I Was Wrong, Alex

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Paul Kitagaki Jr. - Sacramento Bee
It's time for a well-deserved Mea Culpa. If you've come to this post expecting to find gardening insights and information, you're going to be sorely disappointed. There are no vine-ripened tomatoes here today. No fresh-from-the tree-ripened peaches. There is only chagrin.

You see, this is my apology to the man to your right. That my friends is Alex Smith. He plays quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Up until yesterday, Alex Smith had been the target of every football barb launched by a one Bill Bird and every other 49er fan. He was a first round draft bust. He was a complete and utter failure. He was the poster child -- so to speak -- of everything that was wrong with a woeful 49er football team.

Paul Kitagaki Jr. - Sacramento Bee
But -- every once in a great while -- a special moment comes along to prove that football fans are probably the most clueless people on this God's Green Earth. Wait -- strike the "probably" part. For today, I'm feeling a bit guilty and a bit melancholy. After all -- it wasn't all that long ago when I was blaming complete crop failures in the Bird Back 40 on a one Alex Smith (My Corn Fails Like Alex Smith).

It hadn't always been this way. Like many 49er fans I believed in Alex when he was first drafted. I lived through those miserable, losing years. I waited, patiently, for signs of improvement that never did come. During this time I was to suffer the slings and arrows from my big brother (a Charger fan) and many others who gleefully bragged that the 49ers had drafted a "bust." Alex would go down in the Pantheon of Busts, joining the likes of Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Joey Harrington and others who came out of college ball with great promise -- only to fall flat on their collective faces.

In fact -- if you Google the phrase of "Quarterback Bust" today, Alex Smith's name still pops up on a number of search results.

Jose Luis Villegas-Sacramento Bee
It just goes to show that I'm not the only person with egg on his face. There are lots of clueless people on the face of this planet, and some of them actually write about football for a living.

It might be time for them to find a new line of work.

Alex Smith's performance against the New Orleans Saints goes beyond mere numbers. There is more there than 299 yards passing. One must look beyond his three passing touchdowns. The game was bigger than "the scramble," a thing-of-beauty, over-the-left-side rushing TD that sent Candlemistake Park fans into a tizzy. 

That final bullet to tight end Vernon Davis may earn a place in history books as "the grab," but Alex Smith's performance goes deeper than that -- much deeper.

Paul Kitagaki Jr. - Sacramento Bee
Alex Smith took a gigantic step forward on Saturday that no fan ever thought in his or her wildest mind that Alex Smith could ever take. He transformed himself from first-round bust, first-round disappointment, into an elite QB who can play with the best in this game and beat them all.

I'll be the first to admit, I had lost faith in him. The years of taunts from my Charger-loving brother and so many others (including the brother-in-law who bleeds Dallas Cowboy blue) had worked its magic. I was convinced. Alex Smith was bust. He was just no good -- no good at all. The 49ers would never experience a winning season again -- I firmly believed -- until he was cut, told to clean out his locker, and leave.

You may notice that I take a particular satisfaction that neither the Chargers or the Cowboys are in the playoffs this year. Both the brother and brother-in-law are strangely quiet today and have been far less vocal this entire season. The Charger fan brother is just sick with the realization that the 49ers and Alex Smith are one step away from what his multitude of playoff teams could never do: clinch a spot in the Super Bowl.

Paul Kitagaki Jr. - Sacramento Bee
By the way -- the brother is already picking Green Bay (even though, at the writing of this blog post, they haven't won a playoff game against the Giants yet).

Let this be my personal Mea Culpa then. This is my personal apology to Alex Smith. I'm sorry that I listened to the hateful words from my Charger-loving brother. I'm sorry that I let my Dallas Cowboy lovin' brother-in-law get to me. I should probably revoke my NFL fan card.

I know that Alex Smith is no fan of gardening forums. Perhaps one day he will be -- long after he's retired and he's turned his attention to other pursuits. I know he will not read this. But it doesn't matter.

I'm sorry Alex. I was wrong.

Photos in this blog posting were taken without permission from the Sacramento Bee, which this blog is linked too through Sacramento Connect. I have given proper photo credit for each photo used, and will be happy to remove them if found to be in violation of copyright rules.


Anonymous said...

Great write up! Great game!

Alex was clutch last night!


dave said...

Good job, Bill. And NOW the Championship comes through the Stick!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for using the phrase 'Mea culpa'. The Confiteor from where it comes one of my favorite prayers. Cool.