Why Your Team Sucks 2016: San Francisco 49ers

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Some people are fans of the San Francisco 49ers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Francisco 49ers. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.

Your team: San Francisco 49ers. Oh, did I say San Francisco 49ers? Because I meant Anodyne Exurban Strip Mall 9,000 Miles Away From San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco no longer has an NFL team. The Niners may as well have moved to fucking Alaska. Unless you’re a shitbag tech billionaire with a Learjet sharing app account, you’ll never see this team again.


Your 2015 record: 5-11. I have to say, that’s a good three or four more wins than I expected after this team cut Jim Harbaugh loose, dropped their roster into a garbage compactor, and hired a burlap inspector to coach for a full season.


Of course, Jim Tomsula was fired after all the bad things we knew would happen to this team DID, in fact, happen. I already miss him terribly. One season is such a brief encounter. I wanted three seasons of Hobo Whiskey making these faces on the sideline…


And farting in the press conference!

Oh, memories. Tell me it wasn’t worth losing 11 games to have your head coach openly fart out his dignity in front of a hot microphone. Jim Tomsula was the best show on television, and his bosses never realized it. SAD!

Anyway, now that the Lord Of The Highway Underpass is gone, your new coach is… HOOOOOOO BOY


Your coach: Oh, they went and did it.


I don’t think any coach in history has gone from genius to chump faster than Chip Kelly. Even Mike Martz had a short grace period before everyone realized he was a CFL coach in disguise. Chip discredited himself within a matter of minutes. He even ruined Christmas. What a fucking asshole. He’s like a savant cop on a bad TV show, teamed up with a straight arrow who has to explain his social awkwardness to everyone else. “Detective Farto has a… unique personality. But he’ll find your little girl, I swear it!”


Chip Kelly is a perfect match for this fanbase because he has the fraudulent tech guru routine down pat. Here’s a guy who combines the gracelessness of Peter Thiel and the officiousness of Mark Zuckerberg with ideas that sound futuristic but are ultimately worthless. He was made for this job, people. You should thank God—God in this area being Jeff Fahey’s character at the end of The Lawnmower Man—that the Niners hired him, because they almost hired Mike Shanahan instead. I swear it’s true. Somehow that was the only other candidate. What is wrong with this franchise?

Your quarterback: Folks, we got ourselves a good ol’ fashioned training camp battle. In this corner, it’s the guy you benched and then forgot to trade away! Watch here as his confidence gets destroyed in real time!


And in the other corner, it’s YOOOOOOOOOOOOO GABBERT GABBERT! Watch him shred defenses with his nitro bazooka of an arm:


SIIIIIIICK, BRO. You can’t defend what you can’t see!

But wait! There’s a third candidate in this positional hellscape. Yes, it’s rookie Jeff Driskel. And if I know anything about Chip Kelly, it’s that he will make the most DISRUPTIVE, Wuerffel-esque choice at quarterback. See, it doesn’t matter if you’re “big” or “strong” or “have a good arm.” What matters most to Chip is: can you master his offense? Will you be able to look at that marshmallow on a sideline cue card and instantly glean its meaning? Will you allow your head coach to plant microchips inside your skull and then let him control you using a hidden joystick located in his jacket pocket? Will you shun huddles as if allergic to them? Will you blithely ignore triple coverage in order to take advantage of a three percent chance of completing the ball downfield in an ill-conceived attempt at intimidating defenses with your unpredictability? Are you comfortable with a coach who has zero interest in tailoring his style to your particular talents? THE JOB IS YOURS.


By the way, I can’t side idly by and watch Colin Kaepernick’s career get ground into horse meat like this. This poor bastard wanted to go to CLEVELAND this offseason. Do you understand how desperate you have to be to want to go there? Trent Baalke must force him to walk around in nipple clamps all day.

What’s new that sucks: This offseason, the franchise was determined to rid itself of all last vestiges of past success. That means that Anquan Boldin is gone, along with lineman Alex Boone and the bafflingly washed up Vernon Davis, who was traded to Denver in the middle of last season. There’s nothing left of the Harbaugh Niners. It’s all been doused and gasoline and burned. All that remains is bad turf.


