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Alex Smith returns: A conversation among fans

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I chatted with fellow 49ers fan Melissa Jacobs from about our mutual fandom of Alex Smith, and some of what could have been given how the last two years have gone.

Ezra Shaw

There are numerous important relevant storylines this week, as the San Francisco 49ers look to improve to 3-2 when they host the Kansas City Chiefs. We've talked about Vernon Davis's injury, and we've considered things the 49ers need to do to win this game.

And yet, the biggest "storyline" of the week heading into the game is Alex Smith's return to the Bay Area. Sure, it might end up not being the most important from an on-field perspective, but it's still a storyline that is hard to ignore. Alex Smith, the 49ers, and 49ers fans have extensive history. This is a relationship that has seen some of the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. The arc of Alex Smith's career might be unlike any we've ever seen. We've seen the No. 1 pick flame out. We've seen the former bust figure things out and put together a solid late half of his career. But we rarely see that happen with the same team. And yet, the way the lockout forced the marriage of convenience between Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith allowed for the mildly crazy turn of events in 2011.

Melissa Jacobs runs a website called She's a big 49ers fan, and like myself, owns an Alex Smith jersey. Earlier in the week, we were joking around about what we would do with our No. 11 jerseys this week. We decided it would be fun to have a conversation about Alex Smith. It ventured into a lot of hypotheticals, but it was fun to just chat about what might have been, and why things played out the way they did.

It was a discussion among 49ers fans as oppose to any sort of objective NFL discussion. For me, I root for Alex Smith as a member of the Chiefs, but this week, he's just another foe. I think most 49ers fans see it that way, much like the team does. He is a quarterback with strengths and weaknesses, and the team will look to exploit them. It could prove to be a fascinating chess match given the history.