Dieter Kurtenbach: The 49ers lead the NFL in dudes. That makes them the team to beat.

Dieter Kurtenbach, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In football, there is no higher compliment than “dude.”

On the field, a dude combines skill and physicality, toughness and speed.

They’re not just big. That’d be a hoss. They’re not just athletes, either.

No, these guys are the whole package. I’m talking about the kind that will run right through an opponent and leave his teammates in the dust.

I’m talking about the kind of player that will force you up and out of your seat.

The kind of player that makes you, a fan, grunt in glee at the TV.


Dudes are the reason we love this ridiculous, dangerous, beautiful game.

And the Niners lead the NFL in dudes.

That might not be a stat you can find in a spreadsheet — and don’t go looking for the position in fantasy football — but it’s wildly evident on the field. It’s showing up in the standings, too.

There’s a downright preponderance of dudes in Santa Clara, folks, and for my money, that makes the Niners the league’s team to beat.


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