Chasing the Hartebeest

The Bay Area sports Twitter Tweeters had a feeding frenzy Tuesday chasing every leak and rumor morsel regarding the 49ers, their GM search, and Jim Harbaugh. In the end, as predicted a week ago, Trent Baalke was simply promoted to the GM job. Harbaugh supposedly has told the 49ers that’s okay with him. And oh, by the way, Tom Cable was quietly fired when his 2011 option was declined.

If you have a Twitter account and follow these tweeters, it seemed like a roaringly busy day. David White of the Chronicle had a one hour visit with his doctor and missed both the Baalke news and the Cable firing, and acted like he’d missed the announcement of World War III. If you just get up and digest yesterday’s events over the morning coffee, however, it wouldn’t look like much had happened at all. I will restrain myself from launching into a comparison of life as it was before and after the birth of the World Wide Web. For now, anyway.

Jed York did manage to create some last minute drama over the GM search by leaking that it was a two horse race between Baalke and Mike Lombardi. Lombardi supposedly had better connecs with Harbaugh. Which essentially means Harbaugh was determining who the next 49er GM was going to be. Which means that this whole GM/HC process was decided quite some time ago, and this past week has all been good or bad theater — take your pick.

Personally, I’m okay with Baalke. It’s very scientific: I like the cut of his jib. Strong, determined, no nonsense face. None of that puffy, furtive McCloughan demeanor. I’m okay with Harbaugh, too. He’s not Brian Billick, for starters. And he’s got a similar physiognomy to Baalke. Two strong jaw types balancing out Jed “Baby Face” York seems good to go to me. Check back with me in two years and, if necessary, I will deny I ever supported either of them.

For now, York can take all the snickering from those near and far who make sneering a local and national pastime, because getting Harbaugh to the Niners is a major coup for him. Period. Harbaugh is the hottest candidate on the market. Mike Singletary, Mike Nolan, and Dennis Erickson were NOT.

The hardest task remaining will be to get a black guy to interview for the HC job, knowing full well it’s already been assigned to Harbaugh. Hue Jackson is set to interview this morning, but he could be hired by Al Davis before then. And York seems to prefer wrapping this whole shebang up with a press conference on Thursday. Maybe Jimmy Raye is on standby and will trot in for a good guy yap today. He might need to get his name back in the news. Too bad Jim Tomsula is a white guy. I’m sure he would oblige.

In the coming days, we will be finding out what the Niners’ new coaching staff will look like. So far, WR coach Jerry Sullivan is the only known fellow to be leaving. No tears for that development. It appears DC coach Greg Manusky will also be gone, as well as OC coach Mike Johnson.

Once again, the 49er off season is much more interesting than the 49er in season. Let’s hope that this coming year we can reverse that woeful trend. A nice boring 2012 off season that begins in late January or, gasp, early February is definitely long overdue.

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27 comments on “Chasing the Hartebeest
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We need to prevaricate to the black coaches that they are actually being considered for the job.
    In the mean time, it was happening to us fans about the GM search. And while many feel jilted about it, and their fandom being tested, I just see it as doing business in the very public world of high profile hirings.
    Some of the emotional reactions I see are either A, laughable or B, disturbing. I choose to laugh because I don’t get paid to talk to them. If I did I would tell them they are disturbed and give them my card. Or maybe I would bring lunch, get group together and have a seminar to tell and show them how disturbed they are and maybe I could get a feeding frenzy of money flowing for my services. After all, these are very emotional people and they would not want to miss out on he mob scene of burning the witches at the stake, or in this case, giving me money to tell them they are wacko instead of getting the advice for free on the blog.
    So here is some free advice for the ones trying to tell me the sky is falling because of who we hire as coach or GM, you are disturbed. Now everybody laugh it off. Or, do the blog mob thing and reply with some angry words of wisdom we are so accustomed to here, and every blog in existence.
    If things start quieting down soon I’ll need to bring up why we need to bring back Alex Smith just to be keep the entertainment of the disturbed flowing.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Haha. You must have opened up that can of worms called Kevin Lynch’s Niner Insider, Berger. I’m tempted to go peek, but would rather put a new pot of coffee on.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- Just laughing at all the “world is coming to an end” talk based on if we hire the right or wrong GM and coach. Do these people even have a life outside of things they have no control of? I love sports and am very entertained by it. I even like getting emotional about it, since I can’t afford to do that with things I have control of, but people act like this is life and death.
    You’ll have to excuse me now while I look for a bridge to jump off of if we don’t hire the right coach!

