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SANTA CLARA — It was beautiful how they honored Eddie DeBartolo at halftime of the 49ers-Patriots game. Eddie wearing a gold jacket reserved to members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Eddie speaking about the old days. Eddie accompanied by Joe Montana and Steve Young and Dwight Clark who held an umbrella over Eddie’s head. Clark protective.

It was raining. The skies of the Bay Area were in mourning for what the 49ers used to be and are now. Everyone is in mourning because of the degradation that is this team. The sacrilege.

And there was the stark, tragic proof before our eyes. Eddie beloved, Eddie speaking in a choked-up voice and the fans choked up for the past. One of the most glorious pasts of any team in American sports, a past in San Francisco, a present in this small South Bay burg. Good God.

On the big screens at each end of the stadium, they showed videos of Eddie, videos of 49ers greats. They kept flashing a sign: “Mr. D.” Everyone knows who Mr. D is.

Everyone also knows who Jed is and who his father is. And what they have done to this franchise, to the Bay Area. How Eddie’s Niners won 13 division championships, five Super Bowls, had the best winning percentage in the 1980s and 1990s.

What I’m doing, in case you’re not with me, is making a juxtaposition. Of the great with the trash. With the trash product this clueless York family puts on the field week after week. The trash Eddie would not have countenanced, Bill Walsh would not have countenanced. This insult the Yorks perpetuate on the Bay Area.

And please don’t tell me Walsh lost 14 games his first season. Look what he did afterward. Look what Chip Kelly and Jed and John — those Yorks — never will do. Be honest. See the rain as tears. Just a crying shame.

Of course, the 49ers lost to New England — 30-17. Lost their ninth game in a row. They are officially the One-and-9ers. And Kelly, heaven help us, has lost nine in a row, the longest losing streak of any 49ers coach. Send him back wherever he came from.

The 49ers hung tough in the first half as they always do. False promise. And then they flopped, rolled over dead in the third quarter. Didn’t score in the third quarter — their pattern. Kelly blamed the rain. He actually blamed the rain. Where is his pride? You want to laugh in his face.

He said other unusual things. Like he’s seen his players develop.

Really, Chip? Name one.

He said he’s seen “positive things” the team can build on.

Really, Chip? Name one.

Walsh built on Joe Montana and Freddie Solomon and Hacksaw Reynolds. Who in the world are you building on, Chip? What do you even know about building?

Me, I didn’t see positive things. I saw the Niners fold as usual when things got tough. I saw the center snap the ball off his shin. Honest to God. I saw the 49ers bench — the whole bench — get called for a personal foul.

So embarrassing. And this with all those Hall of Famers in the house. Such a degraded enterprise. Hide your heads, Jed and John and, yes, Denise, too. You don’t get a pass, Denise. Shame on you. Shame on you for passing off this mess as a football team, for not seeing the irony in honoring your brother in the context of this miserable operation you and your family inflict on the world.

A personal note here. I felt honored to cover the five 49ers Super Bowl teams, every one of them. I didn’t root. But I took pride in writing well — I hope — about their excellence. Now, I’m reduced to satire, reduced to saying the Niners suck in a million different ways. I’m running out of ways.

If I can’t bear this, Denise, how can you? I’m not involved. You are involved. You are the 49ers.

This everyone should know. It will put a knot in your stomach. When Robert Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994, he visited with executives from a certain team. Wanted to learn how to make a great team.

Can you guess whom he visited?

He came to the Bay Area and met with Eddie and Carmen Policy. He wanted to meet with the best. They told him what they had done. He listened and then he made the Patriots into this perennial contender, a team New England can be proud of.

If he were buying a team now, do you think he’d consult with the York bumblers? You want to die laughing. Or crying.

After the game, Colin Kaepernick came to the interview room to doubletalk the media. He and Kelly are masters of doubletalk. Someone asked Kaepernick why he didn’t play well in the third quarter. He went into a song and dance about the team needed to execute better, how certain plays didn’t work out. All that malarkey, especially the stuff about executing. Stuff we’ve heard a million times. Meaningless words.

I didn’t let it go. I’m sick of the doubletalk. I didn’t get doubletalk from Walsh or from Eddie.

“Colin, it happens every third quarter,” I said. “You could say that about nine games. So why is it a continuing pattern?”

“If we knew that, we’d fix it right now,” he replied.

Finally an honest answer. Not an encouraging answer.

And then there was Ahmad Brooks, the most honest 49er. I won’t quote anyone else, because who cares what they say. But Brooks thinks differently. I said to him all those famous 49ers were here. Super Bowl winners. His team is an entirely different situation.

“Does it make you think about things or make you sad, the comparison? I asked.

“Like compare us to a team 20 years ago?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“No, not necessarily, because it’s a new era. It’s a new age. Times have changed. The game of football has changed. It’s evolutionized. Just three years ago, we had a different conversation because we were Super Bowl contenders. The NFL is a business. Next year, we could be a Super-Bowl-winning team.”

Right. For sure. A Super-Bowl-winning team. And Montana will play quarterback and Walsh will be the coach and Eddie will move back to the Bay Area and be the owner.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.

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