An Unintended Consequence

Seahawks-2014-logoPerhaps ouch! is sufficient.

That is to say, it was certainly an enjoyable game, at least from a Pacific Northwestern perspective, but it would seem something more is taking place.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News brings the commentary:

49ers-logoThe 49ers don’t just have a Seattle problem any more, now they have an Everything Problem.

But it starts with Seattle. Oh my, it all begins with Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll and every part of the 49ers’ ongoing — and expanding — Seahawks Nightmare.

Might end with Seattle, too.

The Seahawks have beaten the 49ers before, but on Thursday at Levi’s Stadium before a national TV audience, Seattle shook the 49ers to their very core.

Yeah. It’s gloomy.

That is to say, the organization is in disarray:

The 49ers are falling short, and that probably means Harbaugh’s time with the 49ers is ticking down.

Seattle did this. Seattle, which will host the 49ers on Dec. 14 with a possible chance to stamp out the 49ers for good, exposed every weakness of the Harbaugh era and every bit of York and Baalke impatience and petulance.

And now we’re all wondering if Seattle may have, for all intents and purposes, all but ended the Harbaugh era Thursday night.

The last time York used words like this, it was near the end of the 2010 season and Mike Singletary was fired a few hours later.

You know it is a bad day when the team’s owners are apologizing for what fans just saw.

But wait! It actually does get worse. Cam Inman reported earlier today on the further fallout from last night’s roasting:

General manager Trent Baalke has apologized to offensive coordinator Greg Roman in the wake of Baalke’s daughter taking to Twitter and calling for Roman’s ouster after Thursday’s 19-3 loss to Seattle.

“My daughter and I both regret that her feelings got the best of her after last night’s game and that she chose social media as an avenue to express her feelings,” Baalke said in a statement.

“We have apologized to Greg for this unfortunate matter. While disappointed, as a father I will use this as a teachable moment to help my daughter grow.”

Cassie Baalke, a sophomore in college, has deleted the Twitter account she used to vent this: “Greg Roman can take a hike. The 49ers don’t want you no more.”

She wasn’t alone in her discontent after the 49ers’ fifth loss in 12 games. Jed York, the 49ers CEO, also took to Twitter and apologized to fans for a loss that “wasn’t acceptable.”

That certainly was unfortunate. But it is also true that it is simply one of those moments; such talk is commonplace in a football family, but every once in a while one must account for any connections to the organization, such as being an owner’s daughter, that might make social media outbursts seem more significant than they are.

We might also wonder, though, just how many of the wheels have come off the bus. Inman notes that Mr. Roman, the offensive coordinator, has been a candidate for head-coaching jobs:

His fourth season with the 49ers, however, has soured amid the offense’s perceived identity crisis, in which they’ve tried transitioning from a run-oriented unit into more of a pass-conscious attack behind Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco 49ers' Frank Gore (21) is smothered on a first quarter run during their NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara , Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)In truth, a coach that good doesn’t just lose his touch overnight; what is happening in San Francisco seems to be a personnel question in the context that this particular combination of people is not the right combination to get the job done. It happens. Indeed, at the professional level it happens far more than, say, genuine suckdom.

But the significance of catching that kind of public heat from family of the ownership cannot be underestimated. Whatever job rumors might drift his way, he might well be ready to start sniffing around for the future. The tweet amounts to the “Whoops!” that will reverberate through professional football; even if Harbaugh and his staff survive the postseason turnover, Roman might well prefer to be elsewhere, and that will in fact have an immediate effect on how some teams consider the candidate field for next season.

Meanwhile, up here we’re more frustrated at the lack of touchdowns. The Seahawks will need those in the near future. We might also point out that we should be thankful that is the main question as such, especially compared to the freshly-exposed troubles of their NFC West rival 49ers. However, Thanksgiving humor is a little sketchy even on the day, so, right, it’s all a matter of perspective.

But the rupture is significant. It will have effects in the weeks to come. We will read the story in the players’ faces as the Niners try to rally morale.

So, yeah. Ouch.


Kawakami, Tim. “49ers shaken to their core by Seahawks”. San Jose Mercury-News. 27 November 2014.

Inman, Cam. “49ers’ Baalke apologizes to Roman over daughter’s tweet”. San Jose Mercury-News. 28 November 2014.

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