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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


My Niners Are Dead

Jan 17, 2015 at 7:31 AM


"All of this is part of why I'm so proud to be a part of this and what's built. Joan in payroll. She's not only in payroll, Joan's my financial advisor. Joan's making sure I've got enough money in my 401K. You go on and on and on. Vilma at the front desk. You've got all of these wonderful people in the building. The boys downstairs making that great Mexican feast at Christmas. There's a whole lot that goes on inside this building that nobody knows about. So, with that, you really get an understanding and we all get an understanding of what we're a part of. So, I'm going to tell you, with me, with the football, I take all that."

I've told this story before, of course. But if you'd indulge me, I'd like to tell it one more time. I don't think I'll ever tell it again.

It goes like this: the Niners and I were born together, at the same instant.

I was only nine, and I hadn't gotten into sports. I didn't live near a big city, and my dad didn't root for any pro teams. An older cousin of mine was into the Steelers, like every other kid his age; he was sort of like a big brother to me, so I said I liked the Steelers too. I didn't know they were any good, and I never sat and watched them play. But their colors were cool, so I asked my dad for a Steelers school-bag. He got me one, and that was my involvement in sports.

Then, of course, Joe came along.

I was totally awestruck. He was more than merely a "sports hero"; he was a god, and I worshiped him. And when, just once, my faith wavered—oh, did he ever make me pay, in the cruelest, most spectacular way. When I ran upstairs crying, convinced that he couldn't drive 89 yards, he just went ahead and did it, capping it with the most famous play in the history of the world. And I missed it. Too late, my dad called me back downstairs. I saw the extra point go through, my mouth just hanging open in shock. And then the camera turned to Joe, who looked at me as if to say, "Stick with me, kid."

That's where it all began. For both the Niners and for me. I've loved them every moment since.

And until this week, they've loved me back.

"A lot of people say the speed of the game is the biggest difference between college and pro football. I happen to disagree. I think it's the speed of life. Young people with so much, so fast and being able to handle it and being able to channel it and having people around them to guide, to advise, to care. So, those factors there, which I will say was a big part of my interview and proactive approaches to things and things that our organization is doing and the ways things are going that way and that's exciting and it's all to benefit the players."

That's why I've had so much trouble, letting go of Walsh's Niners. Those are my Niners, the great Niners, what the Niners should always be. Walsh himself couldn't live forever, but his genius should, in the Niners today. Why should only other teams dip into his limitless coaching tree? Why should only other teams exploit his offensive innovations? Losing games is one thing; it's much worse to lose yourself, and that's what the Niners seemed to have done.

At the press conference "explaining" Jim Harbaugh's departure, Jed York finally seemed to get it. "I want a teacher," he said. "I think what made Bill Walsh so successful is that he was a great teacher. Whether that was players, or whether that was other coaches. When you look at his successful coaching tree, when you look at the 49ers Hall of Fame down the road, you want to say that as of 2012 or 2013, 29 of the 32 coaches of the NFL have either a direct or indirect relationship with Bill. That's what made this organization successful."

What was this, if not a recognition that the Niners indeed had lost their way? That the Niners themselves should return to that "successful coaching tree," to which Harbaugh had proven he didn't belong?

As Trent Baalke began the hiring process—which turned out to be as much a sham as the one by which he himself was hired—one prospect outshone the others. Indeed, Mike Shanahan was perfect: a true disciple of Walsh; the architect of the most prolific offense the Niners have ever had; and the "teacher" who singlehandedly converted Steve Young from a running quarterback, skittish in the pocket, to perhaps the greatest passer in the history of the league. Shanahan would've done the same with the Niners' new skittish quarterback, he would've given their offense a desperately needed overhaul, and he would've finally restored their glorious identity—all while keeping intact the league's best defensive staff. The prospect seemed too good to be true.

And, of course, it was.

"My X's and O's philosophy are quite simply you build a team to a scheme. You go into the draft, you go into free agency and you acquire…you're in the talent acquiring business, to a scheme, OK? And then I feel like the most thing is when that's over, now you have to do a 180. And now, see I look at it from a personnel to fit a scheme. So, I'm looking at that scheme and I'm trying to fit the pieces. We don't live in a perfect world, it's not a perfect science. Things happen. People aren't available. So, once we have that talent and we have those players, now we have to flip that and now we look at it, we want to take that scheme and fit it to the players. So to me, when you talk philosophical, that's the way in building your schematics and building your approach to teaching and your building blocks, that's where the…you have to have that latitude going in there to be able to… It's a structure. We stay within our structure, but you have to have that latitude to be able to adapt and adjust your schematics to fit the players. So, I hope that answers your question."

