Now that it looks like Jimmy Garoppolo could miss an extended period of time, it’s fair to wonder if number 10 has played his last snap for the 49ers. How will the Jimmy Garoppolo era be remembered if that is the case? We asked that question on today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast with Leo Luna and special guest host Jason Aponte.
“In terms of the Jimmy Garoppolo era,” Aponte said, “It’ll always be fond in my mind. I will stand pat in that. I understand what’s happening now, but I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment of how things have happened. 2019 will forever be a season that I will always remember. Obviously, you’ll never forget it because of how it ended. But he was a part of that.
He was a part of resuscitating this franchise. In 2017 when he was doing what he was doing in those five games, people had the thought that many of us had. ‘Man, wait ‘til this guy learns the offense. Wait ‘til you put some weapons around this guy. Wait ‘til he really starts to process everything.’ No matter what, I have no ill will towards the guy. He very much resuscitated this franchise for a few years, and I have to give him credit for that.”
Jason is right to bring up the context of Garoppolo’s arrival in 2017. The 49ers were a team that had lost 24 of their last 27 games before his first start against the Bears. Then, all of a sudden, the young, good-looking, former heir-apparent to Tom Brady arrives, and the team wins five straight games to close out the season. That injection of hope goes a long way with a fan base that had become accustomed to losing in recent years.
We all know what followed - injuries and inconsistent play sandwiched around a Super Bowl run in 2019. Personally, what I’ll remember most about Jimmy’s time here is just how polarizing it was. Few players in franchise history have divided a fan base as much as Jimmy GQ did. Colin Kaepernick was undoubtedly polarizing, but that had more to do with reasons beyond football than it did with anything happening between the white lines. Garoppolo could cause knock-down, drag-out arguments even after some random Week 7 game.
All told, Garoppolo’s record as a starter in San Francisco goes down in the history books as 30-14. While certainly there’s plenty of context needed to fully explain that record, that stuff tends to fade away as the years go by. Ultimately, I think people will remember that he started the seventh Super Bowl in franchise history and that most Sundays Jimmy Garoppolo played ended with them feeling good.
How will you remember the Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure you download today’s Oh Hey There! podcast to hear the entire discussion.