NFL

The 49ers don’t care, so why should you?

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The owners don’t care. They’re under the salary cap by more than $40 million even though everyone knew their team suffered from a severe talent deficit in 2015.

The owners rarely communicate with the fans who keep boosting their shoddy franchise’s value to new heights. They don’t even show their faces throughout the season. We haven’t even seen a tweet about the action on the field since a year ago (after a lucky victory in Chicago).


The general manager doesn’t care. The 2016 draft was supposed to be his most important yet, but without apology he drafted another player coming off an ACL tear in the third round and waited until the sixth round to draft a quarterback, running back and wide receiver (the WR is the only one who remains, and he has done absolutely nothing).

The general manager rarely talks, but at least he feels contrite (sarcasm implied). “I feel bad for the fans,” he said, before continuing with: “I feel bad for a lot of people, the ownership in particular.” So yeah, we can probably just ignore the “fans” part.

The coach doesn’t care. In the week before heading to conditions that were guaranteed to be rough, if not brutal (which they appeared to be, at least on television), he opted to stay in … sunny Orlando, at his buddy’s college. Kelly talks a lot about the science of sport, but practicing in Orlando this week made him look like a guy who would train for a marathon by eating Munchie Meals from Jack In The Box in smoke-filled rooms.

The coach talks all the time, because it’s part of his job. We haven’t seen much action, though. The players seem just as bad as they were in Week 2, by and large, and they play worse after halftime most weeks.

The players don’t get a reprieve, either. Their effort today, against an undermanned (and not all that great when they were fully-manned either) Bears team, was pathetic. Laughable.

Jordan Howard ran through guys and became the third running back who started this season as a backup to rush for over 100 yards against this sorry outfit. Receivers who most viewers hadn’t even heard of frequently found themselves wide open against 49ers cornerbacks. The 49ers finished with six passing yards. Colin Kaepernick looks like a man who can’t wait to leave. The 49ers committed 11 penalties, including this one that did a fantastic job summarizing the entire season.

The fans deserve better. They deserve to not have to spend their money on this. Moreover, they deserve the freedom to spend their Sundays not paying attention to this trash.

The fans can speak loudly. Stop showing up to Levi’s Stadium. If you absolutely must attend games, bring your own food. Refrain from purchasing beverages in the concourses or club areas.

When the owners, GM, coach and players spend a Sunday in Chicago displaying just how little they care about the fans’ time, pride and need for distractions from work and the world at large, it’s time for the fans to reassess. To resist.

They’re playing all of you for suckers, and not just the season ticket holders either. But you aren’t suckers. Taught by Bill Walsh, 49ers fans were groomed to appreciate the finer points of the game. It’s not that 49ers fans were put off by the violence — they loved the physicality of players like Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Bryant Young, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis. Still do. But they expected something more than brainless smashmouthism from their team. They expected intelligence and urgency. From the mid-1980s through the early 2000s, some called 49ers fans spoiled, and that was true on the surface. But your decision to invest so much — not just money, but entire days — into something, anything, should be reciprocated with equal passion and care in return.

The main problem here is that the Yorks, along with Paraag Marathe and Trent Baalke, think they know everything. They think we’re all idiots. “We’ll show ’em,” they think (and that idea is directed at the fans, media and former employees alike). This unchecked arrogance, combined with incompetence and a lack of (yes, you guessed it) ACCOUNTABILITY, trickles down to the coach, his staff, and their players, and will continue to do so.

This is what we have. This is what we’ve faced for most of the last 17 years, and this is probably what we’ll continue to face for a long time. The only ones paying a true price are the ones who aren’t millionaires, or billionaires. But we outnumber them. It’s time to issue a reminder to the least talented, least inspiring and least hopeful team in the NFL. How? By making it so the number of the 49ers owners + employees comes close to outnumbering the team’s fans in Levi’s Stadium during each home game until significant — and by that I mean transformative, uncomfortable and humiliating — changes are made.

Niners Notes

— The Bears were without their starting quarterback, their top two receivers, their top tight end, and several key defensive players, and they scored 26 unanswered points in this game.

— Kaepernick took too many sacks and fumbled, but it was amusing to see Blaine Gabbert get some run and throw every down after Kaepernick went 1-for-5 over three quarters of play. Especially after the report that Kaepernick will void his contract after the season came out today.

Jay Glazer, who knows pretty much everything before it happens, says Chip Kelly will be the 49ers’ head coach in 2017 no matter what happens. They said that about Jim Tomsula before the 49ers got crushed by Johnny Manziel, too. That didn’t come from Glazer, but Jay Feely heard it straight from the Guido’s mouth.

— If Kelly is back, that either means Tom Gamble will replace Trent Baalke or the Yorks will give Baalke another shot, fire Jim O’Neil, and call it a January.

— Anyone else feel dumber after watching that game? Snow games on HD are generally wonderful, but a poorly-played December game between two terrible teams battling for draft position is beyond depressing, regardless of conditions. Hopefully most of you enjoyed a day without the 49ers or turned the game off after halftime.

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