Mike Singletary's seminal moment came when he announced – with thunder in his voice – that he wouldn't tolerate selfish players on his team.
His "I want winners speech" instantly endeared him to 49ers fans. It was loud. It was honest. It was direct. It was the opposite of the say-nothing-at-all-times coachspeak that pervades the NFL.
It signaled that he wouldn't suffer fools and would act decisively when his players acted foolishly. And it helped him remove "interim" from his job title. After that game, the 49ers committed fewer penalties, played better and won five of their last eight contests. It showed that when Mike Singletary opens his mouth, people listen. It's his gift.
So why isn't Singletary saying much of anything today? His first-round draft pick, Michael Crabtree has missed 45 consecutive practices and has threatened, albeit through intermediaries, to sit out the season so that he can re-enter the 2010 draft. Talk about a guy who's "not sold out to be part of this team." Crabtree is committing the ultimate selfish act.