Maiocco: Mourning Loss of 'Niner Jan'


Maiocco: Mourning Loss of 'Niner Jan'

May 13, 2010


Matt Maiocco
It was early in my tenure as a 49ers beat reporter when I met her. There was a lady with red hair -- 49ers red, no less -- in the lobby of the teams offices with a floral arrangement in her hands.The previous day 49ers fullback William Floyd had sustained a serious knee injury. And Janette Boehm was at the teams practice facility early to deliver flowers and get-well wishes.I got to know Niner Jan or Niner Mom through her regular visits to the 49ers team offices to drop off care packages, including cookies and other goodies, to the team members and staff. Several years ago, she began sending me her Christmas letter, which read like a State of the 49ers address. We also carried on a regular dialogue via email.She took being a fan to a whole different level of commitment, devotion, loyalty and unconditional support. As she stated in a profile that appeared two years ago on a national sports Web site, A true fan stands by his or her team whether its winning or losing games.The 49ers organization -- and everyone directly or indirectly associated with the team -- is feeling a major loss with the recent passing of Niner Jan. She was 76.Jan was arguably our most visible and outwardly supportive fan, but that is not why we are memorializing her, 49ers owner John York said. She helped each of us appreciate -- every single day -- what it meant to be a member of the 49ers. Underneath the red and gold attire was a woman who went out of her way to make everyone in our organization feel like a member of her family. She didnt just root for us on the field -- through winning seasons and less successful ones -- but she also rooted for us as individuals in our personal lives.Said offensive tackle Joe Staley: She would write us nice cards every year, and they were all personal. There was never a generic card. Everything was personalized. She really cared about the team, and its really sad that shes not going to be with us anymore, but shell always be with us in spirit.Services for Janette Boehm will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Martins Catholic Church, 593 Central Ave., and Old San Francisco Road, in Sunnyvale. Following the services, there will be a get-together at Harry's Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Ave., in San Jose.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.