Curse of the Golden Bears: How To Fix San Francisco 49ers in Five Easy Steps
The San Francisco 49ers have not made the postseason since 2002 and since then have been mired in a continuous downward spiral of horrid quarterbacks, draft day blunders, and idiotic coaching hires.
The most notable draft gaffes were passing on three local products from the Bay Area's own University of California at Berkeley: Aaron Rodgers, DeSean Jackson, and Jahvid Best.
It is plain to even the most casual of fans that had the 49ers taken Rodgers, Jackson, and Best, they would be a definite Super Bowl contender. Instead, like Chicago's curse of the Billy Goat, this has become San Francisco's Curse of the Golden Bears.
If the 49ers ever want to right their ship and return to the peak of the NFL mountain, the curse needs to be broken. The cure will not be pretty, but it is the only way:
Step One: Trade Patrick Willis and Frank Gore for Aaron Rodgers
Anyone who knows anything about football can clearly see that Aaron Rodgers is already a first-ballot Hall of Famer. So in order to make amends for their 2005 mistake, the 49ers will have to mortgage their two best players: Patrick Willis and Frank Gore.
Willis and Gore may be the faces of the franchise, and two of the most devastating players at their respective positions in the modern day NFL, but Aaron Rodgers is positively divine and his very presence on the 49er roster guarantees the franchise at least three Super Bowls over the course of his career.
Willis and Gore are but a small price to pay.
Step Two: Trade Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree for DeSean Jackson
Forget that Vernon Davis is one of the most dangerous and versatile offensive weapons in the NFL. Forget how he overcame early-career attitude issues to become an ultimate team player, motivational leader, and team captain. Forget the record-tying numbers he posted last season, and forget that he started for the NFC in Pro Bowl.
Forget the promise Michael Crabtree showed last year after missing nearly half the season (oh, wait, most “fans” already have). Forget his speed, size, hands, and flash. Forget all inclinations of anything you ever hoped Crabtree could become when he fell to the 49ers in 2009.
Although Davis and Crabtree are good players with much potential, neither will ever be the dynamic, once-in-a-generation, game-changing enigma that DeSean Jackson already is.
The 49ers made the idiotic move of following team need in 2008 rather than blindly following the sage advice of the infallible local media. Now they must atone. Any football fan worth his or her weight could easily see that DeSean Jackson for Davis and Crabtree is more than an even trade, so what are they waiting for?
Step Three: Trade Anthony Davis, Anthony Dixon, and Taylor Mays for Jahvid Best
The 49ers had to give up Frank Gore as part of the deal to land savior QB Aaron Rodgers, but have no fear, Jahvid Best is here!
Lightning struck again in 2010, when the 49ers refused take the Cal product and add him to a clearly deficient stable of returning running backs. Instead they made the positively baffling choice of selecting two first-round caliber offensive linemen in Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati.
Sixth-round draft pick Anthony Dixon has shown great potential in the backup running back slot, but Jahvid Best has already proven himself as a sure-fire, slam dunk weapon. Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon for Jahvid Best (not to mention losing a key piece of the revamped offensive line in the process)? A bargain at twice the price!
Step Four: Draft the Next Five No. 1 Cal Prospects To Enter the NFL Draft
The 49ers have clearly brought this curse upon themselves by systematically and deliberately turning their backs on one of the most prominent breeding grounds for sure-fire NFL talent: The University of California at Berkeley.
In order to make absolutely sure they do not miss out on the next Cal future Hall of Famer, there is only one logical course of action: draft every top prospect to come out of the East Bay’s factory of football stars. Forget about team need, forget about draft position, forget about intangibles, intelligence, or off-field reputation. The 49ers need to finally listen to the local media and the majority of their fanbase and start drafting every Cal star they can.
Even if the 49ers have to trade four picks for one; even if they have to give away more proven NFL talent; even if they have to cut promising young players to make room at a crowded position, WHOMEVER are the next five “can’t miss” prospects to come out of Cal, the 49ers cannot afford to pass up on them.
That leaves just one final step in breaking the steely grasp of this horrid stigma...
Step Five: Fire Mike Singletary, Hang Alex Smith
If you cannot see that Mike Singletary has no clue what he is doing as an NFL head coach, you should really get your head examined.
Sure, the guy took over a 2-5 team in 2008 and led them to a winning record down the stretch, but he has compiled a paltry 8-11 record since then. Furthermore, he has no clue how to relate to the press, he benched and later traded the best 49er QB since Jeff Garcia, and constantly hides behind hand waving and speculation.
It is Singletary’s fault the offensive line is underperforming. It is Singletary’s fault the secondary is biting on obvious pump fakes. It is Singletary’s fault that junior-college gimmick plays go for touchdowns against the defense, and it is Singletary’s fault that the offensive gameplan thus far this season looked like it came from a playbook with every page but one torn out.
Firing Jimmy Raye was a face-saving, band-aid solution. It will not work and it is time to treat the problem at its source. Time for Singletary to go.
Then we come to Alex Smith. Fans have called for him to be benched practically since he stepped in for Shaun Hill, a proven winner who clearly deserved more respect from the 49ers and had shown incredible ability to get the job done through his limited starting opportunities.
Smith, on the other hand, has never proven anything. His decent stats in 11 games last season were a clear aberration as he reverted back to true form this season, getting yet another offensive coordinator fired due solely to his poor performances.
Simply benching a player of this pedigree will not do. Cutting him will not even do. The only way to fully purge the evil cancer that is Alex Smith’s play (and in turn release the team from the Curse of the Golden Bears) is to hang Smith on the 50-yard line prior to a home game, sever his head from his body, and bury the head and body under opposite end zones at Candlestick Park.
So there you have it. It will not be fun, it will not be pretty, but if the 49ers ever want to win a Super Bowl again, it is simply what must be done. It takes effort to miss the playoffs seven straight years in today’s NFL. Clearly the 49ers must be cursed.
The 49ers must act before yet another opportunity passes them by.
Keep the Faith!