February 04, 2023

Is this finally the year?

Can Brock Purdy lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory?

I have been told “nice hat” and “that’s a great shirt” more times this past week than probably the past five years combined.

Before this year, I was just a regular San Francisco 49ers fan. Now, I root for a team which is being quarterbacked by former Iowa State Cyclone Brock Purdy.

I have no issues with that. He’s playing his tail off and leading the 49ers’ loaded offense to a lot of success.

I also welcome bandwagon fans who have decided to root for the 49ers because whatever team they are loyal to is not currently in the playoffs.

But, I was rooting for the 49ers before Purdy was born, and I will root for them next year and the year after that and five years from now whether he’s on the roster or not.

The 49ers are one of the best-run organizations in the National Football League. Kyle Shanahan is one of the best coaches and John Lynch, after a pretty rocky start, is now considered one of the top General Managers in the NFL.

The roster is loaded with All-Pro players, but the Shanahan-Lynch-Adam Peters (assistant GM) trio also is responsible for finding guys like Purdy, George Kittle and others late in the draft.

Purdy was the final pick of the NFL Draft this past summer. He became the third quarterback on the roster and the 49ers eventually had four quarterbacks once Jimmy Garoppolo decided to return for another year.

The organization also drafted Kittle in the fifth round, Elijah Mitchell in the sixth round and plenty of other guys on the roster on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. And they pulled off the trade for Christian McCaffrey earlier this season, too.

They’ve also had some misses. Most franchises do.

But, as I have said to many folks before, when the 49ers are fully healthy, they are no doubt one of the best teams in the NFL.

They started the season 3-4 after losing games to the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. The last time they lost a game was against the Kansas City Chiefs back in October.

I can’t recall each game, but the Niners were not fully healthy during the early portion of the season.

The Bears’ loss came in the opener so not a lot of health excuses there, but it was Trey Lance’s first official start as “the guy” and the entire second half was played in a monsoon.

It turned out to be the Bears’ only win against an NFC team this past season. The Broncos and Falcons also did not make the playoffs.

So there were some duds. But the 49ers made the playoffs and eventually the NFC Championship game last year after starting 3-5 and are on a collision course to do the same this year after beginning the season 3-4.

Since the squad lost to the Chiefs, they have won 11 straight games and defeated the Seahawks for a third time this past weekend in the playoff opener.

I grew up a 49ers fan in the era of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and others. I was used to winning.

But it’s been since the mid-1990s since the franchise last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

I have watched the franchise lose twice in the Super Bowl as an adult. I hope I get to watch them again this year. Maybe they will win it this time.

The team is fun. They have a lot of great stories and the Iowa connections run with Kittle and Purdy.

I don’t know what Purdy’s future is with the team. Jimmy G most likely won’t be back next season, but I thought he would be gone after last year.

Lance is still on the roster and management gave up a lot to draft him. Purdy deserves to at least be in competition for the starting job next year and the further he goes in the playoffs, the closer he is to having the competition word removed.

I don’t know how you can not have him be the starter if he does lead this team to a Super Bowl victory.

There also are benefits to having two rookie contracts on the roster. That would make it easier to extend Nick Bosa and might give them a shot with Brandon Aiyuk, too.

As a 49ers fan, my only concern is what makes them win football games and championships. If Purdy is the best guy for that, then I’m all in.

And so far, the former Cyclone has been Purdy darn good.

Contact Troy Hyde at thyde@shawmedia.com