SANTA CLARA - How did you spend Jimmy Garoppolo Day? In the traditional manner? Gathering with loved ones to eat stuffed ravioli and watch replays of Jimmy G’s highlights against the Chicago Bears, smiling and drawing one another close every time he beat the blitz to complete a pass?
Or maybe you’re a nonconforming practitioner of Garoppolism. Maybe you did something quirky to celebrate the big day, like constructing a collage of Jimmy Garoppolo’s face from torn-up tickets dating back to the dark, pre-Garoppolo era of October. Or generating a list of JIMMY GAROPPOLO anagrams, like PLAYROOM JOG IMP or ROYAL JIG POMPOM or A GLORY PIMP MOJO.
I mean, Monday may not have officially been proclaimed Jimmy Garoppolo Day throughout the Bay Area. Just like no one has to declare Play in the Snow Day when a rare inch or two falls in our foothills. When a miracle occurs, you run with it.
And man, we were running with it Monday, a day after Garoppolo made his long-anticipated first start in red and gold, and led the 49ers to a come-from-behind victory at Chicago.
On the frequencies of sports-talk radio, only one topic existed. From the drive-time shows at 6 a.m. until the lonely first-time callers at 11 p.m., it was Garoppolo, Garoppolo, Garoppolo. Shaun Livingston’s one-game suspension was unheard-of, Rob Gronkowski’s cheap shot was a nonevent and Giancarlo Stanton was … wait … who is Giancarlo Stanton again?
I can’t remember. And I don’t care, unless he can block for Jimmy Garoppolo next season, or at least groom the great quarterback’s eyebrows or something.
The sports-talk guys were over the moon with Garoppolo’s accuracy under pressure, with the way he got teammates lined up despite his short time in the system, with his postgame attire in Chicago: black blazer, white dress shirt, white pocket square. His passer rating against the Bears was 82.4; the cut-of-his-jib rating was a perfect 158.3.
At one point during my drive to Santa Clara for Kyle Shanahan’s weekly Monday press conference, I heard 95.7 FM run a pre-recorded promo urging listeners to tune in for all the latest on Garoppolo. 95.7, I’d like to remind you, is the Raiders’ flagship radio station. The Raiders, I’d like to remind you, are tied for first place in the AFC West and thoroughly relevant in the playoff picture. The 49ers are 2-10. None of that matters, because there’s only Jimmy Garoppolo, and he doesn’t play in Oakland.
On YouTube, a gentleman who posts under the name HawkHaterTV recorded a selfie video extolling Garoppolo’s virtues shortly after the 49ers’ 15-14 win. “Jimmy Garoppolo is a stud,” he said to his phone. “And I’m ecstatic to be a 49ers fan right now. Jimmy G’s season is in full effect, the 49ers are headed in the right direction and I cannot wait to see where this goes.”
Meanwhile, the Twitter user @cakede_ posted this: “My dad wants me to marry jimmy garoppolo lmao.”
And why, I might ask @cakede_, are you “l-ing” your “ao”? A man could do a lot worse for a son-in-law than a cross between the next Joe Montana and the next Jack Kennedy.
Even Garoppolo’s teammates sounded like admiring kids after Sunday’s game.
According to reporters on the scene, running back Carlos Hyde made the ultimate Garoppolo comparison (East Coast version). “That’s what he reminded me of: just a young Tom Brady out there,” Hyde said. “How Brady is late in the game, where you give him like 30 seconds to go, yo, he can still win the game for his team.”