With the departure of Alex Smith, there is a void in Bay Area sports. By that I may mean a little something different than you think. Alex has been the titleholder, at least lately, as the king of hot button athletes in Bay Area Sports. Like him or not, everyone seemed to have an opinion on Alex.
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After today, all that will be left of the Alex talk is embers. Who can replace him as backup QB? Will other 49ers handle demotions with class like Alex did? Is Harbaugh treating another player like he did Alex? Would Alex have done whatever he is doing in KC if he had stayed and been still starting for the 49ers? All these topics talk around the Alex subject but the actual Alex will be gone. If he ever cared what we thought and said about him, he certainly won’t now that he’s in KC.
So with Alex’s departure, there is now an undisputed hot button champ: Tim Lincecum. Will he stay or go? Will he regain his form or struggle like last year? Will he change his hair again? Timmy should count on even more air time with Alex gone.
Other candidates to upgrade or regain their status:
-Barry Zito: Did last year bury all the demons or will a bad start make him an “it” topic again?
-Jim Harbaugh: Every time he opens his mouth something could come out that shakes the fan base and or media. Will another player end up like Alex? If the 49ers hit a rough patch could his tactics backfire? He is another figure everyone seems to have an opinion on.
-Andrew Bogut: A new contender, Are the Warriors better without him in the lineup? How injured is he? Monta trade still worth it even if he doesn’t play much? All fun things to discuss but he’s got a ways to go to catch the Alex hype.
-Chris Culliver: How much is left from the Super Bowl flap and how much do we care?
-Randy Moss: Seems like he may be gone soon, if not, will he say things to raise the ire of his coach and teammates or at least the media?
-Lew Wolff: Will the A’s stay in Oakland or go? No one seems to know including Lew. Fans are waiting for some resolution and every time he speaks…we continue to wait. Maybe he should be partnered with Bud Selig on this one.
-Patrick Marleau: Hockey doesn’t get the run of the other sports around here but when it does and the Sharks don’t advance in the playoffs, Patty usually is the poster boy. If they don’t win the Cup this year, can they keep him around? Can they make another run with the same characters?
Carson Palmer & Darren McFadden will get some talk. Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are too new to criticize that much. The same goes with Sonny Dykes. Stanford coaches David Shaw (good) and Johnny Dawkins (not so much) don’t raise many eyebrows. Cal's Mike Montgomery may have entered this territory recently but at this point it’s too soon too tell. Saint Mary's Randy Bennett also doesn’t get much run.
I am sure I missed a few so chime in if you have some candidates.
So long Alex, we will miss you on the field and in the headlines.