Also, they drafted DeForest Buckner as a way of replacing the 26 good defenders they lost to retirement/drunk driving/wife-beating. Lotta shoes for that young man to fill.

What has always sucked: Everything. The fans are horrifically violent. The front office is a mysterious trainwreck. Dana Stubblefield was accused of assaulting a mentally handicapped woman. And do you know what the worst part of all this is? It’s only the beginning. This swift fall from the upper echelons of the league represents the opening salvo of the Jed York Era. York, who enjoys fucking over Girl Scouts and local waiters with equal abandon, has finally realized his master plan of lording over a shitty team that will make money forever. You have DECADES of this ahead of you, people. I don’t know that you’ve really come to terms with that yet.


This is exactly what San Francisco deserves. We’re talking about a city that has become America’s answer to Dubai…a place of unimaginable and conspicuous wealth, girded by shoddily hidden poverty and despair. It’s a city flooded with equal parts money and human feces, a city so expensive that the only people who can afford to live there are idiot Google doofuses who take the shuttle to work in the South Bay and never explore their own goddamn neighborhoods.

York, seen here auditioning for the role of Andrew Luck’s alcoholic cousin, is a perfect avatar for the city’s plight. He’s a spoiled little shitbag whose business acumen exists only in his imagination, presiding over a stadium whose technological innovations are vastly overstated, sucking money out of his hometown from a faraway compound. Everything about the Niners, especially their futility, is a gigantic Silicon Valley circle jerk.


Also, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead. Remember that? I remember that.

What might not suck: Carlos Hyde! If you made Furiosa’s truck into a running back, occasional breakdowns included, you’d have this man.


Let’s remember some Niners:

  • JJ Stokes
  • Kevan Barlow
  • Amp Lee
  • Tim Rattay
  • Dexter Carter

Hear it from Niners fans!


Blaine Gabbert.




Kaepernick is a self-absorbed prick with huge fucking head.


Santa Clara is a parking lot with a mayor.


I root for a team 3000 miles away that currently has $48.9 million in cap space and is preparing for a quarterback competition between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert. Their number 1 receiver is Torrey Smith. As of this writing, they are not favored in ANY game this season. Not one.



My fiancée’s mom got me a 49ers doormat a couple years ago for Christmas. I remember thinking “This is cool, but wouldn’t a Seahawks doormat be more appropriate, so I can wipe my feet on it?” Nope. This is way more appropriate.



Jed York was given the team as a 26th birthday gift from his dad. Although one could write a Homeric epic about how feckless of a boob Jed York has revealed himself to be, consider the following:

Jed York spent 1.2 billion dollars to build a stadium that is unanimously regarded as worse than Candlestick Park. Do you realize how incredible of a feat that is? Attending a 49ers game at Candlestick Park meant standing in raw sewage and somehow coming home with a blistering sunburn AND frostbite. Attending a 49ers game at Candlestick Park meant that you were always one Tim Rattay fumble away from a blood soaked melee breaking out in the most expensive seats. Attending a 49ers game at Candlestick park meant fording a river of bro-barf only to be greeted by POD’s “Here Comes the Boom” blaring out of the stadium speakers to announce that the 49ers defense was about to give up a 95-yard drive composed entirely of 4-yard halfback dives.

And yet absolutely everyone agrees that the new stadium is far worse—not slightly inconvenient, not marginally less fun—far fucking worse than Candlestick Park. They can’t even practice there because the turf is too dangerous to play football on and that’s like the 25th most objectionable thing about it. Levi’s stadium is so awful that season ticketholder with PSLs are straight up refusing to pay for their tickets, which means that Jed York may have to sue his own season ticketholders to get them to go to games.

This is like John Travolta spending 1.2 billion dollars to make a worse movie than Battlefield Earth. This is like giving Charles Krauthammer 1.2 billion dollars to make a worse newspaper than the Washington Times. If you gave Google, Apple and NASA 1.2 Billion dollars each, they would not be able to build a stadium worse than Candlestick Park and they specialize in building godawful eyesores in Santa Clara County. Jed York is the fucking Mozart of feckless ineptitude; Levi’s stadium is his Marriage of Figaro.

