We’ll get back to golf in just a minute folks. In the meantime let’s discuss Topic A in the Bay Area sports world: Alex or Colin?

Let me illustrate how pervasive this issue has become.  I work at a non-profit organization that is committed to providing financial services to low and moderate income households so that they can pull themselves up and get ahead. This past Friday we had an Advisory Board meeting, an occasion when we assemble people from academia and the world of socially responsible investing to tell them about all the cool stuff we’re doing.  I was not participating, but through my office walls  I could hear the conversation  as our executive staff and some of the Board members had lunch.  They started, as you might expect, all fiscal cliff and bank bailout and current trends in the mortgage market.  But then that ran out of gas.

So where do you think the conversation with all these high-minded types, people  engaged in the important work of advancing economic justice wound up? Syria? Nah. Climate change? Nope.  No, they got into it about who should start as QB for the San Francisco 49ers.

A quarterback controversy is like catnip to sports minded males.  We can’t resist it.  It appeals to our inner General Manager, or the head coach we know we could be.  It calls upon all those delicious human reactions like hindsight and second-guessing.

And it goes deeper than that.  It is essentially a sibling rivalry and that conjures up every bit of emotion associated with that sort of competition.  Cain and Abel was a quarterback controversy.  In fact a lot of messy situations throughout human history were quarterback controversies.  Shia versus Sunni is a still unresolved dispute over who should have gotten the starting job after Mohammed retired.  And the Great Schism, when there were Popes in Rome and Avignon?  A quarterback controversy so bad they broke the team into two.

No, it’s clearly intriguing and weirdly addictive stuff.  And the bad news–if you see this sort of thing as a distraction–for Niners fans? It’s only getting started.