by Daisy Barringer
I don’t know what the least-watched Thursday Night Football game of all time was, but between Grey’s Anatomy, everyone either watching the news about or fleeing Hurricane Matthew, and the fact that last night’s game was between two 1-3 teams in a division most of the country couldn't care less about, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona vs. San Francisco holds the record.
Perhaps people tuned into the game at first. I mean, it is still NFL football. Even if two mediocre teams are on the field, it should be entertaining. Yeah, not the case with the debacle that was last night. Pretty sure between the 12 combined punts in the first half and the 27 combined passing yards in the first quarter, anyone with half a brain decided they’d be better off organizing their junk drawers or eating ice cream straight out of the pint while sitting in the dark rather than watch that monstrosity.
I, of course, am a real 49ers fan. Which means I watched until the bitter end. (Just to be clear, I do not call myself a “real 49ers fan” in a way that is meant to be boastful; rather, I fully understand that I have backed myself into a corner that includes hours upon hours of wasted time and utter misery. This is not something of which I am proud. Rather, this is just who I am. It’s too late for me; save yourselves.)
Also, by “watched until the bitter end,” I mean, after that fumble on the kickoff return at the beginning of the second half, I picked up “Us Weekly” and started reading about Angelina’s “plot to destroy Brad.” You guys: she secretly laid plans to take the kids from Brad for months. AND HE NEVER SAW IT COMING!!!
I also used the three hours I was spending watching the most boring football game of all time to tweet poems for #NationalPoetryDay. You know, real gems like:
Roses are red
There’s now been 4 punts
Jed York and Trent Baalke
Are a bunch of dumb
and, my favorite:
Roses are red
The 49ers suck
I paid so much for my season tickets
No seriously: WHAT THE F*CK.
Yeah, in case it isn’t clear, I did not bring “Us Weekly” with me to Levi’s Stadium last night. Instead, I sold my tickets for less than half of their face value (can’t believe anyone was even willing to pay that much) and, once again, watched from the comfort of my couch. I usually love nighttime football games, but I just got back from a mid-week wedding in Tahoe, I have an ankle injury, and also: NOT ONE TEENY TINY PART OF ME WANTED TO GO.
That’s because this 49ers team is bad. Like, soooooooooo bad. According to Chip Kelly, Blaine Gabbert plays well in practice. According to me, I sound like a superstar when I sing in the shower. That doesn’t mean that either of us should be on a national stage performing. I don’t think that analogy makes any sense, but seriously, I do a really impressive “Beauty and the Beast” — just ask my neighbors.
There are people (Phil Simms and that one friend on Facebook) who insist Gabbert isn’t that bad. But anyone with half a brain and one working eye can see the truth, which is: Gabbert is awful. (See: TWO interceptions that lead to 10 points). Also, I don’t care what anyone else thinks; Gabbert is not fun to watch and he’s not going to help this team win games. Ever. No matter what. End of story.
Yes, in a bizarre twist of fate, the same fans that were booing Colin Kaepernick off of the field last year were chanting “We want Kap!” last night. Perhaps they regret demanding Blaine Gabbert in the first place. Perhaps they don’t remember it. People do drink a LOT at the games. You sort of have to in order to survive them without murdering yourself.
Still, unlike last Sunday, Chip Kelly is now leaving the window of possibility open for bringing in Kaepernick. Or, at least that’s what I assume he meant when he said, “We’re going to look at everything” when asked if it was time to make a change at quarterback. Sadly, I don’t know that bringing in Kap will change much. The 49ers are 1-4 and in last place in the NFC West. That is a big hole to dig themselves out of. They need to play mistake free. They need incredible coaching. And they need to not have Jed York and Trent Baalke at their helm.
I do see glimmers — or maybe one singular glimmer — of hope. The defense let David Johnson rush for 157 yards and two touchdowns and Tramaine Brock gave up a pair of touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald. But still maybe even with the loss of NaVorro Bowman for the season there’s chance the defense could get it together? They did only allow 11 completions. And the Cardinals did have to punt on their first six drives. Maybe?
I would like to say I also have faith that the 49ers coaching staff can turn things around, but I’m just gonna point out that Chip Kelly is off to a worst start than Jim Tomsula. “But he doesn’t have the personnel” you’re going to say. Well, he knew what he had going in and it’s his job to make it work. It’s his job to make sure the Niners don’t lose first-half leads. It’s his job to make sure they don’t lose two times in five days AT HOME. And it’s his job to make sure they don’t drop four straight to go 1-4. And guess what? He’s sucking at his job.
At this point, the best thing Chip Kelly can do for himself, for his players, and for the fan base is to start from scratch. The best thing he can do is show us he doesn’t care what the front office is telling him to do, and instead make the decisions he thinks will help this 49ers team win. Even if that means going against Jed York and Trent Baalke. I, for one, won’t hold my breath.
Next Week: The 49ers travel to Buffalo to play the Bills at 10 a.m. on October 16th. If Kap doesn’t start, expect fans to riot. Or, you know, change the channel and watch something else. As always, I’ll be following along and having too many feelings on Twitter @daisy. I promise no more horrible poems. Oh, and also, I think we lose and go 1-5. But you probably knew that already.