Fandom is a funny thing. Something that takes many shapes and forms -- none more right than the others, I may add. Within a fan base, you have many people who feel exactly the same about one thing, but vastly different about everything else.
Fans of the San Francisco 49ers agree that they are fans of the San Francisco 49ers. But not all of them love Colin Kaepernick. A portion wants Aldon Smith to stick around; the other would rather he goes. Only some of them think Sourdough Sam provides entertainment value.
As president of Washington State's official 49ers booster club, I see a lot of this play out every day on our Facebook group page. The off-season has presented us a difficult time where we see lots of arguments in topical discussions. Sometimes they break down into unproductive discourse, in-fighting and even people choosing to leave. The rivalry with the Seahawks only amplifies this, of course.
One of the hot topics I've seen tossed around is the 49ers use of the Quest for Six moniker. It's now been three years of intensified use -- though, I gather it dates back to the 1995 season -- since the club's resurgence to championship contender status in 2011. A growing segment of the fan base would like to see the team ditch the slogan. It's grown tired for them.
Up here in Mordor, it's taken on many forms from opposing fans. It started with an immature phallic translation, but morphed this past January into "Quest for Pix," a play on, well, you know what it's a play on.
There are strong opinions from those who wish to see the slogan go the way of the glyptodon.
Right now, I gather, they're stronger than those who prefer it sticks around. The counterarguments, I believe, are that we should hold strong because the quest isn't over until that sixth Lombari is hoisted above the heads of coach and player.
Personally, I too would like to see it go, but only because I'd like a slight change with the number seven included. Please, marketing overlords, force that new variant upon me!
On a serious note, though, I don't know that I mind it's continued use. Yeah, it's growing rather stale, but it does remain as a constant reminder of the team's shortcomings the past three seasons. Perhaps that is the what's behind both sides' wishes: One wishes not to be reminded of how close we've been, while the other sees that as food to fuel their hunger.
At the end of the day, it's just a slogan. If it goes, another will replace it. There will be a battle cry, created by the team, fueled by the passion of many Faithful. Some will love it, some will hate it and some will be indifferent.
Perhaps, amidst all the feelings on the matter and the misses by the team, we should just relish that there's a journey to be had at all. For once your fandom relies solely on wins to feel validated, it's possible you've slept the entire car ride and missed the wonderful scenery just outside the window.