Tex's Friday Preview - Niners

Since I spent the entire Packers-Cowboys game last Sunday schmoozing with bigwigs in my chosen profession and attempting to get a job, I had to rely on a friend's BlackBerry to give me periodic updates on the score (whenever he was getting service in that Faraday Cage of a hotel). Needless to say, I startled a few people with my exclamations of joy when seeing the score go from 3-0 to 10-0 and  then 17-0.

But enough about that game. It's time for the 49ers. Here are three people or units I will be keeping my eye on this Sunday, as I again get to watch the game from the comfort of my own home (while catching up on my homework).

1. Niners defense (aka Patrick Willis and friends)

Willis might be the best linebacker in the NFL. Every time I get a chance to watch him, I am more impressed by his tenacity and ability. The rest of the defense, frankly, doesn't blow me away. There are a few solid, established veterans like Dre Bly, Nate Clements, and Takeo Spikes, but all in all, I'm not overly impressed by this unit. I'm sure Mike Singletary sets his defense up to flow through Willis, as he should.

2. Michael Crabtree

That catch he made last year against Texas cemented him in college football lore, but he has some work to do after his long holdout to prove that he's a superstar in the NFL. So far, he's been averaging around 50 yards per game, but his size and speed give him an advantage over most NFL corners. I shudder to think of a Crabtree-Vernon Davis tandem a few years from now, especially if they can find a solid franchise QB.

3. The University of Wisconsin Marching Band

The band makes its only road trip of the year to Lambeau Field this year. If you're going to the game, enjoy their second-to-last performance of the year (the Badgers' bowl game being the last). Enjoy Mike Leckrone's (the band director) boundless energy at 150-something years old. And finally, enjoy that these colleagues of mine (and friends and drinking buddies and roommates and so on) from Madison work their tails off to entertain you. I can only hope that they broadcast the show on FOX...even though I know they won't.

Enjoy this sight on the tundra on Sunday!


via (Thanks to Flickr user DirectoryMaster)

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