The Ballad of Alex Smith.
(KC marches straight down the field on their first possession and scores a touchdown! Ha ha.)
Alex Smith had everything working against him. He was the first player taken in the NFL draft, so he was expected to be an Instant Superstar and the Savior of the franchise . . . Then he had 5 different offensive-coordinators in his first 5 seasons. Every year he had to learn a completely new system. And all the systems that they gave him sucked. All his head coaches were mediocre idiots. And none of them believed in Alex Smith. In fact, they blamed him for their failures as coaches (most of them started out as defensive coaches, like Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, who knew nothing about offense and even had a built-in animosity towards offensive players). One coach even questioned Smith’s manhood, made him play when he was seriously injured and almost ruined his health and his career.
(KC scores a field goal on their second possession. 10-3 KC.)
And the fans all hated him. We booed him unmercifully. We were all convinced it was all Alex Smith’s fault. He was a loser and a bum. I remember one game, Smith was so bad, the coach benched him. Finally, near the end of the game, with the game on the line, the coach put him back in. “Oh no!” I groaned. “Not Alex Smith! You just watch! He’s gonna’ blow it!” Sure enough, on the very next play he threw an interception to lose the game. “See! I told you so!” I said. (I’m a big football expert, after all)
For five years Alex Smith was probably the most hated man in Bay Area sports. “THAT BUM HAS GO TO GO!!” If we could have tarred-and-feathered him and run him out of town, we would have. With pitch-forks. He was ruining everything, that guy. Turning all our Sundays into dreary and futile exercises in loserdom. Dragging us down with his bum-ass.
(Niners take the lead at half-time, 13-10. Cheatin’ bastards!)
And then, finally, the Niners got a good coach. Jim Harbaugh. “Alex Smith is my quarterback,” he said. “ARE YOU NUTS??!!” we all said (we’re all the football experts after all) But then, it was like a miracle. All of a sudden Alex Smith was playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league. And the Niners went on to have one of their greatest seasons in a decade. Alex Smith led them to one comeback victory after another. In fact, if not for one fumble by somebody else, the Niners would have made it all the way to the Super Bowl.
So it was like the Alex Smith story had this miracle happy ending that nobody saw coming. The next season, the Niners were again one of the best teams in the league, and Smith was one of the top-rated quarterbacks (“WE KNEW IT ALL ALONG!” we all chimed in — we’re the “Fortyniner Faithful” after all). Alex Smith was finally going to have his moment of glory. But then, half-way through the season Smith gets hit on the head, gets a concussion, has to sit out a game. The back-up quarterback comes in and plays pretty good. The next game Alex Smith is ready to go. But the coach says: “Nah. I like the back-up quarterback better.” So Alex Smith gets benched. Loses his job. Has to watch from the sidelines as the back-up QB leads the Niners to the Super Bowl. It’s like, holy shit! This guy Alex Smith just can’t win! No matter what he does!
(KC marches down the field on the first possession of the second-half and scores a touchdown. 17-13 KC.)
(Somehow the Niners have taken the lead, 19-17 with 8 minutes left in the game. Now it’s up to Alex Smith to lead the big comeback and show his former team once and for all that they made a big mistake letting him go and “vengeance shall be mine!”)
A year later, Alex Smith gets traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the worst teams in the league. He instantly turns them into one of the best teams in the league and they make the playoffs. So its like a second Happy Ending. And now its his second season with KC, and you can’t help wondering what is going to happen next with The Alex Smith Story. Some people just have strange karma, I guess. With every manner of twists of fate.
(KC has to punt. The Niners score a field goal to take a 22-17 lead with 2 minutes left in the game. Alex Smith now needs to drive down the field and score a touchdown to win the game and be hero. It’s all on Alex Smith’s shoulders now.)
Some people think pro sports is mostly about athletes scoring points and winning games. In truth, it’s mostly a daily soap opera for men. Football is kind of like Shakespearean drama on steroids.
(Alex Smith just threw an interception to lose the game. Oh well.)
See, I knew it! Just like I told you. That Alex Smith guy is no damn good!