The end of the preseason can be an oddly bittersweet time for many fans. On one hand, the opportunity presents itself to quit pretending to care about preseason games. Of course, it’s better than hungrily devouring minicamp practice reports, especially if an actual preseason battle is hard-fought between legitimate contenders for a starting spot. Naturally, that doesn’t happen often, so most of the preseason is spent hoping for players to avoid injury, and debating whether or not a 3rd stringer’s monster performance is worthwhile, due to the fact that the player was also playing against 3rd stringers.
Now, on the other hand, the end of preseason means that a lot of players will lose their jobs. This, however, is not the “bitter” end of “bittersweet” - no, I’m talking about the yearly realization that, although an average to marginally above average armchair GM, I would make a horrendous actual GM. From way up here on my gilded perch behind a monitor of some sort, it’s easy to pound the table for so-and-so because of these or those reasons, often arbitrary. Draft status, went to a college I like, cool name (I’ve got you dialed in, John Cyprien fans), or, most likely, a well-edited highlight video.
Tonight, dozens of 49er camp bodies will do battle. They’ll hope to make the halfcourt shot that puts them on the map, be it with the 49ers or elsewhere, before cut day on Saturday. I’ll root for my longshots and weak bubble players, and so will you - and unless John Lynch is waking up early in the morning to read the Nuggets (a man can dream, alright?), it’s important to internalize that Saturday’s decisions are out of our collective hands.
Every year, someone makes the team that gets panned universally, or a surprise cut/trade leaves many stunned. We’ll be confused, perhaps outraged. For about a week. The season will start, and the memories will begin to fade. In time, these wounds will heal - I promise you this. Eventually, we’ll look back fondly on our longshots that could’ve been, and we may even crack a joke or two.
Trust the process. 49ers football begins in ten days, and we’re in for a heck of a season.
Top 49ers veterans on the bubble | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
49ers notes heading into 4th preseason game | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
Marquise Goodwin on what’s to come for Richard Sherman | Pelissero, NFL.com