Knowing the difference- 01/30/2000
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Super Bowl Sunday always provokes memories of the glory days. The days when football was something more than a business and players played for the love of the game. This year the memories may be stronger than ever, with the induction of three former 49ers to the Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio taking place on Super Bowl weekend. Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and Dave Wilcox were all part of a special era in football that changed drastically upon the decade of the 90s.

That era exemplified that the innocence of victory was never overshadowed by the crippling expectations of supremacy. In essence that era was the opposite of the 49ers current situation. The fall of the 49ers is a result of negligence. Crippling expectations of winning, is not what made the 49ers great. Thus the new 49ers that focused only on the results were bound to misfire at some point.

The glory years of 49ers football focused on the procedures of reaching perfection, never claiming to be perfect and thus always innovating. There was a time when the 49ers knew what they had to do to win - the 49ers lost that ability sometime in the 90s; choosing instead to know what is was like to win. The difference may not seem like a big deal, but when analyzing the results it is no wonder the team plummeted this past season.

This past season was not the demonstration of how crippling expectations can slaughter a team, but rather this past season is a demonstration of how ignoring the procedures and how tos of reaching excellence resulted in a 49ers team that was simply lost in oblivion. The 49ers relied solely on knowing what it was like to win, to try and extend their reign of supremacy; however, what the team should have done was looked at how to win. The procedure, practices, and chemistry that makes a team great; simply were not part of the 49ers game plan, and thus they faltered.

Getting back on top of the NFL will not be that difficult a task for the 49ers. The team simply needs to stop focusing on results, thereby utilizing all their energies on the procedures that will allow them to win. The team needs to stop thinking they know how to win, and start proving it not by claiming to have a great history but by exercising their abilities to win, and not claim that the feeling of winning is the same as knowing how to win.

It has been way to long since the 49ers lead the league in innovation on either side of the ball. Teams have finally caught up to the 49ers and even surpassed them, and if the 49ers want to make it back on top it will require a dedication from everyone on board stronger than ever before. The distinction of knowing what its like to win and knowing how to win is to big a feature to be overlooked, to get back on top of the NFL, the 49ers will need to focus on the procedures that will allow them to win, not the feeling of winning.
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