by Daisy Barringer
Congratulations to Jed York, Coach Kyle Shanahan, General Manager John Lynch, and everyone else who is a part of this 49ers organization: The San Francisco 49ers are now the first team in franchise history to start a season with eight straight losses. YOU DID IT. You ensured that this 49ers team is not only a total laughingstock in the NFL, but also that fans have little reason to hope or watch.
Because for fans who did waste three hours of their Sunday watching the Philadelphia Eagles crush the 49ers 33-10, here’s what they got to see:
C.J. Beathard getting sacked four times, hit another 12, and throwing two interceptions in the second quarter, one of which was a pick six that gave the Eagles a 17-0 lead.
Carlos Hyde rushing for just 25 yards on 12 carries.
A blocked field goal attempt by Robbie Gould when the Niners should have just been going for it on 4th and goal. (No, but seriously: why wouldn’t Shanahan just go for it?! We were down 27-7 with less than a quarter left to play. The only thing that would have even pretended to get us back in the game was a touchdown. And it’s not like Robbie Gould needs more practice kicking field goals. He’s the one guy on the team who’s actually good at his job. Most of the time.)
A pathetic three of 15 on third-down attempts.
Zero 49ers points scored in the first 40 minutes.
Six players exiting the game with injuries, including LT Joe Staley who sustained a fractured orbital bone thanks to a cheap shot by DT Fletcher Cox and FS Jimmy Ward who suffered a fractured forearm. Both will be out indefinitely.
To be fair, the abysmal performance was mostly by the offense. The defense deserves recognition for limiting Eagles QB Carson Wentz to a season-low 211 yards and sacking him three times, including two by Leger Douzable, which is a last name I really enjoy speaking aloud.
What’s even more impressive is that, like the rest of the team, the defense has been ravaged by injuries and yet still played hard. It’s one area where I feel like fans can legitimately see some hope for the future. Plus, it’s just always nice to see an Eagles quarterback get sacked because ugh, THE EAGLES ARE THE WORST.
It’s well known by now that I am rooting for the Niners to lose every game this season. Not only would it be completely fitting, it would secure us a first round draft pick, assuming the Browns don’t do the same. But damn is it hard to root for your team to lose when they’re playing a team that’s so fun to hate. Interestingly, while the owners, players, and rivalry cause my hatred of the Cowboys, my loathing of the Philadelphia Eagles stems almost entirely from the despicable fan base.
It’s no secret that Eagles fans are The Worst. There’s the time one purposely vomited on an 11-year old girl, the time another fan spit on a Saints fan, and of course, the time they threw snowballs at Santa. They’re also just loud, obnoxious, and always looking for a fight.
I personally experienced this during a Monday Night Football game at The Vet in 1997 when I was sporting a Jerry Rice jersey. (I didn’t know then how awful these people were and that doing so was risking my life.) Towards the end of the game, I went to the ladies room, and was followed in by five girls who were anything but ladies. The bathroom was empty except for the six of us and they formed a semi-circle around me while cussing at me and threatening to kick my ass. My back was literally up against a wall, so I did the only thing I could do: I Red Rovered right through them and sprinted to the door but not before turning back around and yelling, “CHECK THE SCOREBOARD.” The 49ers won that game 24-12.
Okay, so I can be a jerk too sometimes. Still, they started it.
Luckily, yesterday my only interaction with obnoxious fans was when I had to hear them sing that stupid “Fly, Eagles, Fly” fight song on the television after every touchdown. I hate that song with a passion. I took to Twitter to bitch about it, as one does when she is watching the game on her couch with only her dog to keep her company, and even though no Eagles fans actually follow me on Twitter, they were all apparently searching key words just looking for a fight. Which, I’ll admit, entertained me far more than anything that was happening on the field.
I think my biggest takeaway from the game actually was that, despite the fact that the Eagles are 7-1, first in the NFC East, and have the best record of any team in the league, I don’t think they’re good enough to go all the way. And that’s something to smile about because nothing makes me happier than the fact that the team with the most insufferable fans in the NFL has yet to win a single Super Bowl.
When your team is as awful as the 49ers, you have to find your happiness elsewhere, ya know?
But back to the 49ers for one more minute. My friend reminded me yesterday that in December of 2014, right after Jed York fired Jim Harbaugh, Trent Baalke said, “This isn’t a rebuild situation. This is a reload situation.” Since then, the 49ers have won seven games, five in 2015 under Jim Tomsula, two in 2016 under Chip Kelly, and zero in 2017 under Kyle Shanahan.
I wish the 49ers could have just admitted then and there that we were tearing everything down and rebuilding. Instead, they wasted two years of fans time and money just to get to this point: the first true year of the rebuild.
Unfortunately, I’m worried that we’re going to spend this entire year digging the hole for the foundation, and that it might be a many more seasons before it’s even laid. Which I think is how foundation works based on what I read in Tracy Kidder’s House, which is a great book you should read now that you have so much free time because you’re not watching football.
Anyway, the Niners suck. And the best thing that can happen for us is to lose out. Unfortunately, we have a couple of potentially winnable games coming up, particularly against the Cardinals and the Giants. The thing is, winning those games would be pointless. Is there really a moral victory if you beat a team that’s only slightly less terrible than you? Even worse: the Browns play teams that will be harder for them to beat for the rest of the season. This one’s going to come down to the wire.
It sucks to root for a loss, but at this point it’s the only thing worth rooting for. Fun times.
Next Week: The (3-4) Arizona Cardinals come to Levi’s Stadium well rested after a bye week. It’s a game the 49ers could win. Hopefully they don’t.