Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Grudging Garoppolo: Why the National Media Should Stop Sneering and Believe

Dec 10, 2019 at 10:16 AM2


The fact Jimmy Garoppolo receives so little love from the national media remains one of the sports world's greater mysteries. There's always an excuse, packaged as a "rationale," that the media uses to explain why Garoppolo didn't do as well as it seems.

He has a great defense, therefore, he's no good.

He has a great running game, therefore, he's benefiting from the success of others.

He threw for 300 yards against a porous defense, therefore, he must not be legit.

The stark reality is Jimmy Garoppolo is good. The national media simply refuses to acknowledge that. He's a winner, and, although that isn't technically a quarterback stat as much as a team stat, consider this: the 49ers tried for two seasons to win without him and failed.

He was nowhere to be seen in 2017 before a blockbuster trade married him to his current club. After an experiment with two losing quarterbacks, Garoppolo took over a pallid 49ers offense with astounding results. The 49ers, trapped in the doldrums of defeat, found the offensive shot in the arm they needed, and they began winning with their new quarterback.

The next year ushered in much more hope as 2018 promised an incredible season. Armed with a new contract and a firmer knowledge of the New York City phone book they call "Shanahan's playbook," the future looked bright. But it was not to be. Garoppolo started the season in a slump and then blew out his ACL a few games into the season, casting doubt on his future. The results were predictable. The 49ers reprised their losing ways, and the season sank with a Titanic splash.

There were certainly more than a few reasons why 2018 fell through. However, one thing can't be denied: the 49ers fared better with Garoppolo steering the ship than they did without him as the team produced a putrid 4-12 record.

As the 2019 season dawned, it seemed the previous debacle of a season soured the national media on the 49er franchise. Not only did media gurus question Kyle Shanahan's coaching acumen, but pundits started picking on Garoppolo as well, questioning which quarterback would show: the 2017 face of the franchise or the 2018 turnover machine.

Another slow start didn't help Garoppolo's case. To many he seemed tentative as he tested his newly repaired knee. The corrosion of a lost season produced inaccuracy and turnovers that led many to label him as a glorified "game manager" and the 49ers as frauds.

But as the season progressed, a strange thing happened the pundits couldn't explain. Regardless of how Garoppolo did, the 49ers won. This led to a renewed effort to discredit the quarterback with accusations of simply winning on the back of a great defense and running game while producing wins against inferior opponents. Jimmy G couldn't win for losing.

Then the true test appeared: teams of championship mettle, stretching like a scorching desert all the way to the end of the season. After losing a squeaker on a missed field goal from a rookie replacement kicker, the diatribe continued as Garoppolo struggled mightily against a stout Seahawks defense. There was no way he or the 49ers could handle playoff-bound teams. A tough win against the Cardinals the next week didn't do much to help Garoppolo's case despite the fact he threw for four touchdowns and 424 yards, putting him in elite company with Joe Montana and Steve Young. The critics just wouldn't relent.

However, Garoppolo worked his magic once more as the 49ers butchered the Packers in a game critics predicted would derail the 49ers' playoff hopes. Garoppolo proved an efficient passer as he threw for 253 yards on only 20 attempts with two touchdowns. Several pundits quickly pounced with the "fact" that the Packers were simply "dysfunctional" and not really as good as their record indicated. And, hey, it was all about the defense anyway. Right?

A loss to the Ravens only fanned the flames. How could the 49ers ever hope to do anything in the post-season if Garoppolo couldn't win against one of the best teams in the NFL? Better yet, why even think Garoppolo would make it there at all? With Drew Brees and a stout Saints defense looming, many critics declared doom for Garoppolo and the 49ers.

And then it happened – the epiphany 49ers fans had waited for all season. Garoppolo fought toe-to-toe, blow-for-blow for a gritty win in a scoring slug fest against a future Hall of Fame quarterback. For every touchdown Brees threw, Jimmy G matched it. It was only fitting that the last team with the ball won, and the last man standing in the football version of a bare-knuckle brawl was Garoppolo.

This all leads to one conclusion the critics can't contest: the 49ers are a better team when Garoppolo plays. He's leading the 49ers back to the playoffs and has a chance to win it all, despite what some may say. The 49ers' winning ways can't be completely attributed to Garoppolo, but all this certainly points to the fact that he has a knack for winning. That should silence any scorners who try to toy with the idea that Jimmy G isn't any good.

It's time for the national media to lend a little more love to Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • Written by:
    Bill has written for a wide variety of online publications, ranging in topics from academics and education to life management and public speaking. He has also written for regional publications. However, one burning passion drives him more than most others: his obsessive loyalty to the 49ers franchise. Practically born into it, he bleeds red and gold. He also enjoys public speaking and talking about himself in the third person.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


2 Comments

  • Tony
    remember one thing. it's the national media who hyped Jimmy G. up IN THE 1ST PLACE !!!!!!
    Dec 16, 2019 at 7:28 PM
    1
  • Rick Reulecke
    I always enjoy reading your articles and this one, was the best of them all! Nicely written sir! Thank you.
    Dec 12, 2019 at 5:50 AM
    1
    Response: Thank you for your kind words.

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