Obviously, Jim Tomsula was the choice all along, and all I can do is apologize. Once again, Baalke proved me wrong. I actually thought that Baalke's issue with Harbaugh was the same as mine: his offensive stubbornness. I actually thought that Baalke recognized the Niners' need for an offensive innovator (if not Shanahan, then perhaps Adam Gase, with whom Baalke dishonestly flirted). I actually wrote—don't worry, Boss!—that Baalke wouldn't be "dumb enough" to hire a coach as bad as Erickson, Nolan, or Singletary. And on all three counts, I was wrong.

You, my dear readers, were right. Baalke's issue was merely this: Harbaugh's refusal to kowtow to Baalke. Baalke had no interest in hiring a better coach, since a better coach would only be more self-assured. Instead he simply wanted a puppet. A man with "humility." A man who'd equate confidence not with skill but with "arrogance." A man without any vision of his own. A man who would do only what he was told.

A man who, when asked the most basic of coaching questions—what's your offensive philosophy?—would respond with such nonsensical gibberish that Baalke would have no choice but to save him: "I think somewhere in there, he said we're going to run the football."

Like any good ventriloquist, Baalke literally spoke for his puppet. (And what he said suggested no offensive innovation at all.)

The league pointed and laughed. At Tomsula, at Baalke, and at all of us.

"So, that's the first thing I learned. Second thing I learned is why not? Why not? Ok, why? Why not? Let's go. Let's do it. Take the step. Let's go. All in, OK? But don't be afraid to step in. Get up and look, step in. Jump in. Let's go. All in. The magic tricks and all the fluff and stuff in life and all those things, football and anything you're doing, outwork 'em. That's not just physical. That's not just physical. I mean outwork them mentally, physically. Outwork people. Earn it. Earn it. We all love people that earn it."

It's true, of course. We do love people who earn it. We love them because we can trust them with it. After all, if they don't earn it, they won't appreciate it. They won't feel any need to protect it. And eventually, they'll crush the dreams of the people who love it.

York didn't earn his job; he didn't do a thing to get it. Baalke didn't earn his job either; he was just in the office next door. And now, fittingly, they've given us Tomsula, not because he's qualified, but specifically because he isn't. If what we love are people who earn it, we certainly can't love anyone here.

That is to say, we can't love these Niners. As much as it hurts, we simply can't.

"I'm going to apologize to Jed. That was a remedial example that I made. I'm sorry for that. But, you know just trying to make the point of doing the little things correctly."

Jed's the one who should apologize. I'm a Niner fan; I don't know how to be anything else. But I've never been this embarrassed to be one. Tomsula's obviously a nice guy; all the players seem to love him. And yeah, his job isn't to "win the press conference." But he had to know that the fans would have doubts. He had to know to be ready to meet them. And his failure was totally absolute. As the face of our franchise, he's so grossly ill-equipped that he simply can't be taken seriously.

Those years before Harbaugh were tough, of course. But this is indescribably worse. We'd survived those years. Just two years ago, we were five yards away from a Super Bowl title. All we needed was an innovative offense. Instead we're right back where we began. We'll have the same archaic O—Baalke's already guaranteed it—and now our defensive staff is gone. And the head coach, once again, is nothing but an empty shell.

I'd never lost hope that Walsh's Niners—the Niners I loved, the Niners I was born with—would find their way back and retake their place. Now I can't pretend anymore. Now my hope is gone for good. My Niners are gone, permanently. What was once the most feared, the most respected, the most admired franchise in all of sports is now a certified laughingstock, as it will be for years to come.

This is what York and Baalke have wrought. And I don't think I'll ever forgive them.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


