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Maybe 49ers Fans Don’t Deserve Garoppolo

Gilbert Brink
Nov 23, 2020 at 7:46 AM

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Face it, most of you don't deserve QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, you, the ones who spend your entire weekend pining over other QBs and lamenting the one the 49ers currently have as QB1. The spoiled, ungrateful brats of the 49ers fanbase who cannot find it in them to show any appreciation for the man they call Jimmy G. Fans like these make a situation insufferable for a player dedicating his life and body to the team.

As Garoppolo spends his weeks working his way back from another high-ankle sprain, many 49ers fans are fantasizing about how to replace him. This isn't a foreign concept for the 49ers. No QB is ever good enough for this fanbase. Steve Young can attest to this from his experience in the early 90s. He was never going to be Joe, and that was a big problem for a good amount of the fanbase. No matter how well he performed, he never got the seal of approval until he won the Super Bowl in 1995.

Ever since Young left this franchise, there's been a contingent of fans who have become completely spoiled by the Joe/Steve dynamic of yesteryear. This fanbase has run any good QB out of town because he isn't the very best. It's a never-ending, self-defeating cycle that is frustrating to watch. In the early 2000s, QB Jeff Garcia put up some of the best statistical seasons in 49ers history, but his arm strength wasn't the best. He wasn't Joe, he wasn't Steve, we needed something better. In 2011, Alex Smith led the 49ers resurgence to prominence on the national stage as he brought the 49ers within a hair of a Super Bowl birth. In 2012, Smith was constantly questioned by the fanbase and at first injury he was replaced by a much more physically gifted QB in Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers fans needed to be fed, they needed more. Colin Kaepernick took over the QB job, eventually fizzling out years later. The never-satisfied 49ers fans would once again enter the cycle of the QB search.

Here we are today. Look, I get it. It is very comfortable for fans to pin all the ills of an organization on one player. After losing Super Bowl 54, the infection started to set into this team. Beginning as minor rumblings about Garoppolo's 4th quarter performance, they have now turned into a deafening roar of uprising against the man who 9 months ago had the 49ers up 20-10 with 7 minutes left in Super Bowl 54. The team completely failed on that day, but it has been so much more convenient for fans to believe that replacing Garoppolo would solve all of the 49ers' problems. It's complete nonsense, but it makes a fan feel good. Many fans need that; they need to believe a fairy tale rather than the brutal truth in front of them.

The fairy tale is Zach Wilson. The fairy tale is Deshaun Watson. The fairy tale, for some goofs, is Kirk Cousins. Scroll through your social media timeline and you'll be flooded with 49ers fans trashing Jimmy Garoppolo and propping up any number of random QBs. They pine for scenarios in which the 49ers dump Garoppolo and choose their QB crush.

Zach Wilson is the popular college crush. All logic gets tossed out the window when the Wilson clan tweets away. I'm not questioning the talents of the player, he may be great; he also may be a complete bust. College QBs are no sure-bet, and playing at BYU it's hard to shower praise upon a guy who's playing some severely talent-deficient teams. Navy, Troy, LA Tech, UTSA, Houston, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Boise St., North Alabama and San Diego St. Those are the teams that Wilson has played against in 2020. Is there much NFL talent on any of these rosters? Never mind the obvious, Wilson's stock is rising significantly and it's quite clear he will be a top 3 or 4 QB in this draft class. The 49ers will probably select around 10-15, way out of the range of a top 3-4 QB when you consider the teams probably drafting ahead of them (WFT, NYJ, Jacksonville, New England, Atlanta, NYG). It's not hard to imagine all of the top 4 QBs being gone by the time they pick. Here is where the spoiled brat 49ers fans become dangerous. Their fantasy scenario is trading up to get this unproven college QB. They are begging for the 49ers, a team with 41 free-agents in 2021, and an estimateed $21 million in cap room in 2021, to make a big trade and sacrifice future picks for a superstar QB from BYU. Mortgage your entire future for a player who could be the next Jake Locker. Idiotic. Flat out idiotic.

