Some people are fans of the San Francisco 49ers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Francisco 49ers. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: San Francisco 49ers.
Your 2017 record: 6-10, but oh my God you never heard people hype up a 6-10 record more than these fans. Those first nine straight losses still count, you assholes. You don’t get to burn those off the ledger just because you traded for Italian Clark Kent. Half the Niners’ wins last season came against the Giants, Bears, and Texans. But because San Francisco closed out the season winning six of seven with a new quarterback, people acted like this team deserved a wild card bid. Well, excuse me if I think your joyful optimism is obscene, pathetic and disgraceful. Jed York is still your owner, you still play your games in a Tefal skillet, and this roster is still more Jim Tomsula than Bill Walsh. I’m not gonna let you forget the CJ Beathard era that easily.
Your coach: Kyle Shanahan. Now that’s he’s finally in charge, Kyle has nowhere to turn when he needs to throw his head coach under the bus. It’s been a real learning experience for him.
There goes what little remains of your street cred, Lil Wayne. You can go ahead and start making family road trip movies with Ice Cube now. Anyway, I’ve just about had it with people treating Kyle like he’s a legitimate head coach. His entire career is a goddamn fraud. He’s the NFL’s equivalent of the shithead who goes to undergrad for six years and then just slides into a cushy job at the dealership his dad owns. This whole organization is like an after-school club for nepotism.
Your quarterback: Okay okay okay, everyone calm the fuck down. I know you got Jimmy Garoppolo for basically nothing, and I know he’s got eyebrows for DAYS. But this guy put up a 7:5 TD:INT ratio at the end of last season and you would have thought you were witnessing the birth of Christ. I saw the same mic’d up segment everyone else saw. He just says “Let’s Go” 900 times. But NFL guys were like SWEET JESUS THIS BOY KNOWS HOW TO LEAD! Matt Cassel had a nice first season in Kansas City too, you know. There’s plenty of time for Jed York to do to his new QB what the Colts have done to Andrew Luck.
If this were Deshaun Watson we were talking about, every certified Football Knower would put on his tape-eating pants and be like “Let’s see what happens when defensive coordinators learn some of this young man’s tendencies. He still has a lot of work to do!” These guys live to quash your enthusiasm. But give them a classic dropback passer who looks the part and comes off the Foxboro handsome dog assembly line, and suddenly nothing can be overstated. The sky’s the limit with Jimmy Garoppolo, so long as he doesn’t spend too much time thinking about BEWBS.
“He’s got a freaky side. A real freaky side,” Whitlock said. “It’s going to be like: Is he distracted? Does he have some kind of addiction issue? Is he Tiger Woods? If he doesn’t play well, all these questions are going to be asked.”
I can’t believe I watch this fucking sport. I will never spell Jimmy Goroppllo’s name right on the first attempt, and for that he can burn.
What’s new that sucks: I know Carlos Hyde wasn’t exactly a model of durability, but the team cut him loose and spent $18 million to replace him with glorified scatback Jerick McKinnon, who averaged a whopping 3.8 yards per carry last season. Shanny is already talking up McKinnon like he’s the second coming of Marshall Faulk, but that’s insane. I’ve watched Jet play. He’s a nice little change-of-pace back who needs to be paired with someone who can, like, RUN the ball. The Niners don’t have that. Behind McKinnon is something named Matt Breida. I look forward to learning his name in Week 10 when I have to pick him up off of waivers.
McKinnon is gonna be forced to catch 90 balls this season because the formal receiving corps is hideous. Here’s old-ass man Pierre Garcon, whose ability to make contested catches three yards past the line of scrimmage makes color men weep with joy. Here’s Marquise Goodwin, who is fantastic at getting wide open down the field and then dropping the ball at the very last second. That’s basically it. The other wideouts are beef trimmings. The tight ends are nonexistent. The line, already iffy, was reshuffled just to make things look different. Your honeymoon with Jimmy G and Kiara Mia is OVER. The trendy preseason picks never, ever, ever work out. Ask Jameis.
Over on defense, the Niners’ biggest acquisition is a shithead who is only tolerable when he’s great, and who just ceased to be great.
Good thing you don’t need a functioning Achilles tendon to backpedal, no sir. I look forward to Richard Sherman saying something incredibly thoughtful during an off-day this season, and then immediately throwing that good will away by getting burned for a 75-yard touchdown and blaming his teammates for it.
