It Takes a Village — Idiot

I’m talking about this today.

I decided to watch the 49er presser introducing new head coach Jim Tomsula today because:

  1. I thought it would be entertaining.
  2. I thought it would be entertaining.
  3. I thought it would be entertaining.

The last press conference Jed York and Trent Baalke had was a complete train wreck, and as a Raider fan, anything that associates “Niners” and “train wreck*” in the same sentence is a good thing.

*Outside of a literal train wreck, which is obviously, a bad thing. 

So I watched it, and I don’t know why, but I feel a strange cosmic connection to Niner fans right now. It’s this weird sort of empathy, where I kinda feel bad for ya’ll because I totally understand what you’re going through — sorta. But at the same time, I absolutely love that the organization is in shambles

Anyways, here are some stray observations, from a Raider fan:

  • This press conference wasn’t even close to being entertaining. Not in the least bit. In fact, it was one of the most painfully, embarrassing things I’ve ever watched.
  • I didn’t understand anything he was trying to say.  It felt like he didn’t have an answer for a lot of the questions, so he just went on tangents and provided anecdotes about something completely unrelated so as to distract from the actual question. It was Tomsula’s equivalent of this.
  • On that note, I felt like he never answered a football question with a football answer.
  • The fact that he couldn’t answer “what is his football philosophy?” should be a major red flag. If your head coach can’t articulate how he plans to run his team, how do you expect him to execute it?
  • I didn’t think the questions the media were asking were necessarily difficult to answer, but they weren’t throwing softballs. Even so, his answers weren’t focused, made no sense, and most of all, felt uninspired. I don’t know how York and Baalke expect the fans to get behind this.
  • Clearly, he’s not meant for public speaking and/or he’ll need some serious media training. But then again, I feel like that should be a pre-requisite for a head coach BEFORE you hire him. Although, I do understand it is JUST a press conference. That is not indicative of your football acumen or abilities to lead a team.
  • But then again, that’s the whole point, right? York and Baalke want someone who looks weak, so they can come off like the ones in control in the public eye. Baalke definitely looked like the one in control during this presser. York reminded me of this guy.
  • I guess the reason why I feel so empathetic towards the Niner Faithful is because I’ve been through this. The Raiders have had some of the most contentious type of ownership/front offices in all of professional sports. In fact, I can name off the top of my head the franchises in all 4 major sports who would fit that breed — Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New York Yankees, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Lakers. Granted, it’s become a little less inflammatory without Al there anymore, but still.  What do all of those franchises (plus the Niners) have in common? Arrogant ownership. Ownership that thinks they know more than the people they hire and think they can run the team on their own.
  • It’s not fun, Niner fans. Not at all.
  • Through all of this, I feel quite bad for Tomsula. Damon Bruce of 957 The GAME described it as “pity.” I feel like, he’s the lonely fat kid who has no friends at school. And the two bullies of the school decide to befriend him because they think he can finish their homework for them. But they still want to boss him around because that’s what bullies do. And he won’t say anything because he’s the lonely fat kid who has no friends, but now he does, sorta.
  • Tell me I’m not the only one who felt bad when the media was asking him about his assistants? There’s an odd dichotomy occurring right now between Tomsula and Jack Del Rio. Jack Del Rio is a seasoned-NFL coach with a plethora of connections throughout the league, so the media just assumes it to be “easier” for him to acquire assistants, top-notch assistants, at that. When they asked Tomsula about his staff, I almost felt as if they asked, “So who are your friends, Jim? Who exactly do you know? Because the guy across the Bay knows helluva a lot.” Like it was some sort of popularity contest or something.
  • As a Raider fan, I quite appreciate the connections Jack has, and I hope he utilizes it to his utmost ability. But man, was it harsh listening to Tomsula try to answer not only how he hopes to fill out his staff, but also how he plans to coach this team. It also made it 10x worse that Baalke felt he had to step in a couple of times as if to say, “I got this,” all the while making Jim look like a dumbstruck child.

I have more things to say, but I’d rather not pour more salt in the still open wound. Yesterday’s press conference was a pure disaster. Damon Bruce, again, came up with a pure gem on Thursday’s show when he basically said [paraphrase], “Jack Del Rio could punch a newborn baby during his presser, and it will still be better than Tomsula’s.”

I’ve been quite drawn to listening to sports talk radio over the past few days because I thought it would be entertaining to listen to how distraught and confused Niner fans are. I thought it would make me laugh, especially after all the hell the Niners have put ME through over the past 3 years — watching the playoffs haven’t been easy, especially not that SuperBowl…man, that was a close one. I almost felt like I would have to move out of San Francisco if they had won.

But no, it doesn’t make me laugh to listen, probably because it hits too close to home for me. I understand how it feels to hate your owner/front office. It’s just sad. Everything that has happened with this organization over the past few months is just really sad.

And remember, these are words coming from a Raider fan.



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