After reading "The Booth Review - Season Finale" and some of the comments I just started typing and it seemed too long to post as a comment. I loved how AnthonyLy summed up his feelings about the past present and future of the Niners. The following is my story of what the last few years have meant to me as a 26 year old Niner fan.
I was 8 years old when the Niners won their last Superbowl. I remember being happy they won but by the time I went to bed that night I had moved on. I didn't really start watching the Niners till I was about 12 and playing pop warner football.
In 2000 I was on the same flight back from Mexico with Jeff Garcia and his family (the year after Garcia took over). My dad asked if I wanted an autograph. I was a shy kid so rather than say I was intimidated and didn't want to ask I just said "Who cares he'll never be good anyway." (Side note: Jeff got a henna tattoo on his right arm during his trip and I remember thinking, "I wasn't even dumb enough to get one of those, who is this guy?")
Eventually he proved me wrong and he sparked my initial love for the Niners with those 2 successful years. After those 2 years I was hooked. Watched every game every week. I would like to say I haven't missed one since but I'm sure that's not true. Fast forward 8 years and I haven't seen a winning season yet.
Every year me and my buddies would have these "what if we won the lotto" type conversations where we would talk about how great it would be to know that every week no matter who we are playing we should win. I would have given anything just for the Niners to be a powerhouse. Up until 3 years ago I had never seen my favorite team of my favorite teams taste success.
The reason I wanted to share this from my perspective is that my age group has never truly tasted success as Niner fans other than those 2 years, until now. In my conversations with older and wiser Niner fan's, such as my Dad, I constantly get this feeling that they have no appreciation for the present because they are stuck on the fact that the Niner's didn't win it all. Fact is, only 1 team gets to win it all and just because you finished 2nd or 3rd doesn't mean you failed. For myself 2nd or 3rd has been a lot more fun than finishing 16th or worse which is all I have experienced in my Niner fan life. I envy the 50 something year olds that got to see this franchise in their dynasty years. When I hear them talk about the past I just sit there and shake my head because they had no idea how lucky they were to witness those years.
I've had season tickets for 4 years now and I can personally say that I wouldn't trade the last 3 years as a Niner fan with any other team. So when people respond to Jim's war cry of "Who's got it better than us?" with "The Seahawks, Ravens, and Giants" I completely disagree.
I get it they won it all. But the joy that the last 3 years have brought to my life I dare somebody to tell me they got it better than me as a fan the last 3 years. And if you feel like you do than I envy you. I've created some lifelong memories, lifelong friendships, and look forward to Sunday's more than ever. Yes, we've fallen short the last few years but I think Patrick Willis hit the nail on the head with this quote AnthonyLy used in his article:
"I could sit up here and tell you what you want to hear," Willis started, "Tell you that I'm angry, that I'm mad, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to look at you and say it was a heck of a run."
When we do win it all, and we will, the heartbreak of the last decade will make it that much sweeter and I cannot wait to celebrate it with you all. In the mean time lets appreciate the past few years because some people like myself have had dreams of the success the Niner's have had the last 3 years.