Another Niner got arrested for violently battering a woman and then skated when his ex changed her story. Funny how that happens. I’m sure Reuben Foster will spend the rest of this season attending meditation classes and working with puppies.
Dwight Clark died. The most talented Niners by far are the ones who still can’t find a job because they took a knee for the fucking anthem.
What has always sucked: San Francisco is what happens when the 10 worst people from every high school move to the same city. They took the most beautiful area in America and turned it into a douche playground, and we’ll never get it back. The rent is too high. Every restaurant hands you a 300-page handbook for how to order your fucking dinner. The only way to get around town is to use a scooter-sharing app designed by a team of skinny pant Nazis.
From now until the very-near end of everything, San Francisco will be populated by posthuman scum who speak only in buzzwords and believe that BART stabbings are a bold new innovation in urban congestion relief. It’s genuinely sickening. Like, I know that the MAGA rally toads get the bulk of attention, but they’re not the reason we’re all gonna die. We’re all gonna die because our supposed brightest minds are a bunch of humor-free Stanford grads who delight in reinventing things that were already invented 50 years ago, think a ping pong table is a personality, and believe that Elon Musk should be allowed to parachute into any active hostage situation. We’re fucking doomed, and San Francisco is the chief emblem of that doom.
As for the Niners, they’re just a football-scale example of those same empty tech ideas. The stadium is supposedly state-of-the-art except when it comes to avoiding deathly sun radiation. The roster is garbage but they got a nice-looking frontman to paper over it. Everything looks very new and exciting until you dig one fucking inch deeper.
Solomon Thomas is a bust. Kevin Durant could win six more titles and he’ll still be best known as a thirsty dork.
What might not suck: I just sat through a season where every player got hurt and so I really NEED the Niners to keep this asshole upright for 17 weeks. Please god, let me watch some decent quarterbacking for once. If this team is forced to play Nick Mullens at some point, I’m gonna cash out of the whole enterprise.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: Did you know J.J. Stokes somehow lasted eight years with this team? I was blown away when I looked back at that. J.J. Stokes was the Harold Miner of football. I can’t believe he managed to hang around that long. Even Kyle Williams deserved to hang around longer than that guy.
HEAR IT FROM NINERS FANS!
I have no idea if I’m mad or not that the best and only certain thing about the Niners right now is that the QB is hot.
Our fans complain because they have to sit in the sun. Fuck those people. (Full disclosure: I sit in the shade.)
Because there will probably be more Warriors gear with the tags still on than football jerseys in the stands, and most of those people will be there because it’s a required team outing for the Marketing department.
Our fans are all terrible, stupid no-nothings and I am no exception. I was very much against the Niners trading for Jimmy Garoppolo when my dad first told me about it. My response was something to the effect of, “Great Quarterbacks are not named ‘Jimmy’”... I felt so proud of my off-the-cuff quip then and now I’ll be the first to fondle his balls whenever someone decides to start a “top 10 qb” convo... I am human garbage.
I’m mostly afraid that Jimmy is going to regress and I’m going to have to listen to months of bullshit about how it’s because we went on a date with a porn star.
Mostly it’s just exhausting being here right now. The whole area is too expensive, tech bros are everywhere, its 54 fucking degree highs in the middle of July, traffic is just as bad as LA, and their stadium is still two hours away from its goddamn namesake with no public transportation and parking is 50 bucks minimum. Get me the fuck out of here.
They still show shots of the Golden Gate Bridge on TV during the games as if somehow the rest of the country hasn’t figured out that the team plays in an eyesore of a stadium an hour away from SF.
We supposedly have our next great quarterback yet he’s incapable of pulling a hotter porn star than the one our orange gasbag of a president tried to pay off.
Jed blocked me on Twitter during the first season at Levi’s Stadium because I tweeted at him that someone was beat nearly to death in the bathroom near my seats. Jed sucks and no level of pandering will ever change that.
They’re never on RedZone.
I would rather fly to Seattle and sit in the last row of the Hawk’s Nest than pay 500 dollars to sit amongst Silicon Valley’s finest tech dork neckbeards in unbearable heat with the potential of getting beat to a bloody pulp trying to take a piss after paying 35 dollars for two Anchor Steams.
