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Reading Between the Tweets: The 49ers' QB Controversy

Has Alex Smith lost his starting spot to Colin Kaepernick for good? The fan base on Twitter is divided.

What does a 20-5-1 record over your last 26 starts get a professional quarterback in San Francisco? Well, apparently it’s a spot on the bench with massive headaches.

As any football fan surely knows by now, we’ve got a nice little QB controversy here by the Bay. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh elected earlier this week to bench his starting quarterback, coming off a concussion, in favor of young, fresh blood – which just happens to run through the very strong throwing arm and elusive legs of Colin Kaepernick.

Many fans are divided on the issue. The general consensus seems to be that both quarterbacks, Kaepernick and former number one overall pick Alex Smith, are fan favorites with more than enough talent to lead the team to the playoffs. And true fans want to win, no matter the name on the back of the jersey.

But in sports, it’s never that simple. So while some fans favor Kaepernick for the potential he possesses, still others prefer the safe, consistent play of Smith (who after years of turbulence with the Niners, has become a dangerous, efficient, respected passer over the last two seasons under Harbaugh's expert tutelage).

This Sunday’s game in St. Louis against the Rams is a rematch of the game in which Smith was concussed three weeks ago – that one ended in the first tie in the NFL since 2007. Kaepernick has been named the starter for this game, and Smith addressed the media on Thursday to discuss the situation publicly for the first time.

We’ve scoured the Twitter world to bring you some of the best tweets about the 49ers’ QB controversy. Some fans think Kaepernick makes the 49ers much better:

@MycholukR: I feel bad for Alex Smith but he played as good as he'll ever play. 49ers way better with kaepernick. #NFL

Some fans blamed the coaches:

@heathdeloach: I hope Kaepernick blows it this week just to make Harbaugh look like an idiot. Colin is capable, but Alex Smith did nothing wrong. Boo, Jim.

Or the owner, Jed York:

@Manhattan49er: @JedYork The stealing of Alex Smith's job is a horrible representation of your franchise!

And some are just confused:

@PhillySK: I'm not mad tht Kaepernick became the starter but I am mad Alex smith lost his job if tht makes any sense lol

One fan thinks the point is moot, because Harbaugh has spoken and his say is final:

@EmmiNats540: Why are people still discussing why Alex Smith sd be starting for the #49ers? Harbaugh has named Kaepernick. Case closed.

And Smith took the high road in his media session, though he did acknowledge the benching "sucked" for one major reason:

@MaioccoCSN: 49ers QB Alex Smith transcript: "I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion."

And it might get worse. A quote like this from arguably the best football player of all time, 49ers legend Jerry Rice, can't bode well for Smith's future in San Francisco:

@Sportscenter: "I'm sure Alex [Smith] is going to be supportive but he knows that his time as a 49er is pretty much gone," -@JerryRice on SC

Let us know what you think by following and tweeting @sanfranmag – are you Team Smith or Team Kaepernick?

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