The lunacy doesn't just stretch into the college ranks. Some have been floating the idea of trading for Texans QB Deshaun Watson.

Watson is a great QB. The 49ers should know that best as head coach Kyle Shanahan didn't bother studying him because Shanahan, notoriously, had a hankering for someone named C.J. Beathard. The 49ers already missed the boat on this QB, but now the fans are getting a craving to right that wrong. Yes, these 49ers fans are pushing for the team to trade for a $40 million QB to replace the $25 million QB that they claim is costing the team too much money. You can't write this stuff, the entitled 49ers fans will do it for you. Not only does Watson make no sense financially, once again, they ignore the fact the 49ers would have trade multiple 1st round selections while currently having 41 players scheduled for free-agency in 2021. To these fans, all you need is a flashy QB who can run around and throw it very far. Once you acquire that, Lombardi #6 comes as an after-thought. Moronic. Flat-out moronic.

I don't have the stomach to discuss anyone advocating for QB Kirk Cousins. I'm sorry, you're just going to have to sit with that idea on your own. We have to look at the root of the problem here. Most of the fans don't even understand what the coach is trying to accomplish. Kyle Shanahan has drafted the following WRs: Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Richie James Jr., Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. Notice a pattern forming here? There isn't a single deep-threat in the bunch. While the bratty 49ers fan whines about a lack of deep passes from QB Jimmy Garoppolo, a simple examination of the roster displays the reality that they choose to blindly ignore. Kyle Shanahan isn't looking to throw moonballs. This isn't the Mike Martz-J.T. O'Sullivan show. Shanahan seeks receivers who can get free and pick up their yards after the ball is in their hands. Just look at the type of QBs Shanahan has coached prior to his time with the 49ers. Can you recall how much Shanahan despised working with RGIII? In Washington, Robert Griffin III was known for scrambling and making plays with his legs while possessing a rocket arm that could push the ball down field. Sorry to break it to you. The QB you want, Shanahan doesn't.

Sorry I had to reel you back into reality on this Monday morning, but you brats needed it. Don't run another damn good QB out of town just to begin the QB search cycle all over again. It's time to appreciate the player you have, and give up that infatuation for the darling QB replacement who suits you.
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.


