qualify for the postseason. If the 49ers can beat the Rams in St. Louis this afternoon and the Seahawks lose a tough game in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers, they will actually control their own destiny.  

The 49ers are home against Arizona next week with the Rams traveling to Seattle.

The fact that there is a reason to follow the 49ers this afternoon means one thing: The Niners nation has at least one more week of torture.

Random thoughts

It’s official. Michael Vick is the best story in sports this year. Maybe any year.

To go from a prison cell to a possible NFL Most Valuable Player in less than 18 months is beyond a great athletic accomplishment. It would be unimaginable if Vick hadn’t done exactly that over the past 18 weeks.

When the 2009 season ended, after some spotty play for the Eagles, Vick was considered a has-been. His speed wasn’t there. His accuracy wasn’t there.

Vick and the Eagles have had probably two dozen moments where they could have given up. The game Vick has put on the field this year was not there until the first time he played this year.

If you never want to forgive him for why he went to jail, fine. But give it up  for what Vick has proven athletically.

He’s playing the toughest game against the greatest athletes on the planet, and he’s not just hanging in there. He’s doing things nobody else in the game is doing.

Tom Brady is definitely a deserving MVP choice, and may win the award for what he’s done this season leading the Patriots. Win or lose, Vick is doing something no athlete may ever duplicate.

- Got to give it to Brett Favre. He could’ve easily mailed it in and sat out Monday night. Nobody would’ve second-guessed him. By playing, he proved his unrewarded return this season was, to him, about playing football.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at tliotta@sfexaminer.com.

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