Some people are fans of the San Francisco 49ers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Francisco 49ers. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: San Francisco 49ers
Your 2013 record: 12-4. Let's see how it ended:
Damn. See, you would have made the Super Bowl if that had been a touchdown instead of an interception! Funny how that works! Now let's watch Richard Sherman talk shit to Michael Crabtree as you, the Niners fan, sit there helplessly, knowing there's not a fucking thing you can do to rebut it.
It's always rough when you get fully emasculated like that and spend the next year or so fumbling for a decent comeback, when there isn't one to be had. You can be like, "Well, at least we lost with class!" (NOTE: The Niners never ever ever lose with class), or you can be like, "Pfft, you're still not that good. Your trash talk didn't hurt me!" when everyone knows that trash talk burned your soul. You cannot undo the ownage. Sorry. Maybe you should stop calling fade routes to Michael Crabtree that end up costing you your season.
Your coach: I believe this giant oversized baby requires no introduction…
This is a grown man who still brings a fucking glove to baseball games. Who does that? Jesus. Keep in mind that the Niners are so sick of Jim Harbaugh's shit that they nearly traded him to the Browns (the Browns!) this offseason, then vehemently denied almost trading him, and then were caught lying about nearly trading him. Imagine how big a of a shitbag Harbaugh must be for his team to want to divest themselves of him, after winning 36 games in three years and making three straight NFC title games. He must take a shit on Trent Baalke's doorstep every morning or something. Fuck Jim Harbaugh, and fuck his pants.
Your quarterback: Oh, you mean the GLORYYYYYYY BOYYYYYY?
Look at the dipshits this guy surrounds himself with. Jesus. That is the lamest entourage I've ever seen. Never ever trust a man who wears fingerless gloves for no reason. Colin Kaepernick also wears sunglasses inside (look at the size of Denton's head in that linked picture; it's TWICE the size of any other head). Every night is Oscar night when you wear sunglasses inside!
These photos were taken at a Deadspin Super Bowl party that was co-sponsored by Jaguar (Jaguar™: Three Months In The Shop Ain't That Bad!), and they had Kaepernick enter the party by driving a Jag from one room into the main ballroom and then get out of the car in that getup. It was very brand-y. Darren Rovell would have creamed his Haggars in delight. Do you see Tom Brady doing this? No, because he poses with goats in ads and that's playing QB the right way. Peyton and Eli Manning look like they star in humorous rap videos, not actual rap videos, and there's a big difference, you know?
Anyway, the Niners gave Kaep a contract extension this offseason that forced the quarterback to buy his own insurance policy. That's how much faith the Niners have in Colin Kaepernick (given that Blaine Gabbert is the backup, they should be kissing his feet). They even put de-escalators in the contract, like, "Hey listen Colin, we love you. But if you throw two back-breaking picks against Seattle again, we're gonna have to take $12 million away from you." Every NFL team depends on its QB and its head coach, and the Niners can barely tolerate either of theirs.
Also, you're never winning a Super Bowl with this guy.
Sorry. That's the straw that broke the camel's back.
What's new that sucks: The stadium! Yes, the Niners got a new stadium, known from here on out as the JeanHole, designed specifically for tech assholes and located in an exurb designed to take everything good about California and genericize it into a Indianapolis strip mall area. Your food will never arrive, but at least six guys pitched you on a startup while you sat there waiting. And that is the future of football in San Francisco, which is no longer actually in San Francisco. After the game, you'll be able to take a $200 Uber ride back to your Airbnb rental, where six gangbang orgies were filmed not but two days ago. Also, San Francisco citizens are so used to be it being 55 degrees at all times that going to Santa Clara induces heat stroke:
Many of the 68,000 seasoned fans who attended the first 49ers game in Santa Clara, a preseason contest on Sunday afternoon, wound up with over-heated cellphones...