  • Beau
    The opinion misses a major point. Shanahan and Lynch originally signed a six-year contract on the premise it would take that long to "clean house" and acquire a super bowl team the 49ers would be proud of, again. Four years are about to end. It's as if they are almost back to square one. Shanahan has an extended contract, and so does Lynch, but from the owner's perspective I would think he's wondering if he hired the right people. Both Shanahan and Lynch get a grade of maybe a B, at most. They have made too many bad personnel choices, and too many injuries. So, what does Shanahan think about keeping Jimmie G. with that longer view in mind. The greatest need is for the 49ers to have someone in charge that has high grades on drafting and acquiring quality players. I don't recall any past 49er history with so many injuries and disappointments with personnel. I think the owner should trade Jimmie G., dump Shanahan and Lynch and offer the head coaching job to Robert Saleh.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 9:54 PM
    Response: Interesting take. Never thought about it from the perspective of how after 4 years we're basically back to ground zero. Yikes
  • Walter
    Excellent article. JG isn't a franchise QB but he's still a good QB. Our OLine sucks. Any QB in the league would play very well w/an excellent OLine. If ours were better we'd be doing great. Also I agree on the receivers. We need a real burner to get down field fast. With Cap-Hell around the corner there won't be any simple fixes.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 4:11 PM
  • ttime1
    What are Jimmy G's strengths? Accuracy? No, Read defenses? Strong arm? No, no, no. Play making ability. No.No.No.No. Reliable? No.No.No.No.No! Jimmy is solid, resilient, AND has a winning record. He is certainly the best option on the roster but, I am inclined to believe that too much is expected of him; given his hefty contract. There is a better option available and management does the fans and the team's legacy a disservice by refusing to explore that option.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 3:58 PM
    Response: He's the 12th highest paid qb The contract isn't hefty at all And.he damn near completed 70 percent of his passes in 2019 How is that not accurate
  • Harper
    For sure. Jimmy is fine. Sure he got hurt a couple times. Not enough for me to say he's fragile. Look at all the uncalled roughing hits he's taken with our swinging gate of an O-line. This season is a total joke. Should never have been attempted with all the bs going on. No proper off season or preseason leads to the injury debacle the whole league is facing. You all are high on that good NorCal bud thinking a rookie with almost no college season of his own is going to come in and out play Jimmy G. Keep on puffing and dreaming. Jimmy's Win/Loss record speaks volumes. Just give him a decent line, decent defense, and recovers who can create some space and we will be fine, again
    Nov 23, 2020 at 3:43 PM
  • David
    It's about time someone wrote this .
    Nov 23, 2020 at 12:47 PM
  • DLB
    Totally agree! 49er fans may be faithful to their team and/or the Bay but they are not faithful to their players, and this is shortsighted because it is the players who make up the team. This season's team has been absolutely decimated with injuries, yet all anyone can write or talk about is replacing Jimmy G, which is freaking ridiculous, shallow, and unfair. I hope Jimmy G's ankle FULLY recovers and he gets a chance to play this season, along with all the other starters who have been sidelined with injuries this season. And then hopefully it will be GO TIME for the 49ers in the playoffs.... Fingers still crossed....
    Nov 23, 2020 at 12:14 PM
  • Eric
    Thank you for this article!!! You are 100% correct regarding this fanbase and their unrealistic comparisons for every QB since Montana/Young. The beat writers and fans gave Garcia so much shit after the revolving doors of Cody Picket, Tim Rattay, Steve Stenstrom, and Jim Druckenmiller. I see the same thing happening with Jimmy Garoppolo. With all the upcoming free agents and the cap situation I don't see them trading picks to move up in the draft and NO the Texans are not trading Watson. It's like beat writers and fans live in this alternate reality with endless cap space and unlimited draft picks. Thank you for the dose of reality. You will get trolled for this article but you are !00% correct.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:57 AM
  • Georgie
    You're an idiot, Jimmy is not a franchise quarterback, he panics under pressure. Do you see Rodgers, Russell, and Brees put their team on their back week after week ? Jimmy did not even have to score in the Super Bowl, just a couple of first downs and we run the clock out, instead he went 3 and out and he picked up where he left out in the first game against Arizona , chance to win in the red zone and chocked again. you think he should be getting top 5 money when he was only ranked 15 out of the 32 starters in the N.F.L.? Time for Rodgers to come home!
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:51 AM
  • Mood Indigo
    Jimmy G has proven that the Niners can win with him. He has proven that he can carry the Niners to wins when needed. He has the arm strength and accuracy to make all the NFL throws. He has had bad luck with injuries but the assertion that some players are injury prone is not proven by data. After he recovers from the high ankle sprain, he could easily remain healthy for the next five years. Kyle's scheme and lack of a consistent deep threat receiver has limited the development of that aspect of his growth. He's a very good starting QB who's suited to Kyle's system.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 11:34 AM
