As we prepare to absorb another season of 49er football, it’s good to keep in mind that big, red, rectangle area at the 50 yard line that became known last year as the “Red Hole.” Those are the very expensive corporate customer seats and they emptied out completely after about the second home game last year. After three straight shellackings made it abundantly clear that Jed York had taken the money they paid for a prime rib team and served up a plate of baloney instead.
Will Chip Kelly put some butts back in those seats this year? Will they show up for game one, giving him the benefit of the doubt? Or will they stay away until the team proves it is worth watching?
Will there be planes flying over the stadium again this year, with nasty banners directed at York?
Currently, the 49ers are listed as underdogs in every game they play this year. Will they be good enough to become the favorite against anybody before the year ends. Will they win even one game?
It’s doubtful expectations are this low anywhere else in the league. So there is that. Some slogans under consideration for the coming season are “Least of the Least” and “Standing Tall on the Bottom” or “We Got Plenty of Nothing.”
All jokes aside, nobody really knows what to expect from the Niners, or Kelly, this year. A better offense than last year’s dead last jalopy, but that’s about all. A big chunk of this season, and the future, depends on the team’s past two first round picks — Arik Armstead and Deforest Buckner. If these guys turn into studs, the defense has a foundation to build on. If they don’t, the 49ers’ residence in the NFC West cellar is going to be a long term occupancy.