Letters of Mass Construction

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Alex Smith More Than A Manager

I am a big football fan and when I say big I mean geeky big. When I was ten years old I can remember having an argument with the man who lived next door about why Ray Guy was the most important player on the Raiders. I then overwhelmed him with stats about Guy’s ability to pin opposing teams inside the 20. My fasination with stats was clearly born out of my love for sports. My cousins took great joy in teasing me about my encyclopedic knowledge of my favorite teams (that and my always trying to harass them into going and playing some football).

Growing up I was a 49er and Raiders fan. I know lots of people who only rooted for one or the other but I lived all over the Bay Area. I figured why limit the joy. Those were amazing days. Both teams were great (that is until the Raiders moved to LA then I had to hate them). Some of my best childhood memories involved sports. Sitting in my brother’s apartment watching the 49ers – Dallas playoff game in ’81. He had a tiny little TV sitting on his kitchen table. When Dwight Clark made that catch I think I may have died a little.

One of the best things about sports is the stories that form around big moments. When the Giants won the World Series 2 years ago their whole team was full of stories of players getting a second chance. Of people rising above any previous moments in their careers. I love how sports gives us heroes and villians. Gives us stories of redemption and joy. Allows us to have a few moments away from the world which can sometimes bog us down.

I was a huge Jim Plunket fan as a child. He captivated me. His parents’ story. His early failures and criticism he received for not living up to being a number one draft pick. I loved how the Raiders rallied around him and stole a Super Bowl away from the Eagles. I think this is why I love Alex Smith so much. Sports can be mean and Alex Smith has taken a shit load of crap over the years. People justify their nastiness with excuses about how much money he makes or where he was drafted. I have never cared about the money. I would rather the players make it then the owners. How much money you make doesn’t mean you deserve to be treated nasty.

I know Alex Smith hasn’t lived up to the expectations others had for him. He often gets compared to Aaron Rogers. If only we had taken Rogers. Well, let me tell you. I know football. Aaron Rogers would have failed in San Francisco. Football success is in a large part about the people you play with and the coaches who coach you. The 49ers have been a carasol of bad coaching decisions. Now we have gotten it right but amazingly Smith who used to receive a large part of the blame seems to get very little of the credit outside of the Bay Area.

For goodness sakes, the Tim Tebow circus was crazy. Tebow has been more terrible than good and yet has become a golden boy. Every time the 49ers needed Smith to go to the air to win a game he did. He orchestrated 5 “come from behind” wins this year. He won games with clutch passes. Then there was Sunday. In what might have been the greatest end to a football game I have ever seen, Smith was brilliant. Today as I looked through papers and read about the weekend it was still all about Manning and Brady. People predicting the 49ers might win against the Giants because of their defense. In spite of Smith. One sports writer actually predicting if the 49ers made the Super Bowl they would get blown out by New England because they don’t have a great quarterback.

I love it. I love underdogs the best. I will openly say I am an Alex Smith fan. I like him as a person. I think he is an excellent leader and a great teammate. I like how his team has rallied around him. He reminds me of Jim Plunkett a lot. I don’t care if they don’t make the Super Bowl. I think we are witnessing the start of something big here. I will tell you this though. I think they are going. Not just going but winning. I am a fan what can I tell you. If they do I hope everyone remembers when it is over, Alex Smith will have as many Super Bowl titles as Aaron Rogers. Now wouldn’t that be a great story.

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