A David Akers missed extra point. A late 4th quarter Matt Forte 3-yard run. An Aaron Rodgers 2-point conversion. All this added up to another painful season-ending loss for the Nick Wood and the Chunky Chickens. It was a fitting end to a triumphant yet tragic decade for Mike Kinsman's proud franchise.
As I watched "The U", ESPN's latest 30 for 30 documentary, I couldn't help but notice the parallels between the Miami Hurricanes of the 80's and Chunky Chickens of ths 2000's. Both exploded onto the scene after years of futility. They were loud and often times obnoxious. They kept reloading with talent year after year. Perhaps most importantly, they were absolutely despised by their competition.
But when they fell, they fell hard. Just look at the Chickens' last 3 season-ending losses. In 2007, in what many call the greatest YFFL game of all-time, Jay Cutler passed for 4 TDs to lead the Beans to an improbable 62-60 come-from-behind win. The heavily favored Chickens had demolished the Beans just weeks before by a score of 62-26.
In 2008, it was the same story. The Chickens and Beans met in Week 13 with the NFC Wild Card on the line. Down 2 with time winding down for the Beans, Jay Cutler passed for a late 4th quarter TD as the Beans came from behind to win 36-32. Sansone and the Beans had slayed the mighty Chickens once again.Monday's Two and a Half Men may have been less predictable than another Chickens collapse
Neither of those two losses compare to Monday Night's meltdown though. The Chickens needed just 50 yards from Anquan Boldin and the game likely would have been out of reach for the Dragons. I was flipping between the game and Two and Half Men and noticed every time I switched to the game, the 49ers had the ball. It was mid-way through the second quarter and the Cardinals hadn't even had the ball for 5:00 minutes! It wasn't looking good for Nick. Sure enough, the Cardinals never got it going.
Vernon Davis got a TD early and it was all Frank Gore from there. Nick couldn't do anything but watch. The Cardinals got the ball back in garbage time with Boldin needing just 23 yards for the win. Warner dropped back to pass and found Boldin over the middle. He broke a tackle, picked up the first down and continued to fight for more yards. And then, like 4 other times in the game, he coughed up the football and the Cards turned it over. The Chickens' season and perhaps decade of dominance was over in a flash.
Nick and Mike will be right back at it looking to rebuild for the next decade. They're hoping it goes a little better than "The U" in the 90s'.