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- I copy and pasted my 6:40 post from above to Unca’s blog and it got deleted. So I did the right thing and put a plug in for everybody to come over here to read it. I asked Unca if he deleted it and am waiting for a response. Hopefully he won’t prevaricate!

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    It’s just another reminder that there are a whole lot of dangerous wackos running around out there in civilization. Whenever Skeebette suggests to me that I don’t get out enough, I make her read a football blog. Her response is always, “I see.”
    NoFear probably has it right, living up there in the Yukon in that hi-tech igloo, running those top-secret weather control machines. A long way from THEM!

  6. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    its all conspiracy and innuendo out there in wacko land.
    it makes for entertaining theater for the easily amused

  7. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    I’m from Chuck’s blog and came to see the post Berger! I also use to post a lot on the Lynch’s blog, but that is too high tech for me. I’m not a huge blogger, really. I just got hooked because I love the Niners and I don’t live in the area, so I’ve turned to these to talk with fellow fans. But it seems there are people on sfgate who would rather argue about who is the gayest, dumbest, or most full of shit. And it gets annoying. I do like to stir the pot with Alex Smith though. I hate that guy. And I’m fairly certain I’ve argued or whatever the blog term is with Berger, as my hatred for Alex makes me turn red and do things I’m not proud of. I’m ok with this hire, of Baalke. He had a draft last April I was happy with, so it appears as though he as an idea of what are needs are. Apparently he has an ‘in’ with Harbaugh. Whatever. I’m more worried and interested about our head coach and who that will be. I know little about GM’s. Oh, Baalke also extended Willis, which leaves me to believe again, he has an idea of what is going on.

  8. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Skeebs…ive got a question for you…ive been wishing since early in the season, for Harbaugh and Luck…looks like we might get Harbaugh , but Luck is looking like outta reach…i heard yesterday the the owner of the Carolina Panthers,that he wouldnt deal the pick for Luck if he comes out. But he’s known as a penny pincher…my question is if theres NO collective bargaining agreement in place …does the draft revert to what we’ve have had, the mega million deals for top pic(s). Panthers owner im sure would keep pic if theres a rookie cap…but if not? chances for a trade may be more possible…especially since they drafted Clausen last year..

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Tony, the draft will be the draft. No change there. What the draftees get paid is up to the new CBA. It would be shocking if that new CBA did not include a rookie cap.
    However, I’ve been sloshing a bit of hope around in my head about Luck pulling an Elway/Eli trip and telling Richardson he won’t sign, forcing Richardson to trade him to, oh, maybe the Niners.

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Josh- I little debate is fun, what they do on the insider is tiring and puerile. Unca and Skeebs offer nice alternatives.

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Tony- I read an article by Dave Benz this morning that gives another way for Luck to try and get what he wants. He notes that he could go with the Supplemental Draft strategy plan. I don’t agree but it was an interesting read.

  12. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of weird shit going on between now, declaration of intent for the college players, the CBA expiration, and the draft.
    Quiet offseason? Hardly. The date for underclassmen to declare for the NFL is Jan 15th. The CBA expires in March, and the draft is in April.

  13. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    This whole CBA thing scares me. Although, I see it getting done pretty quick after the Super Bowl. There is far too much money involved and the players won’t get paid if they are sitting out and owners won’t make money if they are sitting out. Both sides will hammer something out because nobody wants to see that. I will say that I will lose some faith with the NFL if it happens. I put it on the players, mostly.

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Josh- Players don’t start getting pay checks until the regular season starts. Some bonuses trigger, but the regular pay starts with the start of the regular season games. CBA probably won’t get done until the players don’t get paid.

  15. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck, Luck’s epiphany at the stroke of midnight on Jan 14th will be to stay one more year at Menlo Park and chase the cheerleaders. Harbaugh will swing by and pick him up in 2012. 

    Or not. 

    The Gabbert Watch will kick into high gear on Jan 15th. 