I managed to convince myself that Mike Singletary wasn’t more than a rah rah coach.
I managed to convince myself that nobody “has it better than us”.
I actually convinced myself Colin Kaepernick was the real deal, and that he was gonna win #6 and #7.
I believed that Jimmy T was gonna lead us to a 10-6 season because “he’s such a team guy and the players love him” (half the team retired once that doofus got hired).
I believed that Chip Kelly was a good coach and that nine games would be our floor because “he’s gonna reinvent Kaepernick”.
And now I’m supposed to believe that this little fucker who blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl and this braggadocious Italian pretty boy is gonna be the next dynasty? Fuck that.
With that being said, we’re winning the division. Anybody that thinks otherwise can shove a tree up their ass.
Has the secondary been fixed yet? They’re gonna be carved alive in their current state.
Christ, I hope they don’t play Rod Stewart’s “Faith of the Heart” (the Star Trek: Enterprise theme song) every time they get a home win.
Jed York presents himself as the woke, progressive owner who supports his players protesting. Meanwhile, Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick still don’t have jobs after the 49ers chose not to bring them back, something literally everyone could have seen coming.
Jed is the perfect representative of the emptiness of Silicon Valley liberalism.
I openly remarked to a friend the other day, “It’s great to see Jimmy Garoppolo looking confident, the last time I saw that was when.... oh.... yeah... it was when Kaepernick was happy.” I hope he’s happy somewhere. And I hope Jim Harbaugh is indiscriminately mad at someone doing something slightly the wrong way.
If you attempt challenge the notion that our new porn-loving quarterback (and the team that He commands) just may not be bound for the Super Bowl in February, then you are by consequence not A TRUE AND REAL FAITHFUL 49ER FAN. HAVE YOU SEEN JIMMY’S ARM?!? HE’S THE REINCARNATION OF JOE MONTANA AND STEVE YOUNG... COMBINED. TAKE THAT SHIT ACROSS THE BAY AND GO ROOT FOR THE RAIDERS BRO.
Our objective is to win the Super Bowl, year in and year out. We’re going to make sure we get this right. - Jed York, 2010
Winning isn’t the only thing matters. Winning with class is what matters. - Jed York, 2014
In terms of game day experience, how important is it that your team wins? - 49ers questionnaire, 2017
We finally get ourselves a talented, promising, wholesome (read: white) QB again, and he decides to go on a single date with an older pornstar. It has resulted in a hilarious mixture of pearl-clutching and bafflement that he would go out with an older woman. For a supposed den of debauchery and tolerance the SF fanbase has an unreasonable number of racist prudes.
Richard Sherman is a 49er and nobody wants to talk about it. We’re all waiting for him to either succeed or fail. If he fails and continues to talk about social issues the racist takes will melt your face off. If he’s great, look for the liars who will talk about how they always respected him as a worthy opponent. Horseshit. There isn’t a soul in Niners Nation who wouldn’t have happily eaten his liver with a shitty overpriced Napa Cabarnet three years ago.
The drastic reversals in this team’s fortunes over the last ten years are enough to give someone whiplash. My best hope is that this team will set the league over the next couple of seasons until it all falls apart because Jed York throws a tantrum and fires Shanahan because he didn’t respond to a 2 am text with the appropriate emoji. Or Jimmy QG’s arm falls off because of his pornstar-acquired Stage IV Herpagonasyphiliaids. Whichever comes first.
Remember: this franchise has been the equivalent of a slow-to-heal anal fissure. And how quickly we bought into a fantasy of competence should remind everyone how far our heads are up our own asses.
But you know goddamn well we’re going undefeated with Jimmy G.
Let’s remember how this script goes:
Owner gets paranoid, GM goes nuts, coach fucking bails, Jim Tomsula is lured from underneath a bridge with beef jerky.
Our stadium is about as enticing as a Silicon Valley trade show space with just as much charm.
I’m the one of five Niners fans on the planet who isn’t either Zuckerdouche or lowlife angling for a knifefight.
Once the Raiders are finally removed from their quarantine in the East Bay, I truly hope the 49ers return to their legacy as the #1 NFL fanbase of aspiring knife-wielding Zodiac-murderers.
