Fooch's Note: This is a great story and it takes a lot of guts to share this kind of stuff. We'll have plenty of 49ers-Giants coverage this week, but this is a great FanPost.
Today’s NFL bombards us with negative stories such as players going to prison and accusations of drug abuse, spousal abuse, and even rape (twice). The ugly side of sports extends beyond the athletes to the fans. After the 49ers’ victory over the Saints, a New Orleans fan shot two San Francisco fans at an Applebee’s in Georgia, leaving one in critical condition. Let’s not forget the shooting and assault at the Raider-Niners game in the preseason.
Sometimes these stories are enough to make one wonder why we continue to follow the sport. For this fan, the answer is clear. In 1990, at the age of thirteen, I lived with my father in a one-bedroom apartment that did not contain a TV or a radio. My father (not the nicest guy) worked the late shift Tuesday through Saturday, so I basically lived alone. The apartment we lived in shared a basement and a washer/dryer with three other apartments.
On a cold (I live in Montana) Sunday afternoon, I waited in the basement for a load of clothes to dry when the nice old lady from upstairs came down to do her laundry. With a few minutes left to go on the dryer, we began to chat and somewhere in that conversation she mentioned that she was about to watch a Niners game. The news piqued my interest as I had become a bandwagon Niners’ fan less than a year before when they slaughtered Denver 55-10 in Superbowl XXIV (In my defense, the 49ers were my first and only).
There was no hesitation on my part in telling her of my fandom. Naturally, because she is a wonderful woman, she invited me up to watch the game with her. That one game turned into every Sunday, which turned into her feeding me dinner regularly, which turned into regular games of monopoly and yatzee, which then turned into most of my time being spent upstairs.
Then, one day, it happened. My father lost his temper, again, and this time the police came. So, there I was, sitting on my own mattress and soaked in my own blood, wondering how long it would be before social services pulled me from my home. In walked the nice old lady from upstairs with whom I’d become such close friends. As it turns out, she personally knew the two police officers and was able to convince them not to call in social workers on the matter. She became my mom that day.
If she hadn’t have intervened, who knows what path life would have taken. Today, I am 35 years old, have a beautiful wife of twelve years, two wonderful children, and a great life. It’s a great life that I would not have if not for my mom and, in part, I would not have my mom if not for the San Francisco 49ers. What is the story of why you cheer on the Niners?