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! NOT AN OVERHEATED CELL PHONE! QUICK! BLOW ON IT! BLOW ON THE PHONE! MY KINGDOM FOR CELL PHONE COOLANT! I ONLY HAVE MY GLASS AND MY IPAD AND MY SECOND IPAD FOR BACKUP!
"I came home super sun burnt," said Gabe Hernandez, a 30-year-old fan from Roseville. "Me and my friend only lasted one quarter until she tapped out to get out of the beaming sun. I miss the 'Stick."
Temperatures that day? Mid-80s. Jesus, you people are soft.
Football-wise, Jonathan Martin is here. I'm sure being around a coach as levelheaded and even-tempered as Jim Harbaugh will do WONDERS for his fragile psyche. To make up for the loss of three-quarters of the secondary, the team imported Chris Cook from the Vikings, who sucks at both deep coverage AND not beating women up. And the vaunted Niners linebacking corps will be operating at 50% capacity for most of the season, thanks to Aldon Smith's forthcoming suspension (GLUG GLUG GLUG) and NaVorro Bowman's leg snapping in half. Here is the Bowman injury in gif form, because I am a dick.
What has always sucked: We've already covered how miserable Harbaugh is. Now that Jed York has his precious luxury stadium, there's nothing stopping him from finally cutting Harbaugh loose and embarking on decades of penny-pinching ownership that will produce both countless losses and insane profits. That's the real future of the Niners. They are a perfect microcosm of San Francisco itself: a city that looks great and can be lots of fun, but secretly will do ANYTHING to keep you away. It is one giant co-op board.
The city has become a dystopia, a place where rich people literally have their own segregated form of transit, which allows them to look upon the heroin addicts lying in the gutter as if they were figures in a museum diorama. In 20 years, the city will have a floating monorail that costs $100 per ride, and you'll be allowed to spit on the poor as you blow by them. It hasn't just become New York, it has become an alien mutation of New York. The average apartment is the size of a safe deposit box and carries a $5,000 monthly rent. We're five years away from San Francisco being completely depopulated simply because hedge fund managers gobbled up so much real estate as assets and not for actual living quarters. It'll be the anti-matter Detroit. Even Vegas isn't this good at swindling you out of your money. It is the manifestation of every criticism of liberal hypocrisy, like Alice Waters "supporting" local farmers by charging customers $100 for a tomato.
What might not suck: The offensive and defensive lines are still the best in football, and the Niners' deep postseason runs have kept other teams from raiding their coaching staff, ensuring remarkable continuity. Even with the injuries and free agent departures, the Niners are the sort of team that can replace key parts and still win 12 games. Unless Kaepernick goes down. If that happens, you are fucked. I saw a tweet from a Niners fan the other begging for them to trade for Christian Ponder so that they wouldn't have to rely on Yo Gabba Gabbert. Think about the desperation needed to consider Christian Ponder some kind of savior.
Hear it from Niners fans!
The Niners' front office acts like they're above reproach, completely ignoring the fact that during the offseason their players have been acting worse than Raiders fans.
The 49er Organization loves to call us fans the faithful, and you will constantly hear about how we're the "49er Faithful" and all that PR crap. How do you serve this faithful? By building a stadium an hour south of the actual city of team, where you have to go through traffic hell just to get there.
Next? Create ridiculous ticket prices. Two years ago, the Niners announced a ticket program for the new stadium that was sent out to Candlestick ticket holders. To get season tickets for Levi's Stadium, you had to by a "Stadium Builders License" or a SBL. These gave you rights to your seats. One SBL ran between $2,000 to $6,000. This was for the the right to buy season tickets. This did not include the actual price for tickets.
This priced out a ton of people who have had tickets since the 49ers moved to Candlestick. The actual 49er faithful. Here's how they serve us poor fans: they are going to allocate 400 tickets on the Thursday before a home game. But you have to join the "Faithful 49" program just to get a chance at those tickets. Then you have to accumulate points to get a higher chance of getting tickets.
