For the past, oh, entire season or so, the San Francisco 49ers and their fans have been plagued by rumors of every sort. But, at the end of the day, they all have to seem to have one thread in common: the 49ers' front office is full of guys with egos. Whether it be Jed York, Trent Baalke or Jim Harbaugh, they apparently did not learn the importance of playing well with others way back in grade school.
Call it whatever you want, it's pretty much the same. Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh are "competitors," or "alpha dogs," or maybe even "type-A." No matter the words, the message is always the same: the proven winners in the 49ers' front office can't put aside their egos for one season to just win a game.
Is this accurate? I don't know for certain. Nobody does, except those on the inside. But, as the reports become more and more persistent and the team has basically stopped refuting them to even a small degree, it becomes increasingly likely that clashes in the front office have contaminated the team. It's gotten to the players, even. The locker room is literally divided by buildings. Certain players dress in the old locker room next to the stadium and other dress in the new one in the stadium.
Where does that leave the fans? Well, with a 7-8 team stacked with tons of talent, that's for sure; it left us apathetic heading into Saturday's game against the San Diego Chargers, and not overly stunned when they blew a 21-point lead. It leaves us rooting for individual players like Frank Gore and Justin Smith more than the team, but it leaves us with a sour taste in our mouth as we watch the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals and - hell - maybe even the St. Louis Rams build franchises that have the potential to be good for a while.
And what do we get in return? A tweet from Jed York apologizing for the team's performance on the field after the Thanksgiving game. And, that likely was a part of the game of egos!
It's a shame: the 49ers had all the pieces in place to have a great team for the next three or four years; they had what a team needs for the fans to be happy; they had what fans wanted to root for. And then they had their egos.