Updated: Jun 26
Mike Florio. Stephen A. Smith. Nick Wright. Ryan Clark. Skip Bayless. Chris Simms. Who's next?
Check out the "Who's next?" tracker, since this article was first published, at the bottom.
I ask, because it's only a matter of time before another national media member manufactures a Jimmy Garoppolo hot-take, and it probably happens (again) in the next week or so. Sure, it's the offseason, and there's not a lot of football to discuss...but how many more times will national media members create Garoppolo hot-takes, solely for clicks and attention?
How will the national narrative ever come to an end? Can it? Or should followers of the team simply stop rewarding national media members for creating hot-takes, by paying them no mind?
I would hope, eventually, the 49ers fan base realizes it doesn't matter what the national hot-take artists have to say. It doesn't matter what analysts who don't watch the 49ers closely have to say. They don't watch every play as intensely as you do or take into account the entire picture. Their job is to craft an "opinion" that will garner them clicks and attention. Period. You have to keep in perspective who these personalities are, what they do, and why.
They all want to say something controversial, or against the grain, in order to generate clicks and attention. Even they probably don't even completely believe what they're saying, as their thought process and motivation is "what thing can I say or write that will get me noticed?" Saying what the rest of the pack says, or sticking to football analytics, won't get you noticed...but when you have a big platform, a crazy and uninformed hot-take surely will get people's attention. These hot-takes are usually something along the lines of the following, and even when presented with evidence, it falls on deaf ears, and it's on to the next uninformed way to slander Garoppolo.
"He can't win in a shootout."
"He won at New Orleans, in an all-time great shootout"
"It's due to the roster, he's just a game manager."
"What about that awful 2017 roster that was 1-10 when Jimmy took over and won five games in a row? Three against playoff teams."
"It's all Kyle Shanahan."
"Look at Shanahan's record with Hoyer, Mullens, and Beathard at QB."
"All they do is run the ball."
"With that defense, and the game in hand, why would you do anything else?"
"It's all due to the defense."
"So what about his four 4th quarter comebacks, which was the most in the NFL?"
"He's not a winner, he doesn't have it." "He had a 13-3 record, and was 10 mins away from a Lombardi trophy" "....."
"His passing numbers just aren't impressive."
"He had the 4th most yards in 49ers history, with that WR corps, an OL who doesn't pass protect well, and they ran the ball down teams throats...his passing yardage wasn't impressive to you?"
The examples go on, and on, and on. Someone makes a comment, you answer with evidence, the evidence is ignored, and the goalposts are immediately moved. It just doesn't matter what you say, their opinion of Jimmy G is set for life, and they'll never change their minds. Trying to fight this narrative with stats, evidence, or the Niners record hasn't worked. I believe it's due to the fact that he was Brady's backup, he was traded for, and that he got a big contract after only five (amazing) games with the Niners. When you dig into a person's anti-Jimmy G rational, one of those three reasons is usually the root reason for why someone doesn't believe in Jimmy G ... but none of those three things should matter at all.
Unfortunately, people rarely change their initial perception of a player, and will wrongfully stick to their position for that player's entire career.
So what does matter? Only the opinion of John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and his teammates. That's it. Not you, not me, and certainly not the national hot-take artists. His teammates even more so than Lynch and Shanahan.
And what does the best 49er have to say about his QB? Let's review George Kittle's defense of Garoppolo from when he went on First Take, and defended his QB from one of the founding fathers of the uninformed hot take, Stephen A. Smith.
"You guys can say what you want to say about Jimmy G. I think he has like 25 wins as a starter, a Super Bowl a year after his ACL tear, a fantastic leader."
I'm pretty sure he's also the best quarterback on third down all season last year. He makes plays. He gets guys the ball that need them, and he's a fantastic quarterback. He's the reason we got to the Super Bowl. We don't get there without him. You saw what happened. We went 4-12 without him (in 2018), and we go 13-3 with him (in 2019). He's a pretty damn good quarterback, in my opinion.
Like I said, leads the league in third-down percentage. He makes throws. He won us two games versus Arizona. He won us the Rams game at the end of the game. He won a shootout with Drew Brees, who, in my opinion, is one of the best quarterbacks to do it. I mean, he shows up every single week.
He's a leader through and through, and he's the leader of this football team."
Case closed. Why would people listen to any national hot-take artist over the team's own All-Pro tight end? Who else would be more informed on what Garoppolo means to the Niners than Kittle? So why do we even acknowledge, let alone engage with, whatever hot-take artist who tries to resuscitate this slanderous narrative? They are incentivized to have crazy and divisive takes.
Them making the case that Garoppolo is the right QB for the Niners won't get them clicks and attention. So, why should 49ers fans listen to them? Let alone react and engage with them?
The answer is simply ... they shouldn't.
They shouldn't even give them the time of day, click on their articles, or react to it. Just ignore it, as you know their true motivation for these hot-takes. Niners fans reward the hot-take artists by doing so ... so stop falling into that trap.
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What will it take for the national media to change its mind, and stop with the crazy hot-takes for clicks and attention? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's time for 49ers fans to accept that fact, and to stop taking the bait. Stop making it profitable for these takes to be made.
Even if the 49ers had won the Super Bowl, and Jimmy Garoppolo had won the MVP, the national media would be using whatever flawed pretzel logic they could in order to say why he wasn't responsible for the win. So please Niners fans, let's have constructive debates and fair analysis about Garoppolo (and the Niners in general), but let's please stop taking the national hot-take bait. It rewards this type of hot-take for clicks journalism, they're never going to change their minds, and quite frankly...it's exhausting trying to fight an un-winnable conversation. Their perception is cemented, and there is no changing their minds. Let's stop fueling the national fire, and have an informed local discussion and debate, with people who see the forest for the trees.
"Who's next?" tracker
6/25, Matt Miller - https://twitter.com/nfldraftscout/status/1276206503511367680?s=20
Media courtesy AP Images
Graphic via Dillon Hiser