I hope Jed York loses all his money on some stupid app and then his Tesla autopilots him into a 15-foot high pile of shaved asbestos.



Even when Tomsula won, he fucked this team over.

The worst part of this whole situation is there is no fix for a bad owner, so we’re fucked. I’m guessing 70% of these letters are going to be bitching about the one guy in the organization who isn’t even on the field during game day, and we’ll never be rid of him. Last year I was talking about my team with a Browns fan, and he felt genuinely bad for me. I hope every last one of the Yorks ends up in the next SAW film.



Fans are now contractually obligated to sit in 90 degree heat with no shade, 50 minutes south of SF, to watch Blaine Gabbert play football 8 times a year. Jeffrey Loria would be impressed at this display.

The team has also threatened to sue fans who feel rightfully mislead about PSL’s, screwed a youth soccer league next to the stadium, and is now trying to screw Santa Clara on rent payments. We must be the only team in CA that can’t grow a proper grass field outdoors. Fuck Jed York.



We deserved this. That’s the worst part. My god, did we deserve this. We embraced that giant asshole Harbaugh (who, to be clear, I would welcome back shamelessly and grovelingly without a second thought). We drank the Kool-Aid of our stupid Peter Thiel-dicked owner. We pretended like we were a dynasty again and we never won shit. Now we are the simmering remains of Jim Tomsula’s trash fire under the bridge.

None of this collapse could have happened to a more deserving team, and more deserving fans.

Letting Tomsula be a real NFL head coach for a minute, in fact, is probably the most redeemable thing the franchise has done this decade. Chip Kelly is gonna disrupt and innovate his way to a turd-rific 6-10 season because we don’t have good players and it will be a small sign of justice in an unjust world.



We lost to Johnny Manziel last year.


I had a lonely, bewildering, impoverished childhood as an immigrant to the Bay Area. Sports gave me an escape, and the Niners were my greatest love. I watched every game, read every article, knew every single player on the roster. I stared at the only Steve Young trading card I had for hours to learn exactly how he gripped a football, watched hours of his highlights to learn his motion, and practiced for months until I could throw the tightest spiral at school.

I loved the 49ers, at many times, more than my own family. The Catch 2 probably meant more to me than any hug my old man gave me. If my younger years were best defined by a monotonous sadness, the 49ers represented sudden spikes of hope, and proof that something good could always happen.

I kept believing something good was about to happen, even after Steve Young suffered his last concussion and retired. I believed every season through Mikes Nolan and Singletary (fuck you, Mike and fucking Mike) and the parade of sadsack empty jerseys we put at every position.

When Harbaugh came to San Francisco, I knew that we’d been delivered. And even as we suffered through some heartbreak, I knew that a Super Bowl win was lurking just around the corner. Then we heard the murmurs of Jed hating Jim. And that Jed might even fire Jim. But how could that be? Certainly, you couldn’t fire a coach of such caliber! I kept on believing, the way I suppose a cow might continue to believe that he is on his way to another pasture, right up until he smells the blood in the air and sees the slaughterhouse in the near horizon.

I’ve grown into a flawed but decent man. I love my family dearly, and resolved the tensions of childhood. I have succeeded in my professional and personal lives. I’ve even seen the Giants and the Dubs win championships, and the Sharks make it to a Stanley Cup Final.


Fuck Jed York. Fuck the people who birthed him. Fuck Santa Clara. Fuck the tech bros who have destroyed the city I love most. Fuck Dennis Erickson and the Mikes. Fuck Tim Rattay. Fuck Lebron. Fuck everything. Fuck this shit.



I am absolutely certain that Trent Baalke masturbates in front of a mirror wearing only a magnetic golfer’s bracelet.



I’ve lived in the Bay Area for over 6 years now and I think Raiders fans are more pleasant than Niners fans.



Our shitbag owner stuck a local columnist with a $2,000+ dinner bill at a Napa restaurant and forced him to pay for his wife’s meal, too. Good thing Jim Tomsula was there to bus the table afterward.



Can you name the three events where Levi’s Stadium has been its loudest? If you guessed Super Bowl 50, Wrestlemania and a Taylor Swift concert, congratulations. You’ve won a Darrell Jackson jersey. Try not to drop it.



