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How Low Can They Go? A Seuss-inspired examination of the San Francisco 49ers

A dysfunctional front office. Players fleeing en masse. As losers, the Niners are a masterclass.

When you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go

How Low Can They Go?

Who, pray tell, perpetrated this smoldering mess
Turned a top-notch brand into Cleveland Browns West?
Who transformed this once-golden franchise to lead?
Come and listen to my story ‘bout a man named Jed:

Yes, York hired Harbaugh, a clear-cut home run,
But really, what else has the CEO done?
Based on his deeds since – this will not be forsworn –
That hire goes under: Blind Squirrel Finds Acorn.

To be fair, there are some things Jed does well,
Such as gouging the fans for pricey PSLs.
That cash paid for a venue that’s high-tech and grand,
And, oh by the way, 50 miles from San Fran.

At Niners headquarters, down in Santa Clara,
Backbiting and intrigue often fill the air.
Harbaugh and Trent Baalke were oil and water,
The feud between them got hotter and hotter.
Like Wormtongue in Rohan; Goneril in Lear,
It was Baalke the GM who had the king’s ear.

So the coach was sent packing, to Michigan’s delight,
Thus began San Fran’s plunge into permanent night.
Five wins in ’15; so far this year just one --
Jed must lie awake nights thinking “What have I done?”

Chip Kelly needs players, on this we agree,
Still, he’s no Bill Walsh, or even “Mooch” Mariucci,
Or Dennis Erickson or Mike Singletary,
Whose records were something less than salutary.

Kelly’s calm in defeat, resigned like the Buddha,
Even though he’s on track to lose more than Tomsula.
But cut him some slack, spare him your derision,
The man never claimed to be a magician.
To say the team’s cupboard of talent is bare,
Is like saying our next prez has interesting hair.

For four years now Baalke and his coterie,
Have been bad at their job: finding groceries.
Send him out for ground beef and soft taco shells,
He’ll come back with three guys nursing torn ACLs.

For a Parcells disciple and man of his stature,
You’d think he’d be able to draft ONE pass-catcher.
Failing that, it would behoove Baalke to know
Which players to keep, and which to let go.

But while Pro-Bowler Mike Iupati jumped ship,
Baalke stood by with a stiff upper lip.
Nor do Alex Boone and Michael Crabtree
Pine for their former dysfunctional family.

But the knack the GM most conspicuously lacks,
Is for finding the team’s next franchise quarterback.
Swashbuckling Blaine Gabbert looks the part, to be sure,
But never met a checkdown he didn’t prefer.

Colin Kaepernick—not to be a naysayer—
Is a better protester these days than a player.
He makes bad decisions, can’t get through his reads,
Is skittish in the pocket; too often he flees.
His wind-up is long, and— to pick one more nit—
He’s more than a little inaccurate.
Other than that, Kap should be good to go,
With an upside as big as his stupendous ‘fro.

For a franchise to so comprehensively suck,
Incompetence is often paired with bad luck:
Patrick Willis, and others, opted to stop playing,
Aldon Smith was a time bomb who kept detonating.
Anthony Davis, the Hamlet of offensive linemen
Retired, unretired, then retired again.

While those body blows could not have been predicted,
Many more Niners wounds have been self-inflicted.
Surely, with shortcomings so myriad,
The team would attack the free agency period?

With dire needs and bushels of unspent cap cash,
The GM was certain to make a big splash.
Excitement ran high, fans trod on pins and needles,
Baalke reached for the stars and delivered … Zane Beadles.

Rock bottom arrived on October the 2nd:
Poor NaVorro Bowman tore an Achilles tendon.
With the loss of this All-Pro, a favorite of fans,
The team’s best-known member was Sourdough Sam.

The quickest and cleanest solution, it seems:
Convince the York family to unload the team.
Failing that: find a new, improved personnel man,
Fire Rasputin Baalke, start over again.

In the meantime, as Michigan piles up wins,
Let them sit back and reflect on what might have been.

On occasion Jim Harbaugh did seem a bit nuts,
Surveying the wreckage the York clan has wrought,
A timelier question would be: Who does not?