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Happy 1st Birthday Niners Nation

Normally people don't wish themselves happy birthday to draw attention, but I figure the hell with that. One year ago today, December 22, 2006, Niners Nation went live. I wanted to hold hold this site, myself and the readers to the highest of standards and I think we've all done a pretty good job up to this point. Those first few days I was getting 30 or 40 visitors as people slowly learned about the site. Today, in spite of the 49ers recent downturn, we're averaging 600-700 visitors and 1,200+ page views per day. I look at the traffic as validation by 49ers fans, but even more important is the interaction you guys bring to the site. Every single open thread we've had has been active, all the way back to the first open thread of Week 16, 2006, when we had 113 comments.

As we go forward, I certainly hope you guys stick around for the long haul. This will most certainly be the blog to be at when the 49ers finally return to Super Bowl prominence. I fully expect all of you that have been here through the lean times to be there to pop the champagne corks when the time comes.

I'll be back later in the day with some preview tidbits for Sunday's matchup. In the meantime, enjoy a full day of sports as bowl season kicks into high gear. Today: Bowl (Birmingham, AL) - Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss - 10am PST/1pm EST

New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM) - New Mexico vs. Nevada - 1:30pm PST/4:30pm EST

Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas, NV) - Brigham Young vs. UCLA - 5pm PST/8pm EST

I'm taking Cincy, Nevada and BYU in my bowl pick em. Cincy's simply a solid favorite, New Mexico's top running back is out for the game and UCLA is a mess.