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.