In part one of our 49ers season in review – A Season on the Brink, we flipped the 49ers fan base onto its back and examined its soft underbelly. What we found was horrifying.

Turtle

Faced with the adversity of a 12-4 record and the sour taste of another failed playoff run in their mouths, distraught fans flocked to the KNBR airwaves this season to blow off steam. Niner fans bitched and moaned about the offense, the defense, the coaches, and the front office. Not even the brand new, state-of-the-art stadium was above reproach, as KNBR hosts and callers criticized every aspect of an organization clearly up to its eyeballs in institutional failure. #sarcasm

It was really fun/disturbing to look back on all those tweets, but … but, wait! There’s more!

Harbaugh Haterz? Roman Rejectors? Baalke Backstabbers? Psssht … Child’s play!

Welcome back for part two of the 49ers season review! Welcome to Kap Bashing!

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The #KapBash phenomenon began as early as the 2012 season. Even as Alex Smith (no stranger to KNBR haterz himself) faded into the background and Colin Kaepernick burst onto the scene, there were rumblings of discontent amongst a small portion of the fan base. Emboldened by an offseason filled with perceived missteps – ERMAHGERD HE WORE A DOLPHINS HAT – the Kap Bashers came into the 2013 regular season with their talons sharpened and 808-KNBR on speed dial.

NFL pundits were quick to hang impossible expectations on Kaepernick after his impressive run through the playoffs in 2012. The 49ers were about to become a dynasty, with Kap as the centerpiece. Most fans understood this was just the NFL hype machine doing its thing, but the crazies weren’t having it. Kaepernick would have to play like Joe and walk the Earth like Jesus to avoid their wrath. All was quiet, until back-to-back blowout losses to the Seahawks and Colts. By then it was clear, Colin Kaepernick was not the Christ-Montana hybrid. The dream was dead. Meanwhile KNBR hosts pounded listeners on a daily basis with hot takes about his tattoos and half-naked pictures on the internet, abandoning all pretense of providing actual analysis (which requires effort and rational thought and other icky stuff like that … yuck!).

The backlash was swift and laughably predictable. Without the knowledge (or the desire) to really understand why Kaepernick was struggling, callers and hosts did what they do best. They just made stuff up!

We’re going to get into all of this ridiculousness in the tweets section below, but first, some much needed perspective…

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This is a comprehensive list of quarterbacks with at least one start for the San Francisco 49ers since Jeff Garcia left after the 2003 season:

  • Tim Rattay
  • Ken Dorsey
  • Alex Smith
  • Cody Pickett
  • Al Bundy
  • Johnny Utah
  • Trent Dilfer
  • Shaun Hill
  • Chris Weinke
  • Reno Hightower
  • Stan Gable
  • J.T. O’Sullivan
  • Troy Smith
  • Uncle Rico
  • Colin Kaepernick

Seriously, look at that list. Outside of Colin Kaepernick, 2010-11 Alex Smith, and maaaaybe Stan Gable (pre-Tri Lambda fiasco), this list is a bucket full of tube socks stuffed with congealed vomit. Niner fans had a great run of quarterbacks for about 25 years, but got damn … when the other shoe dropped, it dropped HARD. That damn shoe kicked us right in the ass.

But I digress. The point is, the dark days are over. CALM DOWN, KNBR CALLERS. Kaepernick is here now. Everything is going to be okay. YOU CAN LEARN TO LOVE AGAIN. 

What? Too anecdotal for your taste? Oh, I see how it is. You want some numbers, Poindexter? Okay, let’s get down and dirty then. I’mma ‘bout to get my statistical analysis on!

Confession Time: The tire fire below is a shameless attempt to justify the (literally) hours I spent trying to gather simple statistics on a few quarterbacks. What you are about to see is the “fruits” of my labor. Truth be told, the customizable report creator function at Pro-Football-Reference.com reduced a grown man to tears last night. It wasn’t pretty. Please, just humor me and act like you read and enjoyed this part of the post and gleaned some shred of relevance from it. K, thanks.

Important Statistical Analysis:

Here we have the first three years of data for several elite NFL quarterbacks (and Alex Smith).

First up is Colin Kaepernick:

kap stats

ANALYSIS: There’s a lot to like here. Great Y/A. Pretty good TD-Int ratio. Respectable QB rating. And those rushing TDs. Me likey!

CONCLUSION: Suck it, Trent Dilfer.

Here are the same numbers for Joe Montana:

montana stats

ANALYSIS: Is this the same Joe Montana who won a Super Bowl? With these numbers? You gotta be kidding me. Bum!

CONCLUSION: Duh. Look at the numbers. Colin Kaepernick is clearly better than Joe Montana.

And here are the same numbers for Steve Young:

young stats

ANALYSIS: Bro … BRO … Really, bro?

CONCLUSION: This is embarrassing. Colin Kaepernick is DEFINITELY better than Steve Young.

Peyton Manning’s numbers:

peyton stats

ANALYSIS: Forget everything you see here and just focus your attention on the interceptions. Those are turnovers, folks. Game changers. You can’t play all loosey-goosey with the football and expect to win football games. 

