Jeff Garcia is one of my favorite football players of all-time. I first saw him play — in person no less — in October of 1990 when he very nearly led San Jose State to upset a damn good Cal squad in Berkeley. The Bears held on, 35-34.
He next crossed Bay Area fans' paths when he played his way onto the 49ers in 1999. That was a rough year — you'll recall Lawrence Phillips missing a block and Steve Young's brain skipping along the turf after a career-ending hit. It was a rough year for Garcia, too: He wasn't a superstar out of the gate. Things were so bad, he actually lost the starting job to Steve Stenstrom. But he righted his ship — and the team's. If any other football franchise has had the level of excellence from the quarterback position the 49ers had between 1981 and 2002 — I'd like to see it.
But that's the past. And the present is: Jeff Garcia is a 40-year-old Omaha Nighthawk in the minor-league UFL. Perhaps, as athletes are wont to say, “the fire still burns.” But, more likely, Garcia's Nighthawks duds are the latest sartorial entry in “The Jerseys That Should Not Be.”