Taking to the turf this Friday night at Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers butt heads with 2022 playoff contender, the Green Bay Packers.
Yes, it’s a preseason game, but it pits two long-term foes in a battle that ends the up and down era of Jimmy Garoppolo. It also kick-starts the hopes and dreams for Trey Lance and possibly, with cautious optimism, a new dynasty for the 49ers.
If Lance is off to a fast start, the 49ers score quickly and he leads the team effectively, expectations could soar. If the Packers stifle Lance’s passing game and contain the 49ers running game, it could mean déjà vu all over again.
Frankly, Jed York is frustrated like a child with no kewpie doll.
Since York moved into the 49er owner’s chair, he has had one serious dream: A winning team that takes it all the way. It’s inspiring to walk through the 49ers museum and see firsthand the five Super Bowl trophies of yesteryear. But that was a different time and a different dynasty. York has been in search of the complete combination of capability, courage, consistency, clutch catches and a “can do” team.
He has been close. Last year’s showdown was a might have been, could have been and became…a was been.
Then there was that unforgettable Super Bowl run against Kansas City in 2020 when Patrick Mahomes performed on the field magic like David Copperfield on steroids. Mahomes was a football magician in the making as he performed his comeback skills with perfection.
But that is now all history. The 49ers are looking ahead, allowing the past to be part of the learning process. Owner York and 49ers President Al Guido have invested a great deal of energy in search of the right and winning combination of talent, desire and skill.
Now, York and Guido are in two races. First, of course, is the search for that elusive and slippery Super Bowl trophy. Second, is the 2022 Santa Clara City election.
The 49ers are 50-50 partners with the City in Levi’s Stadium. Yet they have been snubbed for years by Santa Clara’s current Mayor, Lisa Gillmor. Her personal spat with the 49ers has grown old, tired, pointless and costly to residents and the City.
The current council majority has reopened relations with the 49ers management and guess what? Now Santa Clara is working productively with its business partner.
Perhaps Santa Clara will have two big wins this year. First would be the retirement of Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her replacement by council member and mayoral candidate, Anthony Becker. Second would be returning the magic and bringing home a new Super Bowl trophy to Levi’s in Santa Clara.