Suppose they gave a press conference and nobody came?
Last week, the 3-and-7 San Francisco 49ers held a press conference for their new starting quarterback, Blaine "Yo Gabba" Gabbert, but forgot to actually tell the media. When Gabbert showed up, he was the only one in the room, other than a 49ers staffer there to record the event.
It was Gabbert's second week as the starting quarterback, after he replaced former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was benched after seven games and only two wins.
"Hey, good to see you," he said from the podium. Then he sat in the front row and said, "I'll be the one asking questions." Local media reported that Gabbert chatted with the staffer for a few minutes before leaving.
Except the camera was rolling the entire time, and it captured the questions Gabbert actually asked.
Gabbert ran up to the podium to give his answer. "Well, the Cardinals are a tough team. At 8-and-2, they're leading our division, which is some sort of record for the NFC West. I think they're on pace to win at least 10 games going into the playoffs, so we're all pretty excited," said Gabbert, referring to previous playoffs, where NFC West teams flolloped their way into the first round at 9-and-7, while certain AFC South teams barely made it in at 11-and-5.
Gabbert raced to the back row, and raised his hand. "How are you preparing for your first game against the Arizona Cardinals?" he asked, without waiting to be called on.
"Excuse me, excuse me, pardon me, excuse me," Gabbert said, squeezing past his fellow reporters on his way back to the podium.
"Well, they beat us 47 – 7 when Kap faced them in Week 3, so we already know how tough they are" said Gabbert. "I just hope whoever organized this press conference isn't responsible for organizing my O-line." Gabbert returned to his seat for the obligatory insider-joke laugh.
"But seriously, the Cardinals are a great team. We're keeping a close eye on Deone Bucannon, their leading tackler. And Dwight Freeney has three sacks this season. It's not the nine and ten sacks he was getting in Indianapolis, but man, when that guy does his swim move, you hear the 'Jaws' theme in your head."
"Do you think Coach Tomsula is taking a big gamble on starting you in place of Colin Kaepernick? What do you think that means for his future with the team?" Gabbert asked.
Gabbert took a long drink of water from his bottle, playing for a little extra time. "A big gamble? No, certainly not. I mean, sure, I was brought here as a backup. But backing up Kap isn't like backing up Peyton Manning. His backup barely has a chance of getting into a game. Hell, I think they listed Y.A. Tittle as his backup one week, and he's gotta be100 by now."
"But what about Kap's future with the team? Do you think he'll return to the starting lineup this season, or are you their Golden Boy?" Gabbert pressed. A scowl flickered briefly across Gabbert's face as he listened to the question.
"Do I think it means Kap's going to be traded?" Gabbert said, referring to recent rumors that the once-favored QB was now being shopped around. "Of course I have no way of knowing. We're just focused on the Arizona Cardinals right now. We just take the season one week at a time."
"Is it true that you're actually Coach Tomsula's favorite, but he can't say so in front of the rest of the team?"
"Well, I can't speak for Coach, but I think I'm at least in his top ten. Top five, at best." Gabbert paused for the obligatory laugh again, which he delivered from the second row.
When Gabbert returned to the podium, he continued. "I have been spending a lot more time with Coach Tomsula for the last couple of weeks, as well as (offensive coordinator) Coach Chryst and (quarterbacks coach) Coach Logan. I spent time with them anyway, but now I've become one of their favorites as well."
"Is Kaepernick still contributing to the team?" asked Gabbert?
"Absolutely," said Gabbert. "Kaepernick has been making solid contributions to the team. He is constantly contributing and providing a lot of contributable support. He's one of the most contributive members of the team, and his contributiveness is unmatched."
Gabbert looked over to his handler, Blaine Gabbert, who signaled that it was time to wrap it up. "Thank you everyone for your time. We'll talk again after the game."
"Good luck this week," called Gabbert from the fourth row. Gabbert stopped for pictures and answered a few follow-up questions as he left.
Photo credit: "Gabbert, Blaine" by San Francisco 49ers - Author. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - Wikimedia Commons
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