The San Francisco 49ers head coach search has been all over the place thus far, with the team casting a net far and wide for candidates. There have been the internal candidates (Vic Fangio, Jim Tomsula), the hot shot coordinators (Adam Gase, Dan Quinn, Todd Bowles, Teryl Austin), the potential young retread (McDaniels), the elder statesman (Mike Shanahan), and most recently, the rumored big college name (Gus Malzahn).
Jed York and Trent Baalke discussed wanting a teacher, and someone who will be around for the next decade. They may very well find that guy, but in the meantime, I have discovered a better way to determine the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers: Oregon Trail!
Our sister site, Vox.com, came across some great news for those of you looking to waste away your day. The Internet Archive (archive.org) is putting together a collection of free, broswer-playable versions of classic MS-DOS games. One such game is Oregon Trail. I played it frequently as an elementary school student, so naturally I had to give it a whirl today.
You can enter up to five participants, so as suggested by a few folks on Twitter, I put together five of the more notable coaching candidates to see who would survive. I played with Vic Fangio, Jim Tomsula, Adam Gase, Dan Quinn and Mike Shanahan. I went with who had the best odds of getting the job according to various online sportsbooks. You're welcome to try it out yourself using your own candidates. I know Tre9er did one with Jed York, Trent Baalke, Jim Harbaugh, Vic Fangio and Greg Roman, so you can read through his. He had a lot more deaths than me.
I've put together a gallery above with some of the notable shots from the trip. Adam Gase and Jim Tomsula dealt with significant health issues. Mike Shanahan and Dan Quinn drowned when my raft ran into a rock. When I went hunting, the little guy was dressed up in 49ers colors, so that sort of told me enough! While Gase, Tomsula and Vic Fangio all survived, Fangio was the only one to finish the trip healthy. In my mind, that clearly means Oregon Trail chose him to lead the 49ers into the future!
Head HERE to play some Oregon Trail.