I’ll be rooting for Denver in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Mostly because I despise the Seahawks. I’d like to see them beaten, and embarrassed would be even better. Tawdry, perhaps, but true.
But the fate of the Seahawks casts a shadow over the 49er house, too. The two teams are similar in many ways. They each have ex-college head coaches from the PAC-12 who like to play physical, run the ball, and play good defense. Ex-49er GM Scott McCloughan had a hand in building both teams.
If Denver beats Seattle, it’s fair to assume they would have beaten the 49ers, also. In which case, I’d be glad our boys didn’t go to the game this year and wind up losing for the second year in a row. That can be a heavy psychological burden for the future.
Conversely, however, if Seattle wins, it’s fair to assume the 49ers would have won, too, which would add yet another layer of disappointment to our season.
All of which puts us 49er fans in the strange position of having to root for Peyton Manning, the guy who spurned our advances two years ago, to take out the Seahawks since we failed to do so ourselves. Thus sending Seattle into the offseason gloom that we ourselves felt a year ago when our Super Bowl dreams went pfft. These bed liaisons can certainly get queasy.
The talk of the town lately has been Colin Kaepernick’s impending new contract. The problem with Colin is that he has elite skills, but is not an elite quarterback. Most people assume he eventually will become elite, but that’s not a given. With the exception of Tony Romo, all QBs getting elite money have actually won SBs. Kaepernick has had the ball in his hands at the end of the game with a chance to win the SB last year, and the NFC Championship this year, and both times he’s failed to get the job done. It’s hard to imagine Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck failing to deliver in these circumstances. In fact, Colin arguably hasn’t accomplished anything more with this team than Alex Smith would likely have accomplished — and maybe even less.
What we will be able to discover is just how hard a bargain Kaepernick and his agent drive. One that represents his accomplishments to date, or one that reflects what he might accomplish in the future, or what he might get from another team in free agency. It will tell us a lot about how much Colin values being on a great team versus how much value he places on his bank account.
The problem with paying one guy a sixth of the entire salary cap is that guy must BE the one who carries the team to the SB. Like Manning has done with Denver. The Broncos didn’t get here by playing great defense. Teams with elite money QBs can’t afford elite defenses, too. And no QB getting elite money has ever won a SB. They won SBs before they got the money. Perhaps Manning will be the first to win one AFTER getting the money.
In the meantime, we 49er fans will spend our 20th consecutive season sitting on the sofa watching some other franchise hoist the Lombardi. Sigh.