Mike Singletary during a 16-14 loss to the Falcons on Oct. 3. (AP/Dave Martin)

Just in case you’re doing a little post-Christmas catching up like I am, here once again is the video of Mike Singletary and Troy Smith jawing at each other after Smith threw an interception on Sunday.

Singletary, of course, lost that argument: He was fired; Smith remains with the team. Today on the Chronicle’s Niner Insider blog, Kevin Lynch wrote about players’ mixed feelings about Singletary’s axing:

Singletary impugned the character of Nate Davis in the preseason, he questioned the leadership of Alex Smith, he never gave David Carr a chance, and called an in-game switch from Alex Smith to Troy Smith “horrendous.” He also switched quarterbacks on a whim, highlighting them as THE problem on offense. Troy Smith’s explosion at Singletary characterized the quarterbacks’ loss of respect for their head coach.

For the rest of the team, Singletary’s firing seemed to elicit sadness. Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois talked about a pall that settled over the locker room; he said players didn’t even want to talk about the Singletary firing. Full post

One thing you can say about Singletary: The force of his personality at least caused a few cultural ripples. His post-game rant on the subject of tight end Vernon Davis caused a stir, and David Letterman has made a Singletary impersonator the subject of a regular bit.

From today’s Sacramento Bee:

…so intense was Singletary, fired Sunday as head coach of the 49ers, and the words that would tumble out of him, he verbally affected careers.

In New York, Art Kelly had to be disappointed. His running bit as Singletary parrying with Letterman has been a “Late Show” staple. Letterman would ask basic questions about upcoming games and Kelly, as Singletary, would run off nonsensical, disconnected and random coach-speak, or sometimes just some verbal insanity. “Eight men in the box!” could be as fine an answer as “We’ve been practicing outdoors!”

The parody sprung from ex-coach Sing’s intense in-game confrontations and postgame rants, although a tamer, more subdued Singletary had been showing up lately. He deflected with, “I have to look at the film” so often, you wondered if he actually watched the game.

Check out videos of Letterman’s Singletary segments here. And watch a video summary of Singletary’s tenure and a discussion about his personality and style at NFL.com.

On Sunday, Singletary finished No. 18 on Google Trends, sandwiched between “Santa Anita Race Track” and “snow cream recipe.”

So it goes…

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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