205 Comments

  • leakyfausett
    Are they still dead? Just wondering
    Feb 22, 2015 at 5:17 PM
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  • jim
    Didnt know you owned the team. My team?
    Feb 22, 2015 at 11:24 AM
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  • CWeber
    For those SBL investors: if you want to sell your seats, go to strmarketing.com. I unloaded my SBL seats, listed two weeks ago, got purchased last week money transferred quickly. York and Baalke deserve a empty stadium. And... This doesn't mean I'm not a 49er fan, I am boycotting this ownership!
    Feb 17, 2015 at 7:22 AM
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  • Dallas Niner Fan
    Seems to me the super bowl proved the exact opposite, how many times did Brady throw the ball?
    Feb 9, 2015 at 7:16 AM
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  • Webzone Commenter
    Well the Super Bowl proved what me and Chris P understand, the way to win in the NFL is to rush the damn ball. THe Seahawks got down to the half yard line and then tried to get all fancy with beast mode in the backfield and threw a stupid pass instead of just running the ball in and winning the game. Passing is for losers and the Super Bowl proved it once and for all. Hopefuly with Coach Tomsula we can get back to doing what MIke Signeltery understood, you have to pound the rock. And pound it some more. Greg Roman said the 49ers could have led the league in rushing if he had wanted to, but I guess he didn't want to. That's sure smart. I'm glad that loser is finally gone and we can finally get back to winning Super Bowls again. And then maybe all these liberal media losers will realize how stupid they were in bashing our coach before a single game was played. Is it too much to ask to just wait and see how things turn out?
    Feb 6, 2015 at 12:57 PM
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  • Lucky Phil
    Baalke said yesterday It's a good thing Jed has a small penis because I wouldn't still be here if he didn't. #200.
    Feb 1, 2015 at 12:35 PM
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  • m singeltary
    All 49ers fans know that this franchise is in deep trouble. The last Lowell Cohn editorial spelled it out quite well. I feel bad for all 49ers fans but the group I feel most sad for are the people who bought season tickets. They put their money where their mouth is and got screwed by Baalke and the little York. This franchise wont be winning many games next year or in the near future. Those high priced tickets wont be wanted by anybody. You will soon be stuck. Like a bad marriage. Divorce will be expensive. So what choice will you have but try and stick it out. Try to be positive. The first scapegoat on this team will be Kaepernick. He will only be able to do so much. All of the blame will be on him to start. Then the blame will be spread around because the defense will rank somewhere in the middle 15-20th at best. The offense will rank at best 20th in the nfl. So where will that leave this team as a record?? In this division somewhere between 5 and 7 wins. Everyone try to stay positive but the truth is we will have to lose for a while until we have new leadership and that will take time.
    Jan 31, 2015 at 9:52 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Good riddance, Chris P. Please just go away. For your parting shot, you were wrong again. Kaplan was actually pretty positive through most of the Harbaugh era. Remember stuff like this? http://www.49erswebzone.com/commentary/1243-look-out-seattle-niners-coming/ And nothing is good enough for him? Is what's going on right now good enough for you? I guess so. As for the article "slamming" Tomsula, you'll see that the article is really directed at York and Baalke. Your reading comprehension skills appear to be at the same level as your spelling. And which players are "slammed" in this column? I must have missed that part. Don't let the door hit you on your way out, Chris.
    Jan 30, 2015 at 11:52 AM
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  • Dallas Niner Fan
    Chris P. To me saying that Niner fans are classless and whiners like you have stated, is getting your point across by being in your words "a jackass". But go ahead and take your toys and go home and good riddance.
    Jan 30, 2015 at 8:11 AM
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  • Chris P.
    Terry, you and Dallas just don't get it so I'll leave you with this. Of course we all will agree and disagree with things that coaches, players, and people in the front office do and you're all free to express that I have no problem with that. But have some class. unfortunately, we live in the Skip Bayless shock jock era and Kaplan has succumbed to that. Go back and look at just about every headline over the last three years that he has put out and I'm willing to bet most of them have been negative. Nothing is good enough for Kaplan. And some of you come on here and applaud him for writing this stuff. If you didn't agree with Mike Singletary I'm fine with that but there is a way to get your opinion across without being a prick about it. Dallas, I don't agree with the Tomsula hire. And I hate what Jed and Baalke just did with Harbaugh. But, I can get my point across without being a jackass. Or writing some article that slams a head coach before he's even had a chance to prove himself. So, keep high-fiving each other for your little nicknames in here and keep trashing players. I'm outta here. Go Niners.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 8:10 PM
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  • K Wells