Jed York would murder small children if it meant that someone from Silicon Valley would give him a fist bump at Tech Crunch.



A few seasons ago, we had one of the best defenses in football and our QB was like Michael Vick but better. Then half our roster either retired or got arrested, and our QB turned into Johnny Manziel. In the year of our lord, 2015, I watched Blaine Gabbert start multiple games at QB. Our owners hired a man on the street holding a bindle and eating canned beans to replace one of the best coaches in football, and followed that up by hiring a great college coach who trades away black players but keeps Riley Cooper.

They swindled the city I live in to build a new stadium that was not ready for the 2015 season. They had to use the local golf course’s parking lot for games, and are doing their best to claim a local sports field (used for youth sports!) to help expand their land. The interior of the stadium somehow gets to be at least 30 degrees hotter than the exterior and is the hottest climate on earth. The in-stadium apps don’t work.

The fans! Holy shit, talk about a rock and a hard place. Candlestick 49er fans were the craziest group of serial killers ever assembled. But I would almost rather be scared for my life than deal with the current crop of fans. 20% of the people at the stadium are regular humans. The other 80% are currently working on a new app that will disrupt the market and truly change the way you clean your rug, or some bullshit that won’t do anything. Get a fucking clue, people. All the cool apps have been invented already unless you make one that will turn our QB back into the one from 2013.

Our team couldn’t even cheat the right way. We violated the rules and got to the playoffs. At least be like the Broncos and win a title. Also, our teams in the 80s and 90s chop-blocked like assholes, but the Broncos got all the bad press.

I hate the NFL, I hate this team, and I hate you.


Our headline free agent signing this offseason was a guard from the Jaguars.


The offense is so toothless it’s an insult to the elderly, and the defense is NaVorro Bowman and a bunch of other guys.



I’m just gonna go cradle a Steve Young jersey and cry myself to sleep.


Fuck Trent Baalke. Fired the best coach ever (just look at Michigan...I’m a Penn State Grad). Fuck all our linebackers for retiring. Fuck Anthony Davis. Maybe we’ll win 5 games and blow out chance at the #1 pick. God damn it we have Gabbert as our QB. God we suck.



Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington, and Quinton Patton, the top three receivers, all have the exact same limited skill set of “run under the ball when it’s thrown really far” which is problematic when your projected starting quarterback can’t throw the ball more than about 11 yards in the air.

Blaine Fucking Gabbert has the inside track to win the starting quarterback job. Do I really need to say anything more than “Blaine Gabbert is the odds on favorite to start week 1?” Fuck this team with rusty railroad spike.



I included the link to the tweet if you want to embed it or something. I don’t know. Whatever. Who cares.



I have no illusions that Chip Kelly will have success in any way. The only thing I look forward to is watching him get fatter. Every time I see him on TV he’s fatter. It’s like a slower version of the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate factory who turned blue and swelled up to Mark Mangino size. Fuck her, and fuck Jed York. And fuck you too Drew for the 2015 edition. You look like a more effeminate version of Daryl Hall.



Our owner is an off-brand Dan Snyder. Our front office is a dysfunctional disaster. Our new stadium is universally reviled. Our spirit animal is the surrender cobra. The majority of our fanbase is actively pulling for Blaine Gabbert to be named our Week 1 starting QB. At least our locker room couldn’t possibly get any more toxic, I mean nothing could be worse than the total holocaust that was last offsea—ohhhhh look, it’s Chip.

At least we have two games a year against an in-state rival again. Those probably won’t end with somebody getting stabbed in the parking lot, because even Rams fans hate the fucking Rams.



What’s the best thing I can say about the 49ers after this offseason? Half the team didn’t retire? Our Coach is no longer an overwhelmed, car dwelling, replacement referee? I’m not trying to talk myself into a Blaine redemption story? Shit, this team is a smoldering trash fire in an anodyne stadium, 2 hours from the city it reps. At least Vikings fans (where I live now) can easily go watch their owners piss away our tax dollars without having to pack a survival kit. There isn’t a fun player on the whole roster.


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