For a few years now, well specifically after the 2007 Monday Night Football game, Cardinals vs 49ers, I made a bet saying if Alex Smith led us back to win this game I would never call him a bum, or insult him playfully again.  Well the unlikely became likely and Alex Smith did it.   Ever since then I started calling Alex Smith “The New Hope,”  being a huge Star Wars fan I thought it was a funny reference, but when I started to look at it; it was telling.  So here is the Alex Smith story told through Star Wars.  Queue the Music.

Episode I:  New Hope, sorry I mean Episode IV

     A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…  The West Coast.  Alex Smith “Luke Skywalker” went to Utah which it might as well be Tatooine.  Urban Meyer -“Old Ben Kenobi” – was Alex Smith’s college coach in Utah.  As an Ute, Smith showed immense promise with The Force – his Junior year he posted 67% completion, 2952 yards passing, 32 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 631 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns.  Meyer taught him the beginnings of The Force and he learned enough to warrant a 1st overall pick in the 2005 draft to the Rebel Alliance aka the San Francisco 49ers.

Commander Mike Nolan drafted Smith over Aaron Rodgers. He thought Smith to be a cerebral, introspective, and non-confrontational, while he felt Rodgers attitude wouldn’t mesh with Nolan’s.  Smith’s rookie year was a wash 1 touchdown to 11 interceptions.  In 2006 San Francisco gave Luke his Han Solo and Chewbecca, in the form of Frank Gore (the team leader, and anybody coming out of Miami can only be as badass and cool as Han Solo) and Vernon Davis (yeah partly because he had corn rolls and dreads – all that fur).

     Also, lets give Norv Turner a piece of the Obi-Wan Kenobi title.  Under Turner Smith had a 16 touchdown and 16 interception season, but that year Smith had a few Death Star moments. He threw 3 touchdowns versus the Oakland Raiders (hell, there fans wear Darth Vader Mask).  He also had comeback victories against Minnesota, Seattle, and Denver that year.  He started to build his legend and 49er fans loved it.  Until…  Obi-Wan got handled and took a job in San Diego.

Episode II, sorry Episode V (I will get this right I promise) Empire Strikes Back.

      From 2007-2010 we should just name the Empire the bad organization of the 49ers, because they gave him four different Offensive Coordinators in those 4 years.  Forget “Luke I am your father” and how about “Luke we will give you no consistency, terrible supporting cast outside of Gore and Davis”, (remember these Wide Recievers? Ashley Lelie, Darrell Jackson, Iaasc Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan, Arnaz Battle, and the list goes on). He did get his Princess Lela in Michael Crabtree, look at his professional career so far, from holdouts to toe injuries in preseason, and other dainty princess issues.

It got as bad as Mike Nolan questioning his heart and toughness while he was dealing with a grade three separated shoulder. In 2008 Smith missed the entire season because of another shoulder injury, once he got back Nolan was fired, but he had a new threat.  He had to fight through the pants dropping antics of Jabba The Hut aka Mike Singletary.  The greatest insult was Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl in 2010, the same Rodgers that was picked 23 picks after Alex Smith.  How about “Luke you’re a failure and your city wants you out.”

           Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (told you I would get it)

     Now I know all the geek purist are saying, “How could you talk about Empire and leave out Yoda,” (in my best geek voice ever).  Obviously I couldn’t figure a way to weave Yoda into the story (even George Lucas had a bad timeline in the prequels and he is a pro) because we all know who Yoda is, none other than Jim “Lil Crazy Walsh” Harbaugh.  He basically got the best out of Alex Smith, and yes he is a game manager, but we act like Luke didn’t need help from a team to be successful and Luke MANAGED to get Vader to turn on the Emperor to save the galaxy.  With a 13-3 season the 49ers returned to being thought of as a dominant Force in the league.  This chapter is not done being written – we still have a galaxy to save by hoisting the Lombardi.  So Alex let The Force be with you!

 

 

Jason

Advertisements