I know, there have been a couple posts about this already, but I just wanted to give my two cents.
So I was at work today, and one of the managers noticed my 49ers lanyard and mentioned that he appreciated it because he is one of the "faithful" as well. "Not just a fan, but a faithful," he said. And it got me thinking.
I have always been against people changing "favorite" teams. I have always thought it was a crappy habit when people can't stick to one team and just be a fan for life, no matter what. I, as well as most everybody here, has been through a lot of heartache the past decade with this 49er team. Eight straight seasons of losing records, yet we are still here rooting this team on, and we are finally reaping the benefits of it. That part right there is what makes it so sweet because we all stuck with our team and never thought of doing otherwise.
Now that the 49ers are having some success, we are seeing these "bandwagon" fans showing up out of nowhere, and the "fan" base is growing as the 49ers are becoming better and are finally a great team. I kind of saw this back when the Cardinals made their Super Bowl run as well. I was born and raised in Arizona, and nobody wanted to have anything to do with the Cardinals because they were such a bad team for so long. Well, when they finally made the playoffs I noticed something. As I would drive around, I would see these Cardinals flags attached to everybody's cars (I believe Wal-Mart was the one selling them) and each time the Cardinals got deeper into the playoffs, I would notice the amount of flags on peoples cars increased exponentially. Where did all these "fans" come from? Nobody cared about the Cardinals and then all of a sudden everyone is a die-hard fan? Sure, you can root for your home team, but nobody wanted to when they weren't good, so now since they were these people were fans? What fun is that?
So I had an epiphany today. When the manager told me he was a "faithful," he made sure to clarify he wasn't just a fan. And then I realized that I'm not just a fan. All of us that have stuck with this team through the good and not-so-good (okay, really bad) are not just fans. We are the Faithful. We are the ones truly benefiting from the 49ers success this season. Sure, you can ditch your team and come root for ours, and I won't even call you a bandwagon fan anymore. I don't care. All that means is that we know that the Niners are finally good again. Bandwagoners will come and go. It's bound to happen with any team that is successful. But I know that I will be a 49er fan for as long as I live, and nothing will ever change that. And I know that 6th Super Bowl will be that much sweeter because of that (and the 7th, 8th, 9th...). So even if you are against people changing teams, just know they won't be enjoying the success the 49ers will have for the many years to come as much as you will. To the Faithful.
Go Niners! Who's got it better than us!?