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The struggles of overseas deployments and the 49ers

Fooch’s note: Matt is currently deployed overseas and wanted to share his experience watching the 49ers.

Overseas deployments are hard. Overseas deployments during the entirety of football season are even harder. The questions of when and how you are going to watch the games live are an added stress to an already stressful situation. NFL Sunday becomes NFL Extremely Early Monday Morning. With each passing week of sleep deprivation and expensive online streaming services, this season has become much more difficult to watch.

Every season brings at least a little bit of optimism that the 49ers will be better than last year. Hapless Jimmy T was replaced with an offensively competent Chip Kelly, young players have developed, and the offensive line appeared to be leaps and bounds ahead of last year. The optimism culminated with the 9:30AM kickoff for Tuesday Morning Football against the Rams. Utter domination from the defense and an offense that appeared moderately capable of functioning. Then it all came crashing down.

For three weeks, I’ve woken up at 2:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m., shuffled out of my barracks room, laptop in hand, to the rec center to share the wifi with 30 other Marines trying to talk to their wives and girlfriends. My only reward is to see the team spiraling out of control. Even when the games seem in reach, a devastating big play surrendered by the defense, a costly turnover, silly penalty, or some disastrous combination derails any momentum the 49ers had built. Bleary eyed and borderline delirious, I dread that the next time the spotty wifi freezes another calamitous event will take place before the streaming comes back making me want to heave my laptop across the room. Thus is the life of a (deployed) 49ers fan.

Now, as I try to mentally prepare for Friday Morning Football against the Cardinals, I can only hope to see QB play that is more consistent than the connection I struggle with to watch the games. Much like a deployment, there are certain bright spots on this team. However, instead of getting to see parts of the world I never thought I would, there are players like Rashard Robinson, who has been a pleasant surprise in the young secondary. I just have to hope that the saving graces are enough to get me through the rest of the season.