Enough, Already! Why I Really Don’t Care for Circle Jerks (Part 2)

circle jerks, Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers, NFL
Jimmy G is a handsome man, and he’s gone 7-0 as a starter. But let’s not go overboard with it, folks.

Originally, when I started writing about the topic of circle jerks, I had two people in mind. One of them is Jimmy Garoppolo. I have nothing against him personally (in fact, he is on one of two of my favorite NFL teams), but I have been picking up on some disturbing trends involving his fans.

As many NFL fans know, the quarterback position receives the most focus. For the most part, it’s understandable, because the QB touches the ball on offenses on almost every play. They are facilitators and they are responsible for conveying the plays, making adjustments, and getting their unit in position to execute those plays.

I acknowledge how tough it is for quarterbacks. The amount of football knowledge and preparation it takes is insane and they often receive much of the blame when their team loses. In that respect, I feel for these players. But I refuse to play along and heap all types of praise on just one player.

As a Reminder, NFL Circle Jerks Are the Reason I Never Liked Peyton Manning.

They’re also one reason why I was never a Tom Brady fan, for that matter. (However, I began to sower toward him after the Tuck Rule game.)

I explained why I felt this way a while back in a few posts for my Things I Don’t Like About Television series:

In short, when people jump on bandwagons, they try to tell others what to think. I hate that and I tend to have a bit of a contrarian streak on these matters.

In General …

I won’t automatically like the biggest stars in any sport.

  • I never liked Michael Jordan or LeBron James. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like them because I don’t have to.
  • I never liked Roger Federer.
  • I never liked Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, or Clayton Kershaw.
  • I might not have liked Kobe Bryant if he didn’t play for the Lakers.

Sure, many of the players I don’t like haven’t played for one of my favorite teams (or my country, although I have always like Rafael Nadal and Steffi Graf). However, I’m always open to looking at different players and I respect talent. I just need a valid reason to like people besides their talent.

Being physically gifted or successful in one’s sport isn’t enough to make me a fan. I would like to know about how hard the person works, what they do for their community, how they treat their teammates and coaches, and how they treat the fans. That’s how people can make the case for me. I hate propaganda.

For example: Even though I never liked Manning or Brady, I was always interested in some of their interviews and human interest pieces. That’s how I like other athletes, even though they might not be as successful.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about two other quarterbacks.

I Get It … People Love Jimmy G.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, was a late edition to the San Francisco 49ers this season. Drafted in 2014, he said behind Tom Brady for a few years before the New England Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick decided to pull the trigger on a trade to the 49ers.

This year, the Niners finished 6-10. Most years that would be a disappointing record to say the least, but it looks better when you consider how the team looked at the beginning of the season. The 49ers — who entered the season with Brian Hoyer as the #1 quarterback had started the year 0-9 and before they played New York Giants, I had no hope this team could win a game. Then Garoppolo stepped in late in a game against the Bears and helped his team to 5 straight wins.

Three of those wins came against playoff teams. Although the Los Angeles Rams rested their starters in Week 17, the Niners had already beaten the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. (I’m still kicking myself for not picking the Niners against the Jags.)

Jimmy Garoppolo was a big part of those wins. Now, he is the talk of the town.

In 7 NFL starts, he’s led his teams to 7 wins, and he’s thrown for 2,250 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. With the 49ers, he’s thrown for 1,560 yards. That’s a good start for anyone, but he’s thrown all 5 of his INT’s this season.

Garoppolo is a keeper so I hope the Niners can work out a reasonable deal for him in the offseason. Yes, I’m excited about the possibilities with Jimmy G and much of the praise he’s receiving is well deserved, but I don’t want to get carried away.

With that in mind, these are a few concerns I have:

1. With the Increased Attention, There Will Inevitably Be Bandwagoners — and Worse, Media Hype.

Unfortunately, I know someone who is fully on the Jimmy G bandwagon. This may be a long year on that front … But on some level, I’m not bothered by the bandwagoners, as long as they a well-behaved. If they just like winners, that has nothing to do with me.

