Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Most (if not all) 49er Faithful will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing during the Week 3 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs when the “tear heard around the world” occurred. When Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL while trying to pick up some extra yards on the ground in what was starting to look like a come from behind effort, mouths dropped, and gasps were heard. An ominous dark cloud hung over the organization that day. What was happening? Was this real? All the hopes and expectations of the season only for the franchise quarterback to go down like that?
Now losing a franchise quarterback is a debilitating loss no doubt, but how about the plethora of other injuries that have piled up all the way to the Week 11 bye. Let’s start with the preseason. On the last play of practice on the Saturday right before Week 1 of the 2018 regular season, Jerick McKinnon suffers a non-contact injury on a cut move that turns out to be a torn ACL. He’s out for the season without ever playing a regular season snap. For those culinary inclined football fans consider this analogy. Imagine cooking up a great multi-course meal for a dinner party, and minutes before your guest are about to arrive, something catches fire in the kitchen and ends up burning all the dishes you’ve so delicately prepared. Now you are left to order take-out as a backup plan!
However, it should be noted that the take-out, in this case Matt Brieda, has been delicious so far… in terms of numbers of course! But back to the injuries. So newly acquired stud running back, lost in the preseason. Franchise quarterback down in Week 3. Next up, starting free safety Adrian Colbert and a high ankle sprain in a Week 7 bout with the L.A. Rams causes him to land up on the Injured Reserve. And a gruesome broken arm to Raheem Mostert in the Week 9 victory over the Raiders also ended his season. In addition to those season-ending injuries, several key players have missed multiple games this season. Names like Marquise Goodwin, Joshua Garnett, Richard Sherman, Reuben Foster, and Pierre Garçon to name a few have all missed games due to injury. So, is this just normal bad luck or is there some sort of curse looming over?
Numerous curses have been floating around the sports world for decades. Take the Madden Curse, which has seen players that have appeared on the cover of the ever-popular Madden Football videogame see an injury or reduction in efficiency the following season. Or the Curse of the Bambino, which saw the Boston Red Sox have an 86-year World Series title drought after selling off their star player Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Is the 49ers organization suffering from the “Curse of the Harbaughrino”? Consider this, in the four seasons Jim Harbaugh coached the 49ers from 2011-2014, the team went 44-19-1. Since then… 15-43.
Or maybe it’s the “Curse of Levi Stadiumino”! Since Levi Stadium became home to the 49ers in 2014, a myriad of issues with the stadium have been reported. Turf issues causing players to have bad footing and heat issues on the east side of the stadium causing fans to overheat on the hotter gamedays have been the focal point. But the most glaring take away from this… not one winning season as yet for the team in this stadium! Is there some bad karma lingering from the team leaving its San Francisco roots to set up shop in Santa Clara that needs to be overcome?
Or maybe some other former player or coach is putting pins in the voodoo doll of the Niners organization! Jim Tomsula anyone?
Whatever the case maybe here, the 49er Faithful need to pull out all the breaks for the remainder of the season. Have all the four-leaf clovers and lucky rabbit feet ready on gamedays when the boys return from their Week 11 bye to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Send all the good juju out to the players and staff. No more crazy injuries, and full recoveries to all the players nursing injuries. And who knows maybe McKinnon can return from his ACL injury just like another former Viking running back named Adrian Peterson and have a career year! And Jimmy G can come back like his mentor Tom Brady did from his ACL injury, stronger than ever and ready to lead the team to victory!
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