To be honest, this is one of the hardest articles I've had to write during my tenure here at NN. What is there to say on the day of the Super Bowl? What more is left? We've overanalyzed every single aspect. We've come to either be quite cynical about today or overtly ambitious. We are expecting the worst or hoping for the best. "I have the simplest tastes," once quipped Oscar Wilde, "I am always satisfied with the best." I have a feeling that today our tastes are all the same. No matter the trepidation we may be feeling about the game, we will only be satisfied if the 49ers are the best team in the NFL.
They are one win away.
It's been hard to get here. For years the team has struggled. As a fan, I felt like the beleaguered companions of Aeneas, tossed about in a storm before being deposed upon the doorstep of Carthage. Aeneas, sensing their weariness, turns to them and says: Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis or "Carry on, and preserve yourself for better times." The glory days of old died in 2002 (if not 1995), and we were left stranded in unfamiliar terrain.
Today the team can return to its roots. Today the team can add to the storied annals it build in the ‘80s and 90s. That's where the 49ers belong in the story of Football. These last years? Today can make them an aberration. Today can make the desert we traversed a geographical blip between two oases. This is why the 5-0 record in the Super Bowl is such a compelling stat. That level of success puts us in the elite category.
And likewise we should return to our roots as fans. This article, which was so difficult to conceptualize and had seen every other article imagine already written, still wants to do something new. So, let this article be a way for you to remember your roots. How did you get into this crazy game? Who introduced you to the 49ers? Can you remember watching your first game or were you too young? Somebody somewhere put you on a path that led to today.
For me, it was my Dad. I grew up watching the sport with him. He even claims that my first words were "Joe Montana." Such a claim is always accompanied by a doubting scoff from my Mother. I watched ball with him. He taught me how to throw a spiral.
So, today, I'm watching the game with him and my mother, my grandparents, and my siblings. Friends will be over and fun will be had, and that's because this game (and sports in general) are all about communities.
So, what's your community? Who are the people with whom you will watch the game? And, what's your story? How did you find this sport?