I received an email the other day from someone doing research on sports taunting "and the kind of things that would make a specific team's fan base tick." He had several questions and I thought rather than just turn around some answers, I'd open it up for discussion among the great assortment of 49ers fans we have here.
Who do you consider the 49ers' biggest rivals?
At this point, I'd probably guess the Cardinals or Seahawks would be the 49ers biggest rivals. Historically it's obviously the Cowboys. Additionally, the late 90s saw the 49ers and Packers develop quite the rivalry. However, if we're looking for biggest current rivals, Arizona or Seattle would have to be it.
What teams and specific NFL players do the casual or die-hard 49er fan hate the most?
I'd imagine the Patriots are probably up there. For a while I had problems with the Bears after the tampering scandal, but that's really kind of blown over at this point. The Seahawks and Cardinals bug me as divisional rivals, but I really can't quite generate hate. In the end, I'd say it's the Cowboys I hate the most. Anytime they struggle I find myself entertained.
As far as players, it used to be Terrell Owens. His destruction of the 49ers drove me crazy and once the pattern continued in Philly and Dallas I moved from hate to general amusement. I don't know if I really hate TO, but I really don't like him. Brett Favre, whether he stays or goes, is up there on my list too. At first it was his success against the 49ers. Now it's his ridiculous retirement charades.
If you were wanted to taunt players within the 49ers’ division, who would be the biggest targets? The rest of the league?
Kurt Warner definitely deserves some serious taunting. I think somebody needs to come up with a good God sign after he said God told him to head back to Arizona. Given the path of free agency, I don't know how many other players there are that I would really taunt all that much. TO I suppose. Maybe Roethlisberger? Brady? In the end, it's become more of a team league in my mind.
What kind of taunts would sting the casual 49ers fan the most—going after the make-up of the fan base, individual players, coach, or the city?
I think it'd be going after the recent struggles of the team. Some of the less intelligent folks will roll out the gay jokes about being in San Francisco. While that can get annoying, it's also an easy way to tell the idiots in the conversation. You can figure out who they are and pretty much just annoy them the rest of the way. However, given the team's history of success it can certainly sting hearing about the struggles, as with any team.
In less than 100 words, best describe the San Francisco fan base.
I actually don't there is a single way to describe the 49ers fan base. In meeting 49ers fans around the world, it often seems like there are no two fans alike. It's not like looking at fans of the Oakland Raiders. It's pretty easy to stereotype a Raiders fan. But a 49ers fan? Not so much. Even without seeing people, just reading this website will show the vast differences among us. I used to hear about how 49ers fans were the whine and cheese crowd, but I know that is most definitely not the case anymore.
What are the common stereotypes associated with 49er fans? In what ways are they true/false?
There's the whine and cheese crowd idea I mentioned above. While there are certainly that style of fan, it's not the majority of fans so only partially true I suppose. Other than that I'm honestly not sure of stereotypes of 49ers fans. Anybody have any ideas out there?