Dear Mr. Joseph Andrew Staley,

For all the San Francisco 49ers fans who had the pleasure to watch you chucking pass rushers aside for the past 13 years while donning the red and gold, allow me to simply say thank you.

The decision to retire when the team is so close to completing the quest for six must have been difficult. You will find no ill will here. You've been a reliable and stabilizing force on the 49ers for more than a decade.

Who can forget the ridiculous block you made in the 2012 NFC Championship game? A game changing block nearly 20 yards downfield! I know you're getting up there in years so I included the play below just in case you don't remember.


Maybe no other left tackle in history could make that block. That's no hyperbole. Your speed downfield was special and made a gusty play like this possible. Thank you for the hustle on that play in particular.

You made six Pro Bowls in your time with the 49ers. Thank you for each and every one of those stellar seasons. Thank you for the seven other seasons as well.

Thank you for showing football doesn't have to be so serious at all times. The Joe Show was a must watch because it was great comedy. Pat McAfee has got nothing on you.

Thank you for playing through injuries. It is being reported you are retiring in part due to the accumulations of them.

The sacrifices you made with your body won't go away completely upon retirement. I have met retired linemen and seen the havoc all the jabs and punches to disrupt pass rushers cause.

Thank you for playing with those and thank you for paying that price for years to come. Hopefully the nose straightens back out.

Thank you for the blocks that made Frank Gore's career so consistent. He brought a lot of brightness to some very dark years for the 49ers and your blocks played a big part in that.

Thank you for the 26 career receiving yards. You should have gotten more passes thrown your way! You could have been the best receiver to come out of Central Michigan instead of that Antonio Brown guy.

Thank you for sticking with the team when things fell apart following the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. You stuck around and helped bridge the gap between winning seasons. You were the connection that tied the past with the present and that has provided the team a bright future.

Finally, as a fellow Mid-American Conference graduate (Ball State), thank you for representing the MAC like a champ.

Speaking of that, I'm sorry you didn't get your ring. You certainly deserved one. Hopefully the 49ers give you a place in the Ring of Honor. They should do so immediately. Have the ceremony at the first home game at which fans are allowed.

They should also retire your number despite already being tied with the New York Giants for the most in the league (12). The number 74 should be as synonymous to you as No. 16 to Joe Montana or No. 80 to Jerry Rice.

Goodbye Joe, you will be missed
  • Levin T. Black
  • Written by:
    A graduate of Ball State University in 2009, Levin was a full-time sports journalist for a few years until he transitioned into a more lucrative career. He began writing for Webzone in 2018 in order to scratch his journalist itch.