ESPN’s Bomani Jones gleefully shreds 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo


For a single delirious week, nearly everyone in the 49ers World — from fans and media to actual players and staff — was giddy that Jimmy Garoppolo was back as the team’s starting quarterback. It took exactly one miserable prime-time performance to remind everyone with eyes: Oh, yeah, he’s Jimmy Garoppolo.

Bomani Jones, the ESPN/HBO personality and a longtime Garoppolo skeptic, hopped on Bay Area radio early Wednesday morning for something of a victory lap. He also had a useful corrective for why certain segments of the fan base were so excited to lose Trey Lance to a broken ankle.

When Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game asked Jones why fans were so down on Lance, Jones had the answer that should have been staring everyone in the face.

“We’ve all been living in this world for a while now, right?” Jones said. “There’s a reason why Baltimore keeps Black backup quarterbacks behind Lamar Jackson: It calms the locals down. This is a thing, and it’s been a thing in the league for a very, very long time. You can’t discount that when you start trying to get an understanding of what it is, and why it is that people are just immediately coming down on the dude. Normally, people are so excited about a young quarterback that they talk themselves into it.”

Mostly, though, the segment was Jones, Hill and Joe Shasky having a healthy laugh at Garoppolo’s expense. Jones mentioned Garoppolo’s infamous eyes-closed Super Bowl interception no less than three times.

Hill and Shasky asked Jones about Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which has looked suspiciously stale without Mike McDaniel operating the run game.

“I don’t know if there’s something wrong with the offense as much as your quarterback just isn’t good,” Jones responded. “I know that people have a bit of an emotional attachment to Jimmy Garoppolo that I find to be peculiar, but he just ain’t it. And he hasn’t been it, and every time the world gives us that he’s not it, people jump up and say ‘No, Jimmy’s a winner!’ That’s not how things work, man. The dude who closes his eyes and throws an interception in the Super Bowl — that ain’t what winners do. The dude that runs out the back of the end zone — that’s not what winners do.”

Jones was skeptical of the framing of reports that some players were pleased about Garoppolo’s return to the controls. “You got the quarterback, he’s the leader, you’re indoctrinated with the idea that the quarterback is the straw that stirs the drink,” he said. “I have an impossible time believing these dudes, actual football players, look at Jimmy and think ‘That dude’s dope.’ They can’t. Like if they were playing against Jimmy, I can’t imagine how excited they’d be. The dude closed his eyes and threw an interception. I know I’ve said that like three times, but how is that not the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?” (Indeed, he said it exactly three times.)

Before the talk transitioned to Steph Curry, Jones had one more helpful reminder about the bizarre arc of Garoppolo’s career. “I can’t believe Bill Belichick was so sure this was the guy to take over,” he said. “I see why Tom Brady was furious.”


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