    The Niners rise from the ashes has been steady since we went 2-14. BTW, here we go again but I want to show you a pattern. Niners hired Nolan and the guy he put In at General manager ( Scot McCloughan ) ended up getting Nolan fired. Scot promoted Singltary, Singletary got him fired. Singletary promoted Baalke and Baalke got Singletary fired. Had Harbaugh followed the pattern and had Baalke walked. We wouldn't have been in this mess. These are the rules of this dogss hit eat dogss hit organization.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 12:35 PM
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  • Lucky Phil
    Reports are the Niners are making a big move bringing back one of the best coaches we have had in Niner forklore.....Mike Dingleberry. Jed "Flaccid" Cork confirmed it today, The Niners are happy to announce the return of Mike Dingleberry as the new OC. Why? The price was right. Mike doesn't work for money, he works for God.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 11:51 AM
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  • Terry B.
    From Walter Football: "It's amazing how incompetent the 49ers have become. They had one of the top three head coaches in the NFL, an offensive guru who has gotten the most out of mediocre quarterbacks, and the front office has transformed that into a line coach who is now calling all the shots and a new coordinator who has no positive experience at the position. Geep Chryst was the offensive coordinator of the Chargers in 1999 and 2000. His offenses ranked 26th and 28th, and he was fired after the 2000 campaign in which San Diego went 1-15. Chryst has since had time off and served as a positional coach for various teams, including the quarterbacks' coach for San Francisco. The 49er players are reportedly dismayed by this promotion, and it's easy to see why. The team made a cheap hire, as Chryst is another "yes man." Chryst has done nothing to deserve this job, as he failed to develop Colin Kaepernick. It's a shame to see this proud franchise decay into oblivion, but that's exactly what's happening because both ownership and the front office are so incompetent."
    Jan 29, 2015 at 11:15 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Chris P.: I'm not mad because you called me out. I think it's kind of fun, actually. What's more fun than being called out by an idiot and a liar who spells below a third grade level? Look, go ahead and make up whatever lies you want. The Seahawks had the tenth most efficient passing offense, and Houston was nineteenth. And I love your "two eyes" argument. All of the stats blow you out of the water, so you rely on your eyes. Get a new pair of glasses. The Seahawks ran well and played great defense before making Russell Wilson the QB. Once he became the starter, they became the best team in the league. It's been proven over and over again that executing your passing game well is the key to winning in the NFL. Nothing is more strongly correlated to winning. And Seattle executes its passing game very well. Why in the world shouldn't SF go down the path that leads to success? Even an idiot like Greg Roman realizes this. He just said yesterday, in an obvious shot at Baalke, that the 49ers could have led the league in rushing every year, but that you don't win that way. But Baalke thinks you do, so here we are. I can't wait to watch this unfold next year.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 8:45 AM
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  • Dallas Niner Fan
    So thank God we have Chris P to keep us honest. He is the Holy Grail of calling us out and keeping us in line. What a guy. Funny how he says he doesn't like the new coach or York or Balkke, but damn those others fans who feel the same way. So please oh mighty one clarify, which is it do you love em or hate em? Thank God we have the patron saint of football to keep us right. As for me Chris P I prefer to "call out" as you put it, people who say that Niner Fans have no class than to trash people who have a legitimate opinion.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 7:45 AM
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  • baakle must go
    Predictions for this season: The 49ers defense will give up more points and yards and rank outside of the top 12 in total team defense. Mangini will be gone after the season. The 49er offense will continue to struggle as long as Kapernick is the starting QB. His passing accuracy will continue as his QB rating drops further. (He alone was the reason the 49ers struggled on offense this past season - just ask G. Roman.) Kapernick will re replaced as the starter by mid-season. Tomsula will be made the scapegoat for a losing season instead of Baalke. Jed York will not have the guts to replace Baalke and the 49ers will continue to self-destruct. The once proud 49er nation will become the laughing stock of the NFC West. The release of J. Haubaugh and the subsequent team downfall will continue to haunt York. York will start to sense that maybe just maybe he retained the wrong person(Baalke instead of Haubaugh) all too late. Baalke will not resign. The 49ers will continue to struggle to acquire a decent coaching staff as long as Baalke is the GM. The 49er Faithful are in for another dreadful and painfully sad season thanks to Jed York. BAALKE MUST GO...PLEASE!!
    Jan 29, 2015 at 2:57 AM
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  • Chris P.
