Liotta: Reaction to GM’s departure shows lack of faith in the Niners 

So how different do the 49ers feel now?

Regardless of its yet-to-be-determined true impact, the news last week that general manager Scot McCloughan was leaving the team hit the 49er Faithful with a depressing thud.  

Anywhere else in the NFL? Blip on the radar. Here in the Bay Area, we have a development that opens a gaping wound.

Sure, Mike Singletary has been an impressive face of the franchise for the last year and a half, and the team has given off more good signals than bad during that time.  

On paper, the team looks the same. There’s still talent there on the roster, and so many positives to build on from last year.

Why all the groans?

Beneath shaky optimism at best, Niners fans know that Singletary is still learning on the job, and the squad under his tutelage ain’t there yet.

No matter what anybody thought of him, McCloughan served as the only behind-the-scenes constant on the organization’s football side during the team’s climb out of the depths it reached under Terry Donahue.

The forehead-slapping and hand-wringing reaction to McCloughan’s departure says one thing loud and clear about the trust Niners fans have for the 49ers organization. There is none.

Don’t want to give that front office the opportunity to make a football decision, do you?

Random thoughts

  • Yes, the Giants have played some crisp, fundamental baseball this spring. It beats the alternative. But three errors Opening Day and all that good feeling is gone.
  • I have no idea if how it will affect him on the golf course, but Tiger Woods looked awful making his first television interviews this week. He looked lost. His eyes empty, devoid of any confidence. He is one shaken individual. He’s fallen from the penthouse to the outhouse, and now it looks like nobody’s home. His return is shaping up to be the most interesting comeback in the history of sports.
  • Right now, I hate the word “bracket.” But I love the phrase “fantasy draft.”
  • There’s nothing more unappealing than a columnist patting himself on the back for being on target — the evidence on the opposite side of the ledger is usually more abundant — but I’m going to do it anyway.

For years now, I’ve been saying the best way to fix the NFL’s overtime policy was to give the other team a chance with the football if a team kicks a field goal after winning the coin flip. I have to say I’ve never put forth a thought or an idea with more confidence more routinely dismissed than this one. It wouldn’t even draw a discussion. I learned to ignore the yawns.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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