A Year Ago, Alex Smith Was Ready To Leave The 49ers For Good

If you had to pinch yourself watching Alex Smith channel Joe Montana and play the hero for the 49ers this past weekend, just imagine how it felt for his parents, Doug and Pam Smith. Almost exactly a year ago, they were petitioning their son to get the hell out of San Francisco:

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After concluding 2010 ... Alex and his wife, Elizabeth, joined Pam, Doug and two friends for dinner. Smith was set to become a free agent, and the talk was about what he should do next. All agreed on one thing: He should leave San Francisco. The group even raised glasses and made a toast: "To moving on."

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That comes from Sports Illustrated, where Jim Trotter traces the progression from that moment to Saturday's triumph. It still doesn't feel totally real, because GOOD LORD Alex Smith used to be terrible. Describing the Niners offense was like a writing prompt each week: "How can you find a new way to describe the same catastrophe?" His only claim to fame was his supposedly tiny hands. Which is to say, if there's a chance for Alex Smith to turn into a hero, then maybe there's a chance for anybody. That's part of what makes the story of where he was, and where he is now, so completely insane. Check it out.

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