And as a resident of the North Bay, I have to make the horrid 2 1/2 drive to Santa Clara just to see a game. Don't get me wrong, Candlestick was a shithole and I'm glad they got a new stadium, but it would've been nice to see a stadium that doesn't completely panders to the Silicon Valley bubble.
I guess this should be expected, new stadiums screw a lot of fans over. Maybe we don't deserve fairness after booing Alex Smith and cheering for David Carr's name, begging for him to be put in the game.
Can't wait to see Mark Zuckerberg at a game.
After a decade of darkness, the Niners have returned to national prominence by suffering arguably the most soul-crushing season-ending losses in three consecutive seasons in league history. The Niners have managed to lose a CG, SB, and CG in a late-game, suicide-inducing choke jobs.
Meanwhile, we have the league's most-hated coach (and I don't blame you), a felonious and homophobic defense without its best player to start the season; and a Squidward look-alike at QB who's really only good at running. Hell yeah, I'm still drafting him in fantasy.
If Aldon Smith manages to last another year without killing someone else and/or himself, I'm gonna go ahead and chalk that up as the biggest miracle since Christ turned water into wine.
The new stadium is a suburban nightmare that makes the Niners the NFL equivalent of "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."
Nobody in San Francisco outside of the tenderloin used to wear 49ers gear. It has been, historically, an essential part of bum style in our city.
Fuck Greg Roman with a pogo stick.
Our fans are all idiots who troll Seahawks message boards and claim football superiority because we won a bunch of Super Bowls in the 80s and 90s.
Fuck the 'Stick (but it did have good garlic fries)
Stadium relocation be damned, there are still only two types of Niners fans: powerfully connected VC investors and felons. There is no middle class. You're either being helicoptered into the loge level or being stabbed in the parking lot. The tailgate food is either Michelin star rated cuisine that has been prepared the entire week, or you are rolling into Levi's in a early 90's accord with a CLEAR bag full of home made PB&J's. It is impossible to love this team and make between $30,000-$80,000 per year.
My brother was at a game a few years ago, and noticed a man sitting excitedly in the row right in front of his. The man appeared overcome with joy, at which point he turned to my brother and struck up a conversation. "This is my first Niners game, man," he told my brother. "I just got out of prison!" My brother cautiously ended the conversation with him, fearing what he might hear next. Later in the game, he peered over the man's shoulder as he was writing a text message to his former wife/girlfriend. The message was simple- "Don't you take my daughter from me again!"
My father was a 49er season ticket holder for 25+ years and in 2010 and the height of the Niners suckage my father wrote a pissed off letter to Jed York expressing his frustration towards the team and young Jed. The point of his letter was he was displeased with the team and their lack of leadership, and if they had the leadership of a seasoned veteran such as Captain Sullenburger from the Hudson River Miracle, they would be able to pull out of their losing ways.
Sooooo, young Jed replied back with a picture of him and Captain Sullenburger. He also said it's too bad you're no longer going to be a season ticket holder, because that means on our home opener you will not be there to enjoy our pre game festivities involving Captain Sullenburger.
Some games, I look at Colin Kaepernick and think, "Hey, this guy could be like another Steve Young, maybe." And then other times I look at Kaepernick and think, "You know what? I still really miss Jeff Garcia."
-We're about to have the largest proportion of young, moneyed, white, Rand-worshipping-app-building "fans" in the league.
-The "real" fans are about to start waxing nostalgic for that piece of shit Candlestick Park. Do not let anyone EVER wax nostalgic to you about that giant hulking middle finger to decency. It was cold as fuck, dirty as fuck, and people would stab each other outside of it.
-Those same "real" fans are about to start bitching on KNBR about the tech losers at Levi's and how they've been priced out. But remember: these are the people that chanted for David fucking Carr instead of Alex Smith and then pretended to embrace him once Harbaugh fixed him into a real QB.
-90 percent of the comments on this article are gonna be dipshits arguing back and forth about the "Seachickens" and "FortyWhiners". Niners fans and Seahawks fans are both terrible and there are no winners in this two-and-a-half year old "rivalry."
