Broken idols, broken heads
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken
It all began to unravel on Thanksgiving night last year. After a 19-3 embarrassing home loss to the Seahawks, 49ers CEO Jed York tweeted an apology to the fan base. Shots fired at Coach Jim Harbaugh and the writing was on the wall for Harbaugh and the Niners “mutual” parting at the end of the season.
Fast forward to retirements from Pat Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, and Anthony Davis (ok fine, Bubba Ventrone); exits from Frank Gore, Andy Lee, Michael Crabtree, Mike Iupati, Chris Culliver, Parrish Cox, Dan Skuta, et al. via free agency and trades; Aldon Smith’s habitual line stepping leading to his release; and Niners fans were feeling like pre-Aspen road trip Lloyd Christmas.
The offense is broken.
The offense’s main focus coming into the new season is on getting the plays in on time. WOW! Reach for the stars. The Niners picked up Torrey Smith, which gives them a legitimate down field threat. However, the questions on offense remain and they surround Colin Kaepernick. Defenses have figured out how to hit his fastball and its time for Kap to start playing with his head instead of relying solely on his athleticism. Working with (the despised) Kurt Warner is a good sign, on the surface, that Kap will improve his quarterbacking in terms of making reads. But when the whistle blows, how realistic is it that Kaepernick's mental grasp of reading coverages, going through progressions, and ability to audible is on the level with bankrupt/homeless man's Peyton Manning or even a poor man's Kurt Warner? Probably not very.
Their offensive line is depleted and has been porous at best this preseason. Couple that with a new zone blocking scheme, Carlos Hyde's prospects to continue the Niners’ Frank Gore era tradition of success on the ground is only shaky at best. Which is a shame because Hyde appears poised for a breakout season after bell cow St. Francis Gore was let go in free agency.
And what about Vernon Davis? What happened to VD last year? He was on the team last year, right? Will he show up in a contract year or will he show up in week one and fade into oblivion for the rest of the season?
Even the defense is broken.
Recent history allowed the Niners to rely on a top defense that can carry the slack for any volatile offensive performances week to week . . . but now that’s broken. You can barely even recognize the defense. Needless to say everyone was blindsided by St. Patty Willis stepping away from the game and equally dismayed by Borland’s early retirement, which coincidentally negates Navarro Bowman's return. Let's just skip over the thin defensive backfield and the inexperienced defensive line. Just buckle you seat belts and prepare to watch the Niners defense to get more exposed in passing situations then have in the past five years.
Everything is broken.
Even with all of the above I felt hopeful this offseason, despite all of the clear signs to the contrary. That ended when I saw this on the internet:
Black Uniforms? Last time I checked Black for Black's Sake (BFBS) uniforms were so 2001. Of all front office moves that were in error over the past year this one stung the worst on a personal level.
When the Niners were toiling in obscurity in the mid-oughts, I wrote to the 49ers at the end of every year, pleading with them to change their uniforms back to the classic 1980s look. After years of letters, they finally went 80% of the way back and finally dawned their current updated retro look. That is why BFBS uniforms are so insulting to the Faithful.
The #RGB uniforms only detract from the storied history of a great franchise and add nothing. Black has never been apart of the color scheme and not only looks bad, it is a microcosm of the Jed York led front office has been generally detached from all common sense, save three and one-half years of the Harbaugh era. I would honestly rather have an alternate uniform that featured a plaid jersey and denim bottoms that try but ultimately fail at looking like a gold rush era gold miner and in reality look more like a Silicon Valley tech hipster (I would honestly not rather have that but you get the idea). At least that would have been an exercise in forward thinking creativity. The BFBS uniforms just shows that everything is broken.
Mercifully, here are our week-by-week predictions...
Week 1 - Vikings: Huss (W) l Josh (L)
Week 2 - @Steelers: Huss (L) l Josh (L)
Week 3 - @Cardinals: Huss (L) l Josh (W)
Week 4 - Packers: Huss (L) l Josh (L)
Week 5 - @Giants: Huss (W) l Josh (L)
Week 6 - Ravens: Huss (W) l Josh (L)
Week 7 - Seahawks: Huss (L) l Josh (W)
Week 8 - @Rams: Huss (W) l Josh (L)
Week 9 - Falcons: Huss (L) l Josh (W)
Week 10 - BYE
Week 11 - @Seahawks: Huss (L) l Josh (L)
Week 12 - Cardinals: Huss (W) l Josh (L)
Week 13 - @Bears: Huss (W) l Josh (W)
Week 14 - @Browns: Huss (L) l Josh (W)
Week 15 - Bengals: Huss (W) l Josh (W)
Week 16 - @Lions: Huss (L) l Josh (L)
Week 17 - Rams: Huss (W) l Josh (W)
Totals: Huss 8-8 l Josh 7-9
8-8 and 7-9 may be a bit generous considering the team has arguably had the worst offseason in its history, between a dismantling of a top defense, firing a coach that took them to three NFC Championships in four years, having players retire like it was going out of style, and Aldon Smith’s general self-destruction. However, as a Faithful you have to give them benefit of the doubt, right?
Faith is the only thing that can get the Faithful from Sunday to Sunday. With everything broken, the 2015-16 campaign could easily finish 6-10 or worse but maybe the Niners will have a logic defying Scott Ostler-esque playoff run. Unless the 49ers pick up the pieces this year, it maybe the start of the second Jed York ice age and another decade long playoff drought.
At least we have Jarryd Hayne, that’s not broken…