  • Paul
    If you want to see ridiculous go to the Zach Wilson forum. People say stuff like Jimmy can't throw that far. If he can't throw far how could he possibly "overthrow" someone with a 55 yard pass without lifting his back leg like Wilson has to. Would people rather have Goff? Goff was truly pathetic in the Super Bowl, and the Rams paid a lot to trade up for him. Quarterback is the hardest position in sports to predict. Trevor Lawrence looked very human against LSU's average defense last year. Trevor Lawrence had 13 overthrows in the National Championship game. If the 49ers keep him they need to let him loose a bit. People act like Jimmy G's throws are in the dirt, or a mile high most of the time. Before half time in the Super Bowl it was obvious Shanahan had no faith in him.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:46 AM
  • Chris Walby
    Well, I guess some people think of Stephen A. Smith as a "journalist" too …..
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:01 AM
  • Tim
    Its comical that the author thinks the fans have any bearing on the decision. Its also humorous that he is lecturing 49er fans from NY
    Nov 23, 2020 at 9:47 AM
  • Aaron
    This article completely ignores some of Jimmy’s true and glaring shortcomings. Please address Jimmy’s stats when throwing the ball over 15 yards. It’s ATROCIOUS. His inability and unwillingness to throw beyond the 2nd level is making us easier to defend when we go against good Defensive coordinators. In order for play action to work he must be a threat to push the ball upfield. Not long bombs but passes more upfield. And make no mistake- Kyle is scheming those throws open as the game film reveals (stop watching just the broadcast). And to say aiyuk isn’t a deep threat shows how little he knows of the kid. Same for James. They can get deep but we never take shots. But it’s not like we need to throw bombs- we just need to throw beyond the 2nd level if we want continued success. Teams have figured out what jimmy wants to do and he hasn’t adjusted because he’s severely limited. Lots of QBs can have periods of success but we need him of someone else to grow beyond check downs in order for continued success. I don’t see jimmy having the field vision or conviction to do it. Undoubtedly we need to look for an upgrade.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 9:47 AM
  • Jeff G
    If a professional sports organization is making personnel or player decisions based on fan theories or commentary as your commentary implies, there is far more wrong with that organization than a QB will solve. Too often I think fans and sports writers alike forget that sports is merely a form of entertainment. If a TV show is causing you undue stress or emotional pain in your life, maybe the entertainment value no longer outweighs the personal affect. I make this point as preface to disagree with your assertion that fans aka the audience doesn't "deserve" a certain performer. Would you say that Hamilton fans don't deserve Lin-Manuel if his singing was off for a series of performaces? Would you say that fans of films don't deserve Travolta's great work in Pulp Fiction because they criticized his performance in Look Who's Talking Too? or that they don't deserve DeNiro's performances in Raging Bull or Goodfellas because those fans criticized his performance in Rocky and Bullwinkle or Dirty Grandpa? In the end, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And I guess that extends to those who criticize others for the way they feel about their entertainment.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:53 AM
  • Paul
    Losing the Super Bowl as a 49er QB seems to ruin your career as a 49er. Steve Young was so excellent, but was constantly criticized. That was obviously a less media driven time. Watch the Super Bowl when Gary Plummer pulls the Monkey off Young’s back. It’s been 26 years and possibly the ghosts of Montana and Young will haunt all 49er future QBs It’s crazy how many things can change on a single pass. Kaepernick was very close to winning a Super Bowl. I wonder what would have happened if he got it done. Jimmy G was a slight overthrow, or a faster receiver away from MVP and a champion. Jimmy G isn’t a bad QB. He doesn’t throw 4 picks in games like other QBs. My issue with him is he is too expensive, and is prone to injuries. It is ridiculous to think Zach Wilson feasting on joke teams is going to step right in and dominate professionals. BYU had a good schedule until Covid changed everything. Wilson may be injury prone to. He had shoulder surgery and missed games last year with a fractured finger.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:41 AM
  • Eddy
    Well, we fans definitely don't deserve a beat writer than cannot accurately assess the 49ers QB situation. I don't question Jimmy's ability, he's a very good QB. The problem is his availability. If you look back at all those QB's you mentioned, none missed more time due to injury than Jimmy. In fact, since the 49ers acquired him, he has spent close to 50-50 on IR. You just don't cripple your team with spending salary cap on someone that can't play. So my take is Jimmy doesn't deserve us, not the other way around.
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:08 AM
  • Philly
    I agree 100% Jimmy took our team to the Superbowl in his first full season. Lets get him some protection up front and he will be awesome!
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:05 AM

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