by Daisy Barringer
Forgive me if my 2016 49ers columns are all starting to sound the same. To be fair, it’s not my fault; when your team is awful and nothing changes, it’s hard to find a fresh perspective. So, yes, while I’ve said all of this before, I’m going to say it again:
The 49ers suck.
The ownership sucks.
The management sucks.
The coaching staff sucks.
The players suck.
The stadium sucks.
Sorry, but even our cheerleaders pretty much suck.
In fact, I can’t think of a single thing 49ers fans have to be happy about right now. This team is categorically, epically bad. Like, try really, really hard to think of a bright spot other than Kaepernick’s peaceful protest during the National Anthem.
Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Yesterday, we lost our sixth straight game, falling 34-17 to the mediocre Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We played terribly on offense. We played terribly on defense. And we played terribly on special teams.
Usually when a team is this bad, you can tell yourself that it’s rebuilding. Or that the up-and-coming rookies just need a little more experience. Or that at least you have a coach you believe in. Or that one really good wide receiver who makes crazy catches. Right now 49ers fans have none of that.
All we have is a joke of a roster (thanks, Trent Baalke!), a coach who is having his worst first year as a 49er since Bill Walsh went 0-7 in 1979, a soulless stadium that morphs into an oven at the first glimpse of sunshine, and an owner who couldn't care less about any of it.
I made the mistake of actually using my season tickets yesterday. “It’ll just be fun to go to a game,” I thought. “Tampa Bay kind of sucks, so we might actually win,” I told myself. “It’s still entertaining to watch football even when it’s bad football,” I lied.
To be fair, it seemed at first like maybe I’d made the right decision. No one screamed at me when I sat in solidarity with Kaepernick during the anthem. (Of course, that’s probably because nobody was actually at the game, but still ) The Niners opening drive was pretty impressive and they were 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. But, come on. No one actually thought that lead would last. And that’s the problem with this team. They’re awful. And we know they’re awful. So even when they do make a good play or manage to score a touchdown, fans are always just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Which, of course, it did.
By halftime, I was sunburned, lightheaded, and utterly miserable. All I wanted was to be home. I missed my couch more than I ever even missed my father who abandoned me as a baby. More than I missed “My So-Called Life” when it was cancelled after just one season. More than I missed Cheerwine when I moved away from North Carolina. The first example isn’t saying much, but those last two? You get it; I missed my couch a lot.
And while I’ve never left a football game early in my life, as I watched Tampa Bay score unanswered touchdown after unanswered touchdown, for the first time ever, I seriously contemplated it.
Honestly, before yesterday, any time I saw people leave a game early, I always wondered what on earth they could possibly have to do that was more fun than watching football. Now I get it. I would rather have spent my Sunday getting a pap smear and my teeth cleaned, followed by a meeting with my accountant, dinner with my mother, and parking tickets at every stop along the way.
But, uh, instead I stayed and watched the Niners get outscored 34-3 in the final 45 minutes. Masochism and all that.
Now is where I am supposed to try to find a silver lining to all of this. But there just isn’t one. The Niners are 1-6. Sure, there’s some talent on the team (Carlos Hyde, NaVorro Bowman, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Eric Reid, Joe Staley), but those guys are either injured, can’t make a difference all on their own, or, in the case of Staley, are now being offered up in exchange for a first-round pick. (Won’t happen.) Fans were excited to see what Colin Kaepernick would bring to the offense, but turns out he’s the same QB he ever was unable to see beyond his first read and telegraphing to the other team exactly where he’s going to throw the ball (it was shocking he didn’t throw more interceptions yesterday).
Perhaps even worse is that the 49ers players don’t seem to know exactly how terrible they are. Or, at least Aaron Lynch doesn’t. Yup, he’s the one who said after yesterday’s game that “We possibly have one of the best teams in the NFL. Easily. Hands down.” Sorry Aaron Lynch, but the Niners don’t have the best anything in the NFL. Except maybe stadium bathrooms, which I will say are always clean and empty a gift I’ll happily accept since surviving the game requires copious amounts of $10 beers.
Yup, that’s my takeaway. The best thing about the 49ers right now are the toilets at Levi’s Stadium. Everything else about this team looks and stinks like shit. And it’s going to be that way for a long, long time.
Next Week: Okay, well there’s one silver lining and it’s that next week the 49ers have a bye. After that, the New Orleans Saints come to Levi’s on November 6th. That will be the last game I attend this year. We’ll definitely lose. In fact, we may not win another game all year. But it doesn’t matter. Because if Baalke is still the GM, you can be sure he’ll screw up our draft pick.