CONCLUSION: OMAHA! OMAHA! OMAHA! Call an audible on Peyton’s entire career. He’s a fraud. Kaepernick is the superior quarterback.

John Elway’s numbers:

elway stats

ANALYSIS: John Elway was picked off 55 times in his first three seasons and he has one of the most punchable faces in the history of professional sports. I think we’re done here.

CONCLUSION: Upon further review, we’ve all been lied to. John Elway was a train wreck. Kap is better and it’s not even close.

And here we have Aaron Rodgers’ first three seasons:

Rodgers stats

ANALYSIS: LOL AARON RODGERS

CONCLUSION: LOLOLOLOL

And finally, Alex Smith. More on him later in the post, but for now, feast your eyes on these numbers!

Alex stats

ANALYSIS: /thousand yard stare

CONCLUSION: /dry heaves repeatedly

After digesting all of these numbers and consulting many complex flow charts and plot graphs, I’ve concluded that Colin Kaepernick is really fricking good. The only question on my mind is whether or not they’ll allow Kaepernick to wear his Beats by Dre headphones for his bust in Canton. 

***

Alright, enough of that. Let’s get to the tweets. Without further ado, I present to you…

The Top 10 Forms of #KapBash heard on KNBR

#1 – Get off my lawn

The tattoos. The headphones. Wearing sunglasses indoors. The flat-brimmed hats that are often worn backwards, or worse, backwards and turned sideways. It’s too much for KNBR hosts and callers to handle. Doesn’t he know hats are meant to be worn forward-facing, with some curve to the bill? The kids call it swag. Poppycock! Johnny Unitas never had swag!

kap hat headphones

Exhibit A

#2 – Shoddy analysis

Caller: “I don’t think [insert mispronounced player's name] has what it takes.”
Host: “Okay, why don’t you think he has what it takes?”
Caller: “Well, I’ve been watching [insert sports team] for 30 years and so…”
Host: “But do you have any reasons for saying he doesn’t have what it takes?”
Caller: “Uhhh … Errr … [panic sets in] Ummm …”
Host: “Hello?”
Caller: “GAAAAAAH! BODY LANGUAGE! CONFIDENCE! LEADER! CLASS! EYEBALL TEST!”
[line goes dead]

Why can’t Kap just act like all the other quarterbacks?! Look at Russell Wilson. He looks his teammates in the eye and greets them with a firm handshake. Now that’s a quarterback!

RW sidelines 2

#3 – The Running Quarterback Narrative

Everyone knows running quarterbacks can’t throw and throwing quarterbacks can’t run. It’s science.

Ahh, yes. The person who calls sports talk radio and waits on hold for over an hour to talk about someone else’s lack of intellect, without even a hint of irony.

#4 – His social media habits don’t conform to my expectations

These people are pretty much interchangeable with the GET OFF MY LAWN crowd. Can you believe Kap has the gall to post pictures of himself doing extravagant things on the internet?! What does he think he is, a rich, single, 25-year-old pro athlete?? This is so inappropriate!

Another really funny/annoying talking point that floated around KNBR for what seemed like three months was the notion that “The Haterz” were inside Kap’s head because he was Favoriting tweets that criticized him. Murph & Mac were particularly obsessed with Kap’s Twitter habits. To be honest, it was a little creepy.

#5 – What is he doing on the sidelines? DOES HE EVEN WATCH FILM?!

This one should probably be #1 on the list, but I’m too lazy to change it. When Kap struggled, KNBR callers grasped for anything they could think of to explain it. One of the funniest #KapBash themes was whether Kaepernick was “putting in the time.” Callers brought it up so often that Brian Murphy actually asked Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman about it in weekly interviews.

One caller became so obsessed, he began monitoring Kaepernick from the stands with binoculars and would call in each week to give a full report on Kap’s sideline behavior.

kap sidelines playbook

That’s not totally true. This photo of Kaepernick was taken on the sidelines during a week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Kap is obviously NOT just standing around on the sidelines. He’s getting some ink done.

kap sidelines 4

I guess the guy with the binoculars missed THAT, huh?

#6 – Why can’t he be more like Russell Wilson?

Comparing Kap to Russell Wilson is a totally valid exercise. Leave it to KNBR callers to make a mockery of it.

Russell Wilson loves puppy dogs, ice cream, and dressing up for Halloween is totes his fav!

RW hanging with teammates

He loves his wife.

RW draft day

Face it. Russell Wilson is just better than you.

russell lombardi

HOLY RACIAL CODING, BATMAN!

#7 – Kap hates the media!

Sigh. Just read this.

#8 – He’s a big jerk face meanie

How do KNBR callers know this? They just do. That’s how.

kap sidelines 3

Body language!

#9 – He’s just not very good at football

#10 – Alex Smith is better

Yes, this is still a thing.

Alex love

/facepalm

Alex Smith: the #1 rated quarterback of KNBR Callers

ZINGER ALERT!

Okay, stop. Just stop. This is getting sad.

Thanks for suffering through this post. See you next week for part three of the 49ers season in review.