    Alright, this is a lost cause there Skip Bayless. Ryan Fitzpatrick is ranked higher in passing efficiency than Russ so I suppose your going to come out with another stat to try and tell me he is a better QB. Anybody with two eyes can watch the Seahawks and tell you they do not win thru the air. Just like you can watch the Packers, Colts, and pre Week 14 Broncos and say they throw it everywhere and win primarily by throwing it. Do they all mix it up? Of course, but don't tell me the be all and end all of all successful teams is their passing when there are teams that have done it differently and had success with it. But your missing the point, holy crap, your missing the point. The point is you and your boys can't come on here and trash people, players, and coaches and have nobody call you out. Don't be mad because I've called you out.
    Jan 28, 2015 at 6:18 PM
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  • Ed
    It's simple! The "boneheaded" decisions made by the two top ass clowns of this this organization this going to put my beloved 49er's back into the dungeon. But, who cares right Jed? You got what you wanted… the Faithful Fan's to buy into that piece of crap stadium with crappy parking and you not having answer to any of the problems. That's about par for the course. Another SB that the host city won't be in… Dumbass's!
    Jan 28, 2015 at 11:43 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Chris P.: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. The true sign of a statistical moron: someone who uses counting stats rather than efficiency stats. What decade are you living in? Seahawks were top 10 in passing efficiency, and Wilson was a top 10 passing QB. Chris, please give it up. You are not worthy of this discussion, and every time you post you just dig yourself a deeper hole. However, I do appreciate that you've now given me solid proof of what I suspected all along: you simply have no idea what you're talking about.
    Jan 28, 2015 at 8:51 AM
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  • Chris P.
    As for Terry here are your stats...Seahawks ranked 27th in passing this season. They are ranked #1 in rushing. So, no they do not win thru the air. They win by playing defense and running the football. That's the third time I've had to tell you that. Wilson's rating of 95 was two better than Alex Smith of 93 and they both averaged 7 yds per completion. Wilson threw for 200 yards more than Smith. Look at the stats last three years...eerily similar. Wilson out throws Smith by about the same amount every year minus his half season when he was bounced by Kap. That's the same Alex Smith you guys trashed on this site and yet you're praising Wilson they're statistically very similar QB. Now before you freak out, I'm not saying Smith is better I'm merely comparing the two and trying to show you that your stats don't tell the whole story and the Seahawks have found a different and effective way to win.
    Jan 27, 2015 at 11:14 PM
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  • Chris P.
    Dallas...this is literally the second article I've read all season by Kaplan. Don't know why really lol. But, what happens is Kaplan just writes trash. He trashes coaches and players and then guys like Terry B applaud him. They are so smug behind a keyboard and can't even throw a spiral. Just like most sportswriters which is why guys like Kaplan drive me so nuts. But, I can't stay away for some reason lol. So, I feel like calling him out and fans like Terry. Nothing is ever good enough for Niner fans. All I told Terry was I don't think Seattle is necessarily a passing team. They win a different sort of way which is similar to how SF was winning the first couple years of Harbaugh's reign. I don't hate Wilson but I don't think he's as good as people think. So, chill out and take a deep breath. I'm a Niner fan thru and thru who calls out fans like Terry and you and writers like Kaplan.
    Jan 27, 2015 at 9:01 PM
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  • baalke must go
    What is Jed York thinking? Last year: Jim Haubaugh (best coach since Walsh) Fangio (top 5 defense) Roman(stuck w/ inaccurate passing QB & weak OL). This year: Tomsula (no NFL head coaching experience) Mangini (last def. coordinator job w/ Pats -team ranked bottom 10 in league)?? Off Coordinator - no decent coach wants the job w/ the the two bozos running the team. Can you all read the writing on the wall? York and Baalke have now created an environment that rivals the Redskins...And we all know what happened to the Redskins. Baalke must go!
    Jan 27, 2015 at 2:09 PM
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  • dallas niner fan
    Chris P. So you say us Niner fans have no class? Your the biggest whiner on this site. You cry about Jeff, you cry about Niner fans being whiners. But I see you on this site all the time. Whats up with that? Not only that but as Terry B. has pointed out you have no facts to back up your ridiculous conclusions. We are the ones who admire the Walsh years when this team had some excellence and integrity and you say we have no class? Quite your whining and go log onto some Seahawk website.
    Jan 27, 2015 at 11:46 AM
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  • Mike
    Hey Geoff, I used to loathe you, but this is the best article I have ever read. I am embarrassed to be a 49er fan right now. So, who's next in line for OC? Jimmy Raye still around?