The media attention bothers me more. It has already begun and we have just received a little taste of it. While positive attention towards the 49ers is good, the press has the uncanny ability to go overboard.

II don’t like it when anyone is overhyped, even if I like them myself. Too much hype will make me pull back a little. I don’t want to see anyone who thinks Jimmy G needs even more love because …

When one, two, or only a few teams and players receive the lion’s share of the focus, it lends to a circle jerk. Not only that, but it takes time away from others and it degrades them.

This is annoying but it also hurts various sports. If we are given fewer people to root for, what happens if those people disappoint? What happens when those people ultimately retire?


I like Jimmy Garoppolo and I’m excited as a 49ers fan to have him on board. I didn’t know what to expect when the 49ers traded for him, but a wanted him to start in 2017. When he finally got some playing time, I was pleasantly surprised.

But not everyone has to like Jimmy Garropolo or fawn over him, especially fans of his division rivals. That’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and preferences. The problem is when the press tells everyone they should like him and if they don’t, they’re not real fans or petty little haters.

2. As Jimmy G Has More Success, He Will Likely Receive Much of the Credit.

Quarterbacks often receive more blame or credit than they deserve. But nowadays, the degree of blame or credit a QB receives depends on who he is and how they started their NFL careers.

Very few signal callers, like Tom Brady, receive the benefit of the doubt. He will not be blamed if he plays terribly in a loss; instead, analysts will blame the entire team. Yet Brady will be credited if the team wins, whether or not because of the defense or his running back(s) play the biggest role.

Most other quarterbacks do not receive the benefit of the doubt. They are often blamed when their teams lose and given little credit or attention when they win.

Alex Smith is the prime example of this. He’s not “elite” by any means, but much of his struggles were enabled by the bad conditions he had to play under during his first few season. While Smith does deserve the blame now for his own poor play from time to time, he has always shown a willingness to improve and help his team.

Yet the prevailing sentiment is about how Smith’s teams lose because of him and win despite him. When you ask one of his detractors about this, they will confirm that they see it this way. It will not matter what he does moving forward.

How will Jimmy G be perceived?

It’s highly likely he will be given the benefit of the doubt. He’s only 26 years old and has a decent start to his career. But he has to consistently produce in order to build up enough credibility to keep the benefit of the doubt.

3. Garropolo’s Early Success Has Already Reopened the Dreaded ‘Elite’ Quarterback Discussion.

As I’ve said before, I really, really despise the obsession with “elite” quarterbacks, with a passion. It is one of the most asinine aspects of football discussions and it’s a self-defeating enterprise.

Logically speaking, there can only be a few “elite” quarterbacks in the league at one time. The most we can hope for is to have adequate to good quarterback play from at least 10 teams.

It’s hard to be a professional QB and it’s hard to win at the professional level. What’s more: There’s more to winning than just the quarterback. Good teams have decent coaches, defenses, and a helpful supporting cast.

  • The quarterback will need receivers who catch for more footballs than they drop in order to be successful.
  • Teams need a good running game in order to keep defenses honest.
  • The QB will need a good offensive line in order to help the run game and keep the signal-caller upright.
  • Teams need a good defense to stop teams from scoring. Bad teams lose despite scoring 28 points or more per game.
  • Most importantly, teams need good coaching staffs. A quarterback with a bad coach is doomed.

It’s ridiculous to say that all teams need an “elite” quarterback when even the Super Bowl-winning teams that had one also have a combination of the above.

If Garoppolo wins a Super Bowl, it will be because of the above factors. With that said, I must thank Bill Belichick for trading Garoppolo to the 49ers and coaching him up for the past few years.

That’s It for Part 2.

On second thought, I should break this post up. I tend to be long-winded, so this should make for easier reading.

Part 3 is dedicated to Patrick Mahomes. Garoppolo isn’t the only quarterback who was drafted under great circumstances …


Have any thoughts on the subject? Time’s yours.

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