All right, 49ers fans. Here we go.
One more ride with Jimmy G. At least one more. Maybe even more than that.
Can your ticker handle it?
All evidence points to stress-inducing drama Sunday in Dallas in the NFL Super Wild Card Weekend.
(That’s right, *SUPER WILD CARD* weekend. MLB wonders why it can’t garner the same fan base as the NFL. I’d start by noting that MLB has never had the marketing gurus declare it SUPER DIVISION SERIES WEEK, for starters. If they did, it’d be box office boffo.)
Things rarely come smoothly with James Garoppolo at QB. He’ll test your nerves. And quite often, like in the epic, instant-classic, season-saving win over the Rams in L.A., he’ll deliver triumph, riding off the field and into an expensive and tasteful sport coat, with a pocket kerchief, in a blaze of glory.
There are also those other times.
You know the ones.
At Seattle, coughcoughcough.
At Tennessee, coughcoughcough.
In both of those crushing losses to the Seahawks and Titans — after which I’m pretty sure many of you had both vomit bags and Faithful resignation papers filled out — Garoppolo threw two interceptions. Each I-N-T was B-I-G, and led directly to the defeat.
He’ll do that, No. 10.
He will also do what he did in L.A., which was borderline legendary. With the season on the line, quite literally, he went 88 yards in five plays when it was touchdown-or-death. He climbed the pocket to hit Deebo Samuel on arguably the play of the year, the 43-yarder in traffic that got the ball from the 49ers’ 38-yard-line to the Rams’ 19-yard-line.
Same guy who threw the ill-advised force-job pick in the end zone a few minutes earlier.
Same dude. Jimmy G. Bless his heart.
He is a walking personification of the duality of man.
I’ve Jock Blogged a fair amount about this guy. He fascinates me — and he fascinates you, too. He’s the 49ers QB, after all, and that’s kind of important around these parts. And he’s in a predicament unlike anything we’ve seen in franchise history. He’s being given the opportunity to win a Super Bowl, while at the same time boxing up his stuff with packing tape, canceling his home mail delivery and having no idea where he’ll be in six months.
He comes to work every day and sees a guy 10 years younger, with a stronger arm, and faster legs, waiting to take his job. Jimmy’s reaction? To paraphrase: “Just give me the damn ball — preferably after I’ve thrown a crushing pick, but still have the chance to save a game dramatically.”
The drive he led to win at LA can be put alongside the drive he led in Cincinnati in OT to win the game; another bit of tough-minded artistry. That drive, after Cincy kicked a field goal to take a 23-20 lead, included chunk pass plays of 25 yards to Jauan Jennings and 21 yards to George Kittle, and a clutch 3rd-and-5 conversion to Kittle before Brandon Aiyuk made his “Pylon Plunge” to win the game.
Oh, and the Rams win? All done with a thumb ligament tear that probably would have prevented me from Jock Blogging for months.
For a pretty boy, Jimmy G sure is a tough hombre.
That’s why this Sunday in Dallas promises to be luscious. It’s going to be close. Jimmy is going to do something to cause you to howl in pain. And he will probably do something that will make you say, “Hot damn . . . James Garoppolo . . . look at you, kid.”
Let the great stage play continue.