    Jan 27, 2015 at 8:25 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Chris P.: You are a moron of nearly epic proportions. You've failed to support your arguments with anything, because there's nothing to support them. Wow, one bad game undoes everything else a player has accomplished? I guess Peyton Manning is a terrible passer, too, just like Wilson. Your stupidity is so brazen and overwhelming, one barely knows where to begin. Here are Wilson's stats. Notice all the marks of a great passer, the completion percentage, TD to int. ratio, yards per attempt. It's all there. http://www.nfl.com/player/russellwilson/2532975/careerstats ProFootballFocus has pointed out that Wilson is a top 5 QB when you include rushing, but only drops to no. 9 when you just include passing. ColdHardFootballFacts noted that after his second season he was second all time in passer rating and average per pass attempt for a player's first two seasons. All time, Chris. Chris, it's YOU who are a poor excuse for a Niner fan. What can possibly be worse than a homer who has to make up lies about Russell Wilson to make himself feel better? That sure is a classy thing to do.
    Jan 27, 2015 at 8:24 AM
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  • Chris P.
    That article was before his 4 INT effort last week buddy, I'm sure that didn't help. Haha, wow you're a piece of work bro. Poor excuse for a Niner fan man. Which isn't a surprise because Niner fans in general...including the guy who wrote this article just have no class anymore.
    Jan 26, 2015 at 10:20 PM
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  • Terry B.
    Idiot. http://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/goska/2015/01/16/wilson-tops-rodgers-starr-best-postseason-passer/21896791/
    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:52 PM
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  • Chris P.
    See what I mean Terry? You get a little upset when people disagree with you. Calm down. You sometimes need to put your personal feelings for Kaplan aside and actually read what I wrote. I told you I don't like the Tomsula hire and I'm not thrilled about the direction he wants to take the offense. And I think Harbaugh knew that which is why he wanted to start going away from that and throw it more but this team is not the Packers. They aren't built to air it out and they've had success with being more smashmouth the previous three years. As far as Wilson goes, save the name calling and watch a Seahawk game. I don't care what the stats say, Russell Wilson is a mess. He literally runs arounds and chucks balls downfield and three or four times a game somebody catches it. The rest of the time his defense gives him great field position or Lynch gashes somebody. Now, I do agree that the more successful teams are or have been passing teams but you cannot tell me Seattle is one of them. They are run first, play great defense, and let Wilson make a play. That's how they win and they're doing it successfully so all I'm saying is there is another way to win in the NFL.
    Jan 26, 2015 at 9:34 AM
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  • K Wells
    If you say this is the first time they betrayed you i have to call you out. You know that when they didnt pay Garcia, let rice go to Oakland, discredited T.O., signed a broken Ahmed Plummer to a bogus major deal while secretly dumping all of our roster, some of those players still play in the NFL on great teams. And the biggest fauxpaw of all... firing a 10-6 mariucci to hire a an all time 50% wpct coach in dennis erickson. I used to cry on this forum until oscar or some other sellout barred me. I am not a troll, I have more niners history and knowledge than 99% of these followers but i do tell the truth as you do. But to say that this is the first time..... nope. its been done before. 9 years winning hiatus. lets hope this one is shorter.
    Jan 25, 2015 at 7:49 PM
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  • Terry B.
    Chris P., last weekend the team that outrushed the other lost 3 of 4 games. The stats show that nothing is more strongly correlated with winning in the NFL than passing well. You can look it up if you don't believe me. The list of the greatest passing teams in league history is a list of some of the greatest teams the league has ever seen. The list of the greatest rushing teams in league history looks like a list of average teams that you picked at random. So, what gives you the best chance of being a successful franchise, building a team that runs well or building a team that passes well? If you say the former, you're even dumber than you already appear to be. If you really want to just win, as you say, then build a team that is likely to do so. I don't know why you would somehow think that hiring an illiterate hedgehog is the way to get there. As for your nitwit comments about the Seahawks, Russell Wilson is the 10th highest rated passer in the NFL, and he's no. 8 overall in yards per attempt, which is the stat most strongly correlated with winning in the NFL, but, no, Wilson isn't a great passing QB. You have to be pretty bad to be a top 10 QB in the NFL. Idiot.
    Jan 25, 2015 at 4:20 PM
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  • Chris P.
    Wow Terry B we already know you agree with anything Kaplan writes and if anybody disagrees then they're a bunch of misguided homers. For you to say check the analytics on how passing wins in the NFL is a bit ignorant when the Seattle Seahawks are about to win two SB's in a row. And don't try to tell me Russell Wilson is a great passing QB, he literally makes two or three plays a game in the air. The rest of the game he is getting bailed out by his defense and Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks have found a formula that wins. Now, I'm not saying I particularly like it and I'm not thrilled about Tomsula. I don't like Baalke and Jed has no spine. I also think you and Jeff along with the rest of the front office live in fairytale land if you think Bill Walsh is out there. There is no, nor will there ever be, amother Bill Walsh so stop looking for him. Walsh said he thought the next great SF coach was Harbaugh...and he was right! Now he's gone and we are starting from scratch because they want to win a certain way...how about you just WIN!