  16. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    That’s my thinking, Franchise. Unless Harbaugh is here, and they at least bring up the possibility of reuniting with each other.

  17. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    The more I read about Harbaugh and this whole situation, the more I’m led to believe he’s a prima dona who’s demanding the world for something he hasn’t proven yet. Coaches are like the athletes themselves and are just as likely to be busts. Hopefully somebody lets him know that regardless of this being the NFC west, people run faster and are tougher at this level.

  18. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The players will cave. Like they did in 87. Joe crossed the line, remember? The owners are in a far better position to lose money than the players are.

    The owners felt they were screwed by the last deal and thus want to get concessions from the players.

  19. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Shit, my long post just got lost in the ether . . .

  20. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I checked the spam trapper, Chuck (not that anything you write would ever end up there 馃槅 ), but your post wasn’t there. NoFear is probably experimenting with some sort of post zapping laser beam. I shall have to activate the photon shield.

  21. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Josh, you sound like NoFear in his bashing of Andrew Luck as a pedestrian QB. The point is, no one knows how college coaches will do coming over. The facts are he took a crappy USD team and turned them into Pioneer league champs pretty quick, and then took a 1-11 Stanford football program and turned it into a top 5 (or 4) school in a pretty short amount of time. No small feat. Will that translate? Who knows?
    The Niners (or Denver) are willing to bet a shitload of money to find out. There are many coaches who have made the transition, including John Madden, Jimmy Johnson, and Bill Walsh, and tons who haven’t, like Steve Spurrier and Lou Saban.
    Same goes for Andrew Luck. All there is to base this on is what they’ve done in college. Football ddoesn’t have the luxury of a minor league system to wean these guys into their real jobs as NFL football players. Some make the grade, some don’t. Some wallow in varying levels of competence to mediocrity and hang on, others get shitcanned within 2 years.
    Chris Weinke was a Heismann winner who got drafted in the 4th round. Same kind of thing for Gina Torreta (6th round?). Alex Smith didn’t get the Heismann but was drafted #1 overall. It was obvious that Weinke and Torreta benefitted from great college systems and that their skills didn’t translate to the NFL game. Smith? Well, it was a convergence of the Niners not having anyone, Nolan misreading Smith vs Rodgers, and the Niners not being able to trade out of the #1 spot.
    The point is, you don’t know. Ever. But there are a bunch of GMs licking their chops to get at Harbaugh and Luck.

  22. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Word on the street is that the York clan is just smitten with Harbaugh. Regardless if he walks into today’s interview like Skeebers at Manpower, he’ll still win the gig. With Balki as GM, will he truly evaluate Harbaugh objectively whilst Jed looms over his shoulder? 



    Not that I’m showing any favoritism to my fellow alum, Hue Jackson. But these Pacific Tigers know something about football (never mind they lost their charter in 95 – blame Nebraska). Hue would also bring with him a staff that’s got one well-traveled NFL season under their belt, and the know-how to go 6-0 in a division. 



    Never mind, it’s a foregone conclusion. Harbaugh has just pulled up at 4949 and waved at Hue exiting the parking lot. 



  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I still believe the outcome of the decision for Harbaugh rests with the Legacy of Bill Walsh.

    And to the same extent, Jed is playing the same connection for his Fan Base.

    I’ve got concerns about a rookie HC again, but do leave some latitude for the fact that Harbaugh played and, developed, the QB position, something in itself, this Franchise needs desperatly.

    Whether Luck comes aboard or not, Harbaugh should help put this Offense back on the tracks.

  24. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The thing that makes me nervous about Jim Harbaugh is he is my first choice for coach. I haven’t picked so well lately.

  25. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Poor Sparano. He’s no match for the more intoxicating Harbaugh – enough for Ross and GM to commit such adultery and zip on a plane to The Farm. 


    Harbaugh may instead opt to play HORSE with Lebron in South Beach gentlemen. The suspense here is just killing me. 


  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Mortenson is saying we have 22 picks in next two years.

  27. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    $7M per for a college HC? That’s what the Fins are willing to offer, and they’re putting their asses on a plane to tell him in person. Absolutely bonkers. 


    Jed should tell Harbaugh to go enjoy the seasonal hurricanes in South Beach, and go get my man Hue! 


2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 路 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 路 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 路 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 路 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 路 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17