A lot was made about the frigid weather in Green Bay which would freeze the San Francisco 49ers out of Sunday’s NFL wildcard playoff game.
But the 49ers entered the postseason on a six-game winning streak, hitting their stride at the right time for a second straight run to the Super Bowl, with the defense as tough and stingy as ever, and the offense clicking when quarterback Colin Kaepernick is allowed to use his powerful and accurate arm and dazzling, key-play-making legs to lead the charge.
With the temperature at 10 degrees, but with the wind-chill below zero in Green Bay’s tundra, otherwise known as Lambeau Field, Kaepernick-fueled San Francisco again got the better of the QB Aaron Rogers-led Packers, winning a 23-20 thriller on a 33-yard field goal by Phil Dawson as time expired.
If Jim Harbaugh can finally put his conservative University of Michigan roots with its Bo Schembechler-coached mostly run views aside and let Kaepernick spark the offense with his multiple skills, and keep the defense making life miserable for their opponents, the 49ers will avenge their last loss to Carolina before the six-game win streak to end the season.
Then after eliminating the Panthers this Sunday San Francisco will be back in the National Conference championship game, with a chance at their Super Bowl return, this time to win it, which would also give the Niners a 10-game win streak to end the 2013-14 season.
Speaking of winning streaks, the NBA’s current hottest are the Golden State Warriors, who have won nine straight and counting at both home and on the road, where they have two more stops on a seven-game road trip. Their streak has included impressive victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and the defending world champion Miami Heat and MVP Lebron James.
The thrilling nine-game winning streak is Golden State’s longest since 1975, when was the last time, and only time, the Bay Area Warriors won an NBA title. This bodes well for this year’s squad, which has an impressive 23-13 record as of presstime and pushes them ahead of having an all important 50-win season and a higher seed for the playoffs.
While remaining on course toward an unbelievable, but possible, 60-win season, Sunday’s triumph in Washington, D.C., enabled Golden State to tie the Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division.
In fact, the last time the Warriors were in first place this late in the season was in 1992, so there’s definitely something more than magical happening for Golden State and the great Bay Area basketball fans.
As I said in an earlier column, with their talent, depth, heart, coaching and knowledgeable and enthusiastic ownership, this year’s Warriors remind me of that 1975 NBA title-winning team in many ways.
I ended that column asking the question, “Am I talking an NBA championship? Maybe not this season – though why not. But it’s coming soon.
Hopefully the soon part means playing for an NBA title in just a few months.