    Jan 25, 2015 at 12:40 PM
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  • Flaccid Penis In Shoes
    My Two Incher Is Dead
    Jan 24, 2015 at 6:12 PM
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  • Ed
    I'm so... disappointed with the Senior Leadship of 49er's. A bunch of ass clowns with Jed York as the ring leader. Jed York is full of crap. I want hold him accountable for being such a dumbass.
    Jan 24, 2015 at 3:21 PM
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  • tom
    Mr. B you certainly do seem to like your fetish allusions. No doubt a big Pulp Fiction fan as well
    Jan 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM
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  • kd
    I've always deeply respected your opinion... but it' a shame you drank the kool-aid (along with most everyone else) on this one.... I disagree 100%.... now ask me 12months from now, and maybe then, I will jump on the bandwagon... until then... WE SHOULD ALL WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS .... **** i don't get you guys.... IF the 49ers have a great season next year some of you folks need to forfeit your fan pass..... ohh well, time will tell
    Jan 23, 2015 at 8:06 PM
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  • Joe
    your an idiot....
    Jan 22, 2015 at 8:21 AM
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  • mark
    I didn't run upstairs thinking Joe couldn't do it... I watched in awe as he marched them down to victory, but that was also the moment I became a die hard. You are right, the niners made the dumbest choice they could have made. They wanted the YES man they could control and they let a lot of great coaches leave in the process. But they will never be dead to me and every year I will hope they regain their former glory no matter how dire it may seem. Good article... And good riddance to you if you abandon them this time.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 10:50 PM
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  • Dallas Niner Fan
    OK, one more time for all you slow learners out there; Here are the decisions the Niners could of made: 1. Give Harbaugh one of the winnest coaches in NFL history and most of his staff one of the best in the NFL another shot. 2. Hire Shanahan a offensive guru with a winning record while keeping the defense staff in place, again one of the best staffs in the NFL. 3. Hire a head coach with some level of NFL credentials either as head coach or coordinator. 4. Do what they did. Fire Hargaugh because as one ESPN commentator said because "Niner Management was not comfortable having a beer with him after work." and hire a coach with little head coaching experience and no coordinator experience even though position coaches with little head coaching experience at any level and no coordinator experience in the NFL rarely if ever are successful. Decimate the very successful coaching staff. Now I challenge anyone given the options above can make a case that the Niners made a good decision. (#4) That's the bottom line folks.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 11:28 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Tom, for someone who purports not to like Kaplan's articles, you sure spend a lot of time on this page. Me, I don't typically spend much time on webpages that I don't like. Perhaps you're a masochist? Since you seem poised to wear the ball gag and leather for Jed, that makes sense. If you like the ground and pound offense so much and don't care for explosiveness, I suggest that you spend some time reading the advanced analytics and learn for yourself which is strongly correlated to winning in the NFL, rushing well or passing well. I'll give you a hint: it's not the former. Oddly, you seem to identify the problem: "York and Baalke rolled the dice," but then you are strangely unable to understand the criticism.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:38 AM
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  • Tom
    Putting an awful lot of words in my mouth there Mr. B. I don't think I actually said any of what you are attributing to me. Quite honestly to me it's just a game. I like to see them win but I don't particularly care how they do it. I really liked the ground and pound of Harbaugh's first couple of years. Run, the ball, play tough defense, control the clock and I thought it was a mistake to turn the team over to Kaepernick when the did. But for people like Kaplan, and you presumably, winning was never enough. He was always crying about a lack of "explosiveness" and saying how boring it was to watch them. As Steve Young once so famously said, playing in SF you can't just win, you have to earn style points as well. Which is why everybody refers to the team's fans as 40 whiners. I think it is well deserved. As for York and Baalke I don't really have an opinion of them either way. They're clearly rolling the dice with Tomsula and I hope it doesn't come back and bite the team in the ass. Only time will tell.
    Jan 21, 2015 at 2:14 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Right, Tom, why in the world would Jeff, Dallas, Zach, or any other fan want to continue the legacy established by Bill Walsh? The fans who fell in love with the team because of its offensive innovations, true commitment to excellence, etc.,--why in the world should they want the team to adhere to THAT vision? You see, a true fan like yourself doesn't care about any of that. Hire your coaches out of monetary considerations only? Hire coaches who cannot articulate ANY vision? Sounds great to Tom! What a true fan Tom is. Those with no standards are the true fans! Tom will happily bend over and accept whatever Jed has to offer.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 1:11 PM
