by Daisy Barringer
First, let me say that I hope you were doing anything yesterday afternoon other than watching the tedious field goal battle that was the 49ers/Cardinals game. Truly, snaking the shower drains in a women’s locker room or cleaning up three-day old dog diarrhea would have been more enjoyable than suffering through what ended up being nearly FOUR hours of mediocre football.
But that’s who the 49ers are this year. They’re a team with a lousy quarterback, lousy offensive line, and lousy receivers. They’re a team who hasn’t scored a touchdown in three out of four games. They’re a team that makes really dumb, costly mistakes. They’re a team that can’t hold on for 32 more seconds in overtime to win the game. They’re a team that has lost its first four games and is destined to lose a bunch more.
Unfortunately, this means they’re also a team that just isn’t fun to watch. There are headlines today that say this loss was a heartbreaker, but personally, it’s hard to get my heart broken when I just don’t care. (No seriously, ask literally every single guy I’ve ever dated.) And this current 49ers team makes it really hard to care. Because I’m not at all invested in who they are now, but rather who they could be a few years from now. Which means I can’t root for us to win because that will only hurt us down the line.
Still, I do feel bad for the players. I mean, they did this to themselves, but it’s got to be brutal to be a part of a team that is “sucks” too harsh of a word? Maybe, but it’s accurate. Sorry, not sorry, or whatever the kids say.
These back-to-back (to back-to-back) losses have got to be even more brutal if you’re one of the guys on the team who actually has talent. Which right now is a lot of dudes on defense. They had a crappy game last week, but in general, I’m pretty excited about what I’m seeing. It was fun to watch Carson Palmer get hit 16 times and sacked six. I’m excited to see what rookie Solomon Thomas, who got his first career sack, is going to do in the months and years ahead. And the D deserves credit for the fact that it did manage hold Larry Fitzgerald to three receptions and keep Arizona out of the end zone until the final play of overtime. (Speaking of, I really need to send a gift basket to whoever decided OT should only be 10 minutes. I mean, it was brutal, but imagine if it had gone on for even longer?)
Also, I guess I should say something nice about the field goal kicker, Robbie Gould, since yesterday was really all about him. So let me get that over with. He’s good. He made five field goals and hasn’t missed one all season. I’m glad he’s reliable, but I’d like to see less of him going forward. Which, again, considering our receivers don’t know how to catch a ball, probably isn’t going to happen. You guys as depressed as I am yet? Football is so much fun!
The truth is that the best thing this 49ers team is doing right now is happening before the game even starts. The 49ers did not play last Sunday, so they were not able to immediately react to Trump calling players who protest during the anthem “sons of bitches” and saying that they should be fired. And, you guys, let’s not forget that the SECOND guy to join Kaepernick in his protest, Eric Reid, is still a very loved player on this team.
As a result of Trump’s inflammatory tweets, week three saw more protests during the anthem than ever before. Nearly 180 players either took a knee or protested in some other way. Unfortunately, that number drastically dwindled this week with just 52 players using the anthem to speak out against racial injustice and police brutality.
But of those 52 players bravely protesting, THIRTY were on the San Francisco 49ers. As they knelt, their teammates who wanted to stand did so behind them, some with their hands on the shoulders of those kneeling. Everyone put his hand on his heart. It was quite a sight to behold, and I felt a surge of pride knowing that, yeah, we may not win any games, but we are definitely winning when it comes to making a statement about not only oppression and social injustice, but an NFL player’s right to make that statement during the national anthem.
So yeah, we suck on the field, but we’re pretty amazing on the sidelines and in 2017 that actually feels a lot more important. Bravo to the 49ers for that.
Next Week: The (0-4) 49ers fly to Indianapolis to play the (1-3) Colts at 10 a.m. PT. It may be a close game, but it probably won’t be a good one, so go ahead and sleep in or go on a hike or enjoy your boozy brunch or whatever it is people who aren’t obsessed with football do on Sundays. I’ll be here to report back on the highlights. All two of them.