-Harbaugh will find new and inventive ways to be a dick.
-Team will be good though. That'll be pretty sweet.
Our QB still makes reads like a high school QB, if the first option isn't there….well you know how it usually ends up…
Levi's Stadium has no parking, and there is one road to get to it. One. That road is shared with an amusement park, one solely populated by roving packs of 19-year-old gangsters who. Skydiving will be the most efficient way to attend a 49er game, provided you have the room on your credit card to afford seats. And if you thought it took a long time to get out of Candlestick, woooboy are you in for a treat. I guarantee that all season ticket holders will be back on the road by the second quarter.
I worked upwards of fifty games at Candlestick over the years, first as a paramedic in the early 2000's and then as a cop. Every year, that place got worse. The stadium itself was literally covered in mold. People would be so drunk/high/what-have-you that their pants would be falling off or they would just decide to whip their penises out and pee in Bud Light Plaza before kickoff. You would step in vomit at least twice a game and see two men in a knife fight in the parking lot both wearing niner jerseys without fail.
People think that the new stadium is going to clean out the riffraff from the crowd, because it's in San Louis Obispo and crazy expensive. They are right. It will, for exactly one season. Then, when nobody goes to that place because of the nightmare it will be going to and from it, the Niners will have some crazy cheap seat deal and it will be Dirt Weed Thunderdome again. People will be throwing ninja stars at Seahawks fans from the upper decks. Mark my word.
Our coach was on Saved by the Bell.
I was at the WE WANT CARR game a few years back. As I consumed my fair share of Prohibitions, I felt the need to empty out my bladder. While standing in line to use the urinal, the guy pissing at the front of the line lights up a joint and takes a couple hits. He then casually sets the still lit joint on top of the urinal and walks away, the next guy in line picks it up and takes a couple hits as he is pissing too. This process gets repeated a few more times until the joint is finished (about 4 or 5 more random guys). These were guys who had most likely never seen each-other before. Just random guys sharing football, THC, bodily fluids, and germs in the most glorious form of social interaction known to men.
Our quarterback is a game of blackjack. There is always the possibility of hitting 21 but it's more likely that he busts when it's first and goal from the five in the Super Bowl, or when he is driving against the most unlikeable team this side of Ferguson PD Softball for another shot at a championship. Our running back is too accomplished to bench but too slow to win a middle school track meet. Our best defensive player's leg snapped in half and won't be back until we are at least 2 games behind the Seahawks. Our young defensive stud is about to be suspended for maybe 8 games and couldn't go through an airport security line sober enough to not yell "bomb" like a fucking six-year-old with conduct disorder. Our front office's plan for the secondary this offseason was, "Let's get way worse."
The real reason we suck are the fans. I am a 24 year old Niner fan, and whenever my roommate, who is a Seahawk fan and therefore the absolute worst right now, mentions the Super Bowl last year, I point out how historic and wonderful my Niners are. To be clear, I was 5 during the last Super Bowl they won and have lived most of my life watching them fail miserably.
The older Niner fans are even worse. These are people that watched Joe Montana crush, so when it comes to quarterbacking they still believe that innocent white Alex Smith is better than Kaepernick. Kaepernick has his flaws, but at least he can grip a ball in the rain and win a 12-year-old punt pass and kick competition. These people see tattoos on a quarterback and in true San Francisco fashion are able to come up with more entrepreneurial ways to say ,"He's too black to WIN!"
Fuck Richard Sherman, but really fuck the Niners for making him a thing.
Because of this:
Harbaugh is a lunatic and he'll either die on the sideline while trying to challenge the coin toss, or get into a filthy divorce from the 49ers that will end up with him getting $27 million a year from Michigan to fist fight the entire state of Ohio.
We used to be a group of pompous assholes who'd invite you to KISS DA RINGZ but now we've become almost as insecure as Seattle fans and just as likely to tweet/comment/drive to your house and yell at you for saying anything remotely negative about the team.
