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The 49ers Are Big Dom Now

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 03: Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers exchanges words with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and Dom DiSandro at Lincoln Financial Field on December 03, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers and Dom DiSandro of the Eagles were disqualified after the altercation. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We've done this show before, so you heathens are well within your rights to look at the San Francisco 49ers and deny them their flowers. They are the most annoying kind of great because they are established as the frontrunners in the NFL, which makes them seem indomitable right up to the point that some team calls them liars and backs up their smack with actual smack.

Or as we will come to know it, they get Big Dommed.

The 49ers in their present state—healthy and ornery—are one of the sport's most fearsome teams. They spotted the best team in football the first 20 minutes Sunday evening and still beat the Eagles, 42-19. It was their 22nd win in the past two seasons, the 18th by double digits and the 16th in which they scored at least 30 points. For a team whose coach is often slagged for being more clever than dynamic, Kyle Shanahan's teams act in wins like their opponents are always the New England Patriots.

(While we're at it, let's mention the Patriots for being the first team in 85 years to hold three consecutive teams to 10 points or fewer and lose every game.)

But in whomping the Eagles they also invoked the wrath of the Eagles' security chief, Big Dom DiSandro, a restaurant refrigerator with ears who looks like he gets a royalty check every time someone says "Philadelphia."

It all happened when 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who occasionally behaves as Dre Scofflaw when it comes to the whistle, torqued DeVonta Smith to the ground in front of the Eagles' sideline and was properly penalized for it. But as is required in athletics both teams had to seek revenge (mostly verbal), and Greenlaw got into it with several of the Eagles including Big Dom, clipping him in the face either because he was provoked or because he provided the provocation. Big Dom took a swipe in response because security guys don't turn the other cheek in such situations. They turn your cheek, and are willing to put both your eyes on the same side of your head if needs require.

In sum, Greenlaw was ejected for being that guy, and Big Dom was told he needed to leave because, well, because we suspect he looked like that guy. And he does look like that guy.

For a moment it seemed like a good trade for the Eagles, but in victory the 49ers truly are greater than the sum of their parts. Not to credit bookmakers' best customers with the power of clairvoyance, but the Eagles opened as 1.5-point favorites and by kickoff they were three-point underdogs. At home. With the best record. Without a catastrophic injury, that is a ridiculous statement, and as it turned out, an utterly defensible one. The wise guys don't get to be wise guys by betting the Iowa over.

But the Eagles still have the best record, and if they can navigate the next two weeks (at Dallas, at Seattle), they can be the No. 1 seed, and therefore host the conference final against the only other team anyone wants to see at this point. Sure the Eagles have a longstanding rivalry with the Cowboys, but Big Dom has never gotten into it with a Cowboy. He shows up for the big ones, and the 49ers are the big one. 

So we have a rooting interest now, and it's 49ers-Eagles, or Eagles-49ers depending on your biases. Or, to whittle this down to its essentials, Big Dom–Whoever You Got. It's the one position where we absolutely know the Eagles have the upper hand.

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