Link to my 9ers column. Text runs below:
I’m talking to you, Jed. Pay attention. You need someone to level with you. I don’t think you level with yourself.
The 49ers are an iconic sports franchise. Think about that with respect. Tremble before the stature of the 49ers. They are iconic like the Green Bay Packers and the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants.
You have run down this institution. Shame on you, Jed. The way your team played in Cleveland was a disgrace. Don’t rationalize that awful 24-10 loss to the awful Browns. Don’t find excuses or shift the blame. Blame yourself.
For God’s sake be a man. Take the blame. Not only for the game — I’ll get to that monstrosity in a moment. Take the blame for soiling the great 49ers, the team of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana and Steve Young and Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott and, yes, Jim Harbaugh.
Bow your head in dishonor. Shed an honest tear. Are you capable of honesty? The 49ers are a trust. I’ll even use the word “sacred” although it feels too holy for sports. What the hell, you were given a sacred trust. You defiled it.
I thought your team would beat the Browns who had lost seven in a row. Had won two games the entire season. Before the game, I tweeted: “Warm mid-December day. Field looks great. 9ers just arrived. Should win this one vs. 2-10 Browns.”
Instantly, someone replied to my tweet: “Good luck on that Lowell.”
A doubter. Someone who knew something. Someone who doesn’t believe in your team. Why am I telling you this? Because the writer was Randy Cross. One of the great 49ers. Three-time Super Bowl winner. He had no faith in what you’ve wrought.
There’s more and I hope you have the character to keep reading. Another pillar of the glorious 49ers past wrote me a private email. He also is a Super Bowl champ. He told me to go after the current degraded 49ers. Your 49ers.
The players who were great, who established the greatness of this formerly-great franchise resent the hell out of you. You let them down. Sold them out. Besmirched the golden team.
Make it right, Jed. Blow up this shoddy operation. New general manager. New coach. We’ve seen enough of Jim Tomsula. New quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is nothing but a placeholder. And after you’ve taken the appropriate steps, get lost. Let the professionals do the grownup work.
Jed, come with me to the postgame interviews. First, Tomsula arrived in the interview room.
Tomsula looked like he’d suffered a death in the family. Eyes sunken, moist, dark. Forehead hidden by his cap. This is your coach? Shame on you for aiming so low. Randy Cross would have seen through Tomsula in a New York minute.
Tomsula said the 49ers had “execution” issues. They couldn’t execute in Game 13? That’s on the coach. He couldn’t get his team up for a road game after they had won the week before. Couldn’t keep a good thing going.
Then Tomsula uttered this whopper. He said the team had a great practice week culminating in a great Saturday practice. Well, good for him. Saturday practice is so important. Maybe they should have played the game on Saturday.
Joe Staley, bless his heart, had this to say about Tomsula’s Saturday quote: “I don’t really care about the energy throughout the week. I just care about energy on Sundays.”
No energy, even though the Niners were playing in FirstEnergy Stadium. Someone pulled the plug. Someone should pull the plug on Tomsula.
Consider his offense — his along with Geep Chryst’s. He’s another one. The Tomsula-Chryst offense nursed three pitiful points for 58 minutes against the second-worst defense in the NFL. Sure, the 49ers scored a TD in garbage time. That TD was an illusion, just like the Niners’ progress is an illusion.
Cut to Staley at his locker. I said he looked “heartbroken.”
“A little bit, yeah,” he said.
I said I didn’t understand how the 49ers could play hard last week against the Bears and then all that good play evaporated in seven days.
“I don’t understand it, either,” Staley said. “It just seems like we didn’t do anything early. I think we’re a team, right now, that thrives off momentum. You saw that last week (in Chicago). We got a big play (touchdown run) out of Blaine and, all of a sudden, the game turned. This week, we didn’t have success early and it deflated the whole team. We’ve got to get out of that mentality. You’ve got to take every single play individually and move on. Oh well.”
Jed, are you still reading? Staley meant the team is undisciplined. If things go well, it keeps trying. If things go to hell, it folds. That’s on the coach, Jed. And of course that’s on you for hiring the wrong man.
Jed, listen to Ahmad Brooks.
I told Brooks I expected the Niners to beat the horrible Browns. “I thought so, too,” Brooks said. “Maybe we just came out a little flat. In the second half, I thought the team was going to rally together, but we came out in the second half flat again.”
“I don’t know,” Brooks said. “Maybe we took them for granted. Maybe we took them light. Them having the record they had. Us having a win last week maybe we got a little big-headed.”
The four-win 49ers got big-headed? Good grief. That’s coaching, Jed. A smart coach never allows big-headed into the locker room.
Oh, and then Gabbert walked into the interview room. Look at his words, Jed. “They came ready to play today and we didn’t. There’s no magical solution. We just have to go back, have a great week of practice, and get ready for next week.”
A great week of practice for the next game. Who cares about any next game? The Niners are irrelevant. Jed, your team is irrelevant.
For once, face up. Do the right thing.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.