49ers to Tangle with Blizzard in Philly

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Alex Smith will have to deal with snow this weekend in Philly.

     If meaningful playoff-implication December football isn't enough to get you up at 10 a.m. PST on a Sunday for the 49ers-Eagles game, then how about eight to fourteen inches of snow being dumped onto the game?

    Philadelphia is bracing for what could be its worst blizzard of the year this weekend, NBC Philadelphia reports.

    "We're talking about very high accumulations, especially for December," NBC Philadelphia chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz warns.

    Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz rocks a bow tie, so I'm inclined to take his warnings seriously.

    These 49ers have played in a few cold ones at Seattle, and, well,  here at Candlestick. But they haven't played football in a significant snowfall since closing out the regular season in Cleveland in 2007. That was the last Alex Smith era.

    Smith may be well-equipped to play in the snow, what with his college games being played at Utah in the Mountain West division. 

    The power running game of Frank Gore may pay unusually high dividends in heavy snow conditions. It's just tough to complete passes. "I know what you're thinking," Matt Barrows writes in his Sacramento Bee blog, "Could a snowstorm take away Donovan McNabb and DeSean Jackson and be a nice equalizer for the 49ers?"

    Well, you'd certainly rather count on Gore steamrolling than Michael Vick sidewinding and tiptoeing in those kinds of conditions, smashmouth you very much.

    And remember -- this is playoff race football, and the 49ers are in the hunt even if they lose. A loss would realistically eliminate them from the wild card race, but they'd still have a chance to win the NFC West with an 8-8 record.

    So win or lose, these 49ers will still be in the playoff race at the end of Sunday's blizzardy game in late December. In his first full season, coach Mike Singletary has self-fulfilled his "I want winners" prophesy.

    That is, if you can technically still call them "winners" if they're division champions with an 8-8 win-loss record.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks that all December NFL games should feature artificial snow machines, producing snow ski resort-style.