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  • Tom
    Terry B. I think you are the one missing the point. If you have suffered through reading the majority of Kaplan's articles you would see that in his mind there is no difference between THE 49ers and HIS 49ers, in his mind they are one in the same. So unless the team adheres to precisely his vision of what they should be he will put on the hair shirt and start singing his songs of lament. It's actually really tiresome. I don't know why I bother to read him quite frankly.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 12:21 PM
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  • Zach Ameen
    Don't buy season tickets. Balke and York should consider merging 49ers with Raiders with same ownership mentality. I predicted that next coach will be a 3 million dollar coach with cheaply paid assistants. York is all about money and not about pride.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 11:18 AM
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  • Dallas Niner Fan
    Jeff, great article. Even though you and I don't agree about Harbaugh, I don't think that either of us in our worst nightmares could of predicted this disaster by the Niner front office nuthouse. You know, a lot of 49er fans just don't get it, this is not about jumping on and off the Niner band wagon, or about supporting your team thru thick or thin and winning or losing. Its about trying to support an organization that has a front office that is back stabbing, political and just plain makes bad decisions. How can I support an organization that fires employees because they are too old and won't make a good impression on Silicon executives? You kidding me? Jeff, you might not hear from me in a while, I may change my mind but I am looking for another NFL team to root for and for those of you that criticize fans like me, Jeff and other fans on this site for being fair whether fans I submit that we are the real fans. We love our team so much that we care about the direction the organization is going and we can't stand to bear more of the pain now and in the future. Its not about the players its about the lack of leadership and the ethics of upper management and ownership.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 7:35 AM
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  • Terry B.
    Carolyn, you (and about 80% of the posters here) missed the entire point of the article. Read it again, starting with the title. Jeff didn't say THE Niners are dead, he said that HIS Niners were dead. The article is about loss of identity. Unless anyone here is prepared to argue that turning the franchise over to this man who no one else wanted as head coach and who cannot string two coherent sentences together is continuing the legacy established by Bill Walsh, then I don't see how anyone can disagree with the article's thesis. It does, however, require reading above a third grade level, which, sadly, few people here are able to do.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 5:11 AM
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  • Carolyn Padgett
    I totally agree with your feelings about York and Baalke. They are much more concerned about how they are viewed and are not concerned about what is best for the 49ers or the fans. I do, however, disagree with your statement that the 49ers are dead. What about the players? Is turning your back on the team the answer? Those men on that team continue to deserve our support. The 49ers do not cease to be just because two knuckleheads are in charge. If anything, this teams needs it's fans more than ever. Your attitude suggests that it's all about you. Quite frankly, it is not. I also fondly remember the days of Walsh and Montana. The 49ers had a long dry spell before and after them. So what? Did you give up on them then? Apparently not. So why now? Also, the laughing stock in the 49ers are the two clowns at the top. Please don't lump the players in with them. I think that you are doing a great disservice to the team. I don't know what next season will bring, but I do know that I will be supporting my team as always and praying that the Yorks sell the team to someone who understands the game and supports the team.
    Jan 20, 2015 at 12:52 AM
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  • Nick S.
    From here on out, I refuse to read any of your further articles where you write yourself into the story. This isn't supposed to be your autobiography Kaplan, and Bill Walsh isn't your late grandfather... last time I checked.
    Jan 19, 2015 at 8:27 PM
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  • Pump the Brakes
    Mr. Kaplan, you never learned the lesson Joe taught you, we haven't even hired an OC and you've already decided our Offense un-imaginative? Don't run upstairs crying just yet. Tomsula might be exactly what we needed(along with Chud). This past year I watched some pretty un-inspired football, that's where Tomsula is perfect.
    Jan 19, 2015 at 7:52 PM
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  • Rfern
    @steve terry Donahue was also smarter than you and me!! Rolling with Nolan baby!!
    Jan 19, 2015 at 7:11 PM
    0
  • snoopy
    Shouldn't have gotten rid of Alex Smith
    Jan 19, 2015 at 7:04 PM
    0

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