Ahhhhh yes. The 2011 San Francisco 49ers had put the NFL on notice. The 49ers were back. Back on 2. And that where they are going to stay! (No wrong SF team dumbass). They were back to the playoffs. Back to being formidable. Back to being the talk. Adulation aside, winning is a deceitful dish. Best served hot. What I mean is, winning blinds us, nay distract us from what is beneath the surface. Off field activities. Arguments. Power shifts. Attention. Money. Fame. Promotion. These things come with winning and no one likes a cold winner (See Kawhi Leonard). People crave their modern-day gladiators to be flamboyant but tough, mean but not dirty, classy but not wimpy. A showman if you will. The 2012 49ers had that and then some. Today we will revisit 2012 and talk about groupies, rumors, and allegations as well.
The 2011 season for the 49ers was historic. It seemed as the 49ers were unstoppable to run at. Their front 7 consisted of Bowman, Willis, Justin Smith, Brooks, Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald, and Isaac Sopoaga the well oiled machine offense etc. The secondary was their only weak link (which we will talk about later). In the offseason they didn’t too well in the draft. Most of their picks were traded away and they ended up with the following:
1st Rd. 30th Overall WR AJ Jenkins
2nd Rd.61st Overall RB LaMichael James
4th Rd. 117th Overall OG Joe Looney
5th Rd. 165th Overall OLB Darius Fleming
6th Rd. 180th Overall FS Trenton Robinson
6th Rd. 199th Overall C Jason Slowey
7th Rd. 237th Overall DE Cam Johnson
WR AJ Jenkins Played in just 3 games for the 49ers. Mostly used on special teams he never even caught a pass. He was targeted for one however. He was released the following year
RB LaMichael James Played for 3 years for the 49ers. He was mostly used as a KR/PR. His only score with the 49ers came in the 2012 NFC Championship game, where he scored on a 15yd run in the 2nd quarter. He was released in 2014
OG Joe Looney was used sparingly and only played 19 games for the 49ers and eventually went to the Titans in 2015
OLB Darius Fleming was Mr. Unlucky. During rookie camp in 2012, he tore his ACL. Prompting him to miss his entire rookie season. The following year, he retore the same ACL. He was waived by the 49ers.
FS Trenton Robinson just played in 3 games for the 49ers before being released in 2013
C Jason Slowey ended up on the practice squad never playing an Official NFL game
DE Cam Johnson just played in 2 games with the 49ers before seeking employment elsewhere in the 2013 offseason.
To prove that the 49ers previous season wasn’t a fluke, the 49ers they decided to get some key free agents:
WR Mario Manningham
RB Brandon Jacobs
WR Randy Moss
Jim Harbaugh didn’t really see any turmoil in his first year as the 49ers shot caller. The infamous hand shake was the most controversy during Harbaugh’s first year. (I can personally attest that Jim Harbaugh has a death grip of a hand shake) but Jim Schwartz was being a punk about it anyways.There is the Gang culture and fan base had change (see further in story) but that is not the coaches fault. The first year was a fantasy year for us 49er fans. 2012 was even better. Also the whole Peyton Manning to the 49ers ordeal, really irked a lot of fans but Alex Smith too. That was more of Baalke’s fault than anything! Jim Harbaughs first real controversy came in week 10 when QB Alex Smith received a concussion in the 2nd quarter against the then ST. Louis Rams. Back Up Colin Kaepernick entered and the game ended with a tie. A fucking tie. That’s right. Smith was out the next game against the Chicago Bears and this was Colin’s big start. All the media hype, all the pressure, all the luster. Will Colin falter? Hell no! The total opposite that game. On a Monday night football game to man? The 49ers blew out the bears 32-7. Kaepernick went 16/23 with 2td and 10 rushing yards. The controversy, you ask? Well Alex Smith was cleared to play in that game. Harbaugh had a tough decision to make, leading up to that game against the Bears.
He chose to go with the youngin’ Kaepernick. Now Alex Smith’s contract was up at the end of this season and this would be the hardest decision as a coach to make. Do I stick with the veteran who is beloved, who has been there, who knows the system, who deserves this superbowl team, who deserves to get paid? Or do I go with the young, inexperienced, talented, fast, borderline cultural icon in Colin Kaepernick? Well folks it wouldn’t be a story or a hind sight piece if he chose Alex Smith now would it? Now Alex Smith was benched. My next paragraph explains the off the field dynamic and tension that arose. before we get there, The 49ers would lose the super bowl to (Jim’s brother, John’s) Baltimore Ravens. Alex Smith was an unrestricted free agent too.
The 49ers had official shaken off the “Wine and cheese” crowd and entered uncharted territories with the fan base. The gang culture. Yep that’s right. This was not anyone’s fault but the individuals involved but it’s synonymous with goes on at the ball games. The 2011 preseason brawl with the Oakland Raiders fans, multiple fights in the parking lot even in today’s climate at that stadium down there, there’s been brawls. The real conservative, snooty 49er silicon valley fans really blamed Harbaugh for this. To a degree Harbaugh is to blame because all of the 49ers off field incidents that happened during his tenure. From sexual assaults, to violence, due, domestic violence etc most of these were swept under the rug, due to it being the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS. Honestly if it were the Oakland Raiders, they would have been called: Thugs, Niggers, Ghetto etc. But the San Francisco 49ers are just boys being boys. That was how our advertisers and silicon valley fans portrayed a lot of the off field discrepancies. Now not to mention the Nortenos vs Surenos as well. Nortenos where Red and the Surenos where blue or black. The raiders wear black. The hidden gang culture really needs to be touched on by the mass media. The obliviousness of White America kills me sometimes. With winning means more fans which means in gang land: an opportunity for revenge. If you see an alleged gang member at the 49ers game, you will see he/she in the parking lot or the bathroom. Unfortunately this is a hidden world outside of those precious luxury boxes. Now a lot of the snooty fans did not like the fact that Harbaugh had chosen “A colored thug with tattoos who looks like all the trouble makers at Candlestick” over “Clean cut all-American, Wholesome, Captain American looking veteran.” You also have to factor in the division in the locker room. Half of the players sided with Harbaughs decision to put Kaepernick in. The other wanted Alex Smith. Oh shit this isn’t going to end well, right?
Now, Alex Smith had just sat down the last 11 1/2 games for the 49ers. You just got lied to by the brass about wanting Peyton Manning, The brass picked Kaepernick over you. So If you’re Alex Smith what do you do? You leave them for a lot of money. ANd that’s what happened. Alex Smith signed a 3 year $24 million dollar contract in the 2011 off-season, and was traded in March of 2013. Harbaugh was at the helm of anger amongst the elitist 49er fan base, while blue-collar fans like myself cam to the man’s aid. Rumors of blowups with fuckface Jed York and having players only meetings at teams facilities started to emerge. Players were secretly saying that Harnbaugh’s practices were “too hard” or “too intense.” Harbaugh was immediate the scapegoat of all this controversy. And some his hard-nosed, fuck you, old school approach, rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Not to mention the alleged young woman who rumored to slept with Ray McDonald, Colin Kaepernick, Aldon Smith, Bruce Miller, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. This is the same young lady who said “Michael Crabtree sexual assulted her.” A lot of hearsay and speculation.
Tune in next time for Part 3: The end of Harbaugh