The 49ers have always been a cut above Raiders fans, but Raiders fans get all the stigma of stabbings and fights when in reality our “wine-sipping fans” that cheer when our offense is on the field are just getting ready for their initiations against unwilling stabbable patrons of an NFL game.
It’s easier Alcatraz than it is to get to Santa Clara. The last Candlestick game I went to Trent Richardson scored a touchdown on us. We matched his touchdown and lost 27-7.
Johnny Manziel won a game as a Cleveland Brown against us. He has more wins as a Cleveland Brown then Brian Hoyer did as a 49er.
The Buffalo Bills have been to a playoff game more recently than us.
The Jaguars have won a playoff game more recently than us.
Everyone expects Garrapollo to be the next great franchise quarterback in our storied history while I’m just begging him to be Jeff Garcia 1.5. When regression hits Jimmy G, we’ll be crying about how someone like Tyrod Taylor could quarterback this team better.
I’m sure Richard Sherman being on the 49ers is just 2018's way of gaslighting Niners fans when he’ll be on a wheelchair covering receivers by week 5.
I still can’t watch that game-winning Brett Favre touchdown without feeling insufferably angry.
If a Thin Blue Line flag became a human being it would be Mike McGlinchey.
Garoppolo is going to deviate back to a statistical mean for performance and go 4-12. Sherman’s going to tear something and play in six games, but he’ll still say some pretty woke shit during a press conference that will make it so I can’t wear my Niners shirt in public until he’s not on the team anymore (I live in the South). Our fans who were completely elated when Reuben Foster was acquitted on that domestic violence charge that he totally did.
Jimmy G is the quarterback of a boutique metropolis’ underachieving vanity franchise. We all know this team is never winning another Super Bowl. Just shoot them all directly into the sun. Fuck Greg Roman on the five-yard line of the Super Dome with a cable hooked up to the New Orleans electrical grid.
I still don’t understand how the Yorks somehow get a pass for not resigning Kaep and Eric Reid which led them to basically being blackballed by the league. A convenient “the team has decided to move on” doesn’t mask the fact that neither got new contracts the second they dropped a knee to the Levi’s turf. Reid in particular is someone whom they could use, but he gets passed over for Richard fucking Sherman.
Speaking of Sherman, Niners fans who loathed his very being and still have nightmares from the time he personally made Michael Crabtree into his bitch, have already Stockholm Syndrome’d themselves into loving him and the arrogant bullshit he brings to the table. Fuck Richard Sherman forever and always.
We are the worst bandwagon fanbase alive. I bought club tickets in Week 9 on StubHub last season for 30% of face value. The final home game sold out and Jimmy G jerseys were as ubiquitous as Patagonia vests by Christmas. There is an old saying in the Bay, “The most popular player Bay Area sports is the Niners backup QB” (We once chanted for David Fucking Carr) If they don’t win 10 games KNBR callers will be talking about signing Kaep again.
The second it looks like they won’t make the playoffs everyone will ignore them and go back to discussing why Kevin Durant will never be as beloved as Steph Curry.
By the end of the 2016 season Jed York and Trent Baalke hadn’t just run the 49ers into the ground. No, they had actually run them THROUGH the ground, the crust, and both layers of the mantle right into the Earth’s fucking core.
(Coincidentally, sitting virtually anywhere inside Levi’s Stadium on game day gives a person that exact same feeling.)
I’d like to close this message with a picture I took at the 49ers museum. They misspelled Terrell Owens’ name on one of the displays.
No one should be allowed to forget that they took Giovanni Carmazzi in the same draft as Tom Brady.
I posit this as someone who completely agrees with Colin Kaepernick’s protests as well as his right to do it. But say Kaep completes that corner fade to Crabtree. The Niners win and likely win the Super Bowl, with Kaep likely winning MVP. He gets a Flacco-like extension, Harbaugh stays and the added money and glory of being an “elite” QB hold Kaep back from evolving into our national Rorschach test. If he never takes a knee, Trump doesn’t have the perfect (not-so-subtle) dog whistle for white middle America in the fall of 2016, and just maybe we avoid our current Hellworld.
Ipso facto, Richard Sherman is responsible for the Trump presidency.
Fuck both Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith for the TipINT, I don’t care that they are both on our team now.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Oakland Raiders.