We endlessly talk about how the SeAdderall Seahawks are cheating and need to be suspended but will come up with a million excuses defending Aldon Smith's dumb ass.
I have that sinking feeling this team probably peaked in the championship against the Ravens and they're only going to tease for a couple more seasons before they just fall back into another decade of suck.
Oh, and they're totally headed for a messy divorce with Harbaugh which sucks because I like having the coach people love to hate because you never have to play against him. He probably seems like an even bigger asshole on the opposing sideline.
If I didn't root for the 49ers I would hate them. I don't understand how any non-49ers fan could ever possibly enjoy watching this football team.
LaMichael James is on the team and he tweets like a scorned 15 year old girl. Asshole.
Fuck Richard Sherman. That has nothing to do with the 49ers. Richard Sherman is just the worst.
Half of the crowd will likely spend games tweeting Instagrams on their Google Glass about how awesome it is to watch live baseball. The other half will be busy blowing VCs in the bathroom stalls for startup funding.
I want to throw acid at people who still rock Kevan Barlow jerseys to games.
Growing up in the Bay Area, I have met only a few fellow 49er fans that I can tolerate to have a conversation with. When douchebags from other teams call us "Whiners fans," we do not fucking disappoint. There is still a large contingent of fans who honestly think Alex Smith would be winning us 10 straight Super Bowls anytime Kaepernick throws an incomplete pass. The absolute worst is when one of these assholes is my own brother, ''You know Alex would have threw it underneath.'' Yes, on a 3rd and 27, that's what I want, a 3-yard dumpoff to Bruce Miller.
Worst memory is when my dad scored tickets to Jerry Rice's last home game as a Niner against the Bears. I was excited to see the greatest Wide Receiver of all-time play his last game in red and gold. At the start of the game, we all gave him a standing ovation. Some hippy jackass behind me tells us to sit down because, ''No one should applaud the accomplishment of football players when children are dying all over the world.'' Everyone gave him a sideways glance. Then again when he went out at the end of the game, everyone in the whole stadium gave Jerry another standing ovation. Once again this guy, now yelling, "How dare we as humans celebrate a man when he has done nothing to solve our world problems?'' Someone yelled back, "Why the fuck are you at a football game then?'' To which he replied, "Because I like the garlic fries."
The team has proudly displayed the suit Mike Nolan wore on the sidelines during his reign of terror in their new stadium museum.
Michael Crabtree is only 26, which is amazing because it feels like he's been terrible for forever.
Colin Kaepernick looks exactly like a middle school kid who spilled milk all over his sweatpants at recess.
During the end of Candlestick Park (which was a god awful shithole of concrete and frozen human sadness) the Niners kept trotting out Eddie DeBartolo to thunderous applause. It's like everyone forgot he was caught in a felony investigation involving paying bribes to open a god damn riverboat casino. If you add a ghost costume in the mix, he was basically brought down by a Scooby-doo plot.
We should still manage to make the playoffs, if half our defense isn't in jail for stabbing the other half.
At the end of Super Bowl XLVII, with tons of momentum on their side, the 49ers got to a first & goal situation, and a touchdown would have given them the win. In the backfield they had Frank Gore, human wrecking ball, and Colin Kaepernick, easily the fastest player on either team, and called exactly ZERO running plays.
The next year, at the end of NFC Championship game, while brilliantly executing a comeback with a chance to win (stop me if this sounds familiar), the Niners call a fade route to the most obvious target, who was being guarded by the best cornerback in the league, who managed get completely inside said target's head all game. It went as well as you could expect.
I know complaining about those play calls while having the best coach, the most exciting QB, an excellent defense and a place as one half of the NFL's best current rivalry is a bit of first world problem – but I work for a major tech company with offices in Silicon Valley and Orange County, so those are literally the only kinds of complaints I've got.
Seriously, the Santa Clara 49ers. Jesus.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me and give me ample evidence of why your team sucks: personal anecdotes, encounters with fans, etc. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit. Next team up: THE SEAHAWKS, followed by THE STEELERS.