This is pro football at the moment in the Bay Area: The 49ers are looking for a quarterback while the Raiders — like that song about the boll weevil — are looking for a home.
You hesitate to predict which team has a greater chance of success, although that billion-dollar-plus figure being tossed around for a new Raiders facility across the state border certainly grabs your attention.
As does that “Real Ticket” ad on some internet sites, in which a photo of a man we know as Kyle Shanahan’s father, Mike, a Super Bowl champion coach, is part of the promotion.
The Niners do have individuals listed as quarterback, the recently signed Brian Hoyer — Brian Hoyer? — and Matt Barkley. But apparently San Francisco seeks someone in the Tom Brady-Joe Montana-Steve Young mold, someone dominant. Sure.
The litany is quarterbacks receive too much credit for wins, too much blame for defeats. Words. Baseless.
When John Elway retired from Denver after winning two Super Bowls for Mike Shanahan, the question was posed to Norv Turner, offensive coordinator for two Dallas Super Bowl teams and later head coach for three other teams: How important is the quarterback?
“A great one,” Turner said, “will win you two games you would not have won.”
Or as Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said a few days ago when asked what he learned from last season, “Don’t lose your quarterback.”
The reference was to Derek Carr, who incurred a broken leg two games shy of the end of the regular schedule. The Raiders lost the next game and the subsequent playoff game.
Carr will be back. So will the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum, at least through 2018. After that? Mark Davis, the Raiders owner, is determined to shift the franchise to Nevada. He’s on an ego trip and wants to take his team on a literal trip.
The way things work, in three seasons, Carr, linebacker Khalil Mack and company will lead the Las Vegas Raiders to a Super Bowl victory. Life is unfair.
Football, however, is quite fair. You have a better coach and better players, you win. Maybe not the championship every year, but you’re in the mix, in the hunt — where the Niners were as recently as 2013.
Then came Jed York tweeting and coaches moving.
The Niners brought in the combo of John Lynch as general manager and Kyle Shanahan as head coach. They’ll need time. They’ll need a quarterback.
“We’ll continue to look,” Shanahan said recently. “You rarely take just two guys into a camp. So I have a pretty good feeling we will add more. I don’t know if that will be through free agency or the draft, but there’s every avenue possible.”
Free agent quarterbacks are not the sort around which champions are created— one exception, certainly, being Kurt Warner. The draft? DeShaun Watson could be available to a Niners team with the second overall pick.
If that happens, well, maybe Dak Prescott was brilliant as a rookie, but he was quarterbacking the Cowboys, not a team coming off a 2-14 record.
Watson is intriguing. Maybe he’s the future. Hoyer, who played for Shanahan when Kyle was offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, seemingly is the present.
Then again, it’s March. The draft is in April. Training camp opens in July. The season begins in September.
“Part of what we’ll do this year,” Del Rio, the Oakland coach advised, “is understand not any one person is more important than the team.”
Unless that person is the quarterback, the player Oakland has and San Francisco needs.
Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.