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One Cannot Overstate How Good it is to Be Jimmy Garoppolo Right Now

Josie Lepe. Shutterstock Images.

Unless you're a hermit, determined to live you're life in total isolation in the wilderness like Georgia O'Keefe or the Unabomber or somebody, it's in deep within your nature to want to be wanted. Few things are more important than to feel you have some value to others. 

Of course, one of the few things better than being wanted is being needed. And perhaps the only thing better than that is to be needed by those who once decided they didn't need you. That satisfaction of having someone admit they were wrong and crawl back on their filthy stinking knees and begging you for help in their hour of need? There's no more validating feeling in the world. 

Consider Grover Cleveland, who got booted out of office after one term. In the 1888 election, he didn't even win his home state of New York. After the voters instead chose Benjamin Harrison, First Lady Frances Cleveland reportedly told the person in charge of the White House to keep everything exactly in its place for when the Clevelands come back. "When will that be" she was asked. "In four years," she replied. And she was right. Imagine the feeling of standing at the podium giving your second Inaugural Address looking out over all those faces and realizing the whole electorate just admitted they were wrong. 

Or take George Patton. After carving up the Axis armies in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, he was relieved of command in disgrace for slapping a private he accused of cowardice. The Allied Command kept him sitting around England acting as a decoy, pretending they were building up an invasion force around him to distract from the Normandy landings, while a humiliated Patton seethed with frustration. Until Eisenhower put him back in charge of the Third Army. Then he liberated more territory and caused more German casualties than any other general in the European Theater.

For a more contemporary example, consider Ben Affleck. He could have married a majority of American women and a plurality of American men. But he chose to put a ring on J-Lo, who decided she was done with him 20 years ago. 

If there's a better feeling than being accepted by someone who once rejected you, I can't imagine what it would be. 

Which brings us, at long last, to Jimmy Garoppolo. President Cleveland, General Patton and Batfleck have nothing on him at the moment. Here is a man who endured humiliation after humiliation over the last year and a half. Watching the team he took to the Super Bowl spend a dragon's treasure of draft picks to replace him. Playing a season for the team that wanted him gone while his replacement did his apprenticeship. Taking that team back to the NFC championship game. Only to spend the whole offseason waiting for them to trade him or give him his outright release so he could carve his own career path. Finally to take a huge paycut and spend yet another season in San Francisco, a Dead QB Walking. 

All the while, taking the dreaded high road in the face of these debasements:

And why? Why was he subjected to so much scorn? So much disrespect?  Because he "ghosted" the coaching staff for weeks at a time, apparently. Because they couldn't count on him to stay in the lineup. Because he's "injury prone." And now?


Giphy Images.

Kyle Shanahan felt he couldn't work with Jimmy G any more. He had to have more of a running/option type of quarterback. So much so that the price of three first rounders to get him was not to high a price to pay. And when asked about the way he used Trey Lance, Shanahan's answer did not jibe with his previous plans:

Yahoo - In an interview with ESPN's Ed Werder last September, Shanahan addressed his plan for Lance. …

"He's not Lamar Jackson," Shanahan said to Werder. "… I mean, the game's too physical." 

On Monday …  reporters asked Shanahan to clarify that quote.

“Yeah, that means we didn't want to move him to running back," Shanahan said. "It means that everything's with a read principle and that you don't go out there and just run him every single play." …

In the five quarters Lance played before his season ended, the 22-year-old quarterback had more rushing attempts (16) than completed passes (15). He also attempted as many passes (3) as rushes (3) before leaving Sunday's game, and tallied 37 carries over his previous three starts.

In other words, Shanahan didn't know how to utilize Lance. But he does know Lance isn't Garoppolo. And that was just fine with him. Especially given that he and Niners GM John Lynch gambled their future on the guy who is now done for the season. And now they have nowhere to turn but to the man they didn't want in the first. And as they come crawling back, the G in Jimmy G stands for Gratification. Because not only is he vindicated, he stands to make back a ton of the salary cut he took:

Pro Football Talk - On Sunday, Garoppolo made an extra $350,000. And he’ll make that same amount in every game during which he plays at least 25 percent of the snaps and the 49ers win. The playing-time incentive pays $250,000. Achieving a victory kicks in an extra $100,000.

If he stays healthy for the rest of the season (which is hardly a given), Garoppolo will make at least $3.750 million, in addition to his base salary. He also gets $29,000 for each game in which he’s on the 46-man roster, maxing out at $500,000.

Thus, $6.5 million can become $10.75 million based on taking at least 25 percent of the offensive snaps in each game. And if the 49ers win 10 more games, that’s another $1 million.

All while practically ensuring himself a huge, vindicating payday next spring, when he'll be 32. Best of all, he'll get to spend the 2022 season proving how wrong everybody has been about him. 

And the internet has the memes:

Not that they deserve it, but I hope the Niners win game the rest of the way, Jimmy G takes every snap and he signs the fattest deal in the history of free agency after. While ghosting the people who gave up on him every step of the way. It would serve them - and him - right.