The San Francisco 49ers
Yesterday for the first time since I was a child, too young to care about this thing that invades so much of so many people’s lives, the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl.
The first Super Bowl I remember watching was in 1996. It was the Patriots vs. the Packers. I was at a friends house and though I was preoccupied by other things, I remember watching the TV screen as Brett Favre would go on to win his first (and only) Super Bowl ring.
The next year, I became far more consumed with everything football (and sports) as a 7 year old I would get up early every morning just so I could watch SportsCenter, listening to who had won each game and keeping up with all the latest in injuries, trades, and statistics. That year I hosted my first ever Super Bowl party, inviting my friends over to watch and cheer on John Elway and the Broncos to his first ever Super Bowl victory. It wasn’t the 49ers, but it was Elway and I couldn’t help but be glad at his success.
Since then I have faced the ups and downs that every sports fan goes through. I watched the 49ers get slayed by the Packers 4 different times, which only made TO’s (Terrell Owens) last second grab so much sweeter.
I watched Steve Young get injured, on a Monday night in a moment that I will never ever be able to forgive Aeneas Williams for, even if he were to come and personally ask for it.
I watched Garrison Hearst get injured against the Falcons in the opening drive of the Divisional round which lead to another playoff loss.
I watched Jeff Garcia become a star only to have the 49ers inexplicably let him go, leading them into the dark ages.
I suffered through Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, Shaun Hill, Chris Weinke, Trent Dilfer, JT O’Sullivan, Troy Smith, and poor young Alex Smith; all who started at quarterback at some point throughout my teenage years (and to think I survived that!).
And now after 18 years, they have done the thing I have been cheering them to do since I can remember, they are going to the Super Bowl. They have broken a boundary that they have done 5 times before, but those were 5 times that I never got to experience. This year’s Super Bowl party won’t be another party where I vicariously cheer on some other player or watch commercials or eat hot wings in order to enjoy myself, this year it’s personal.
To be continued…