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Collection of “Why I am a fan of the 49ers” stories

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Thanks to all for their contributions!

Earlier this week, we ran an article titled “Why I am a fan of the San Francisco 49ers.” The front page staff offered up their “origin story” so to speak, detailing how they first became a fan of the team we all love. I asked for folks to post their own stories as a FanPost, and we got some great responses. It’s easy to overlook some of the FanPosts, so I thought I would pull them out for people to read. I’ve included an excerpt for each along with a link to the FanPost.

Additionally, I had a Brazilian fan email me with his story. He used Google Translator to turn it into English. I asked him to send it along in Portugese and have posted both versions at the bottom of this article.

If you’d still like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules].

49erFanSince1950: “Before Eddie built the Santa Clara facility the Niners trained at facilities near Sequoia High School in Redwood City. As a Woodside resident I frequently saw Niners players all around the mid-Peninsula; several of them were neighbors; my son played catch with Joe Montana (before he became a starter) when Joe's then-GF lived just down the hill from us. I got TO's autograph when he was sitting at a card table outside a grocery store doing his first promotional work as a Niners rookie.” [Read more]

mikeymike4949: “After a couple of years, my mom's allegiance had shifted. Years of watching Joe Montana pick defenses apart finally converted her to the joys of the 49ers. Thanks to my dad being either at sea or at work all of the time, my little brother and I were raised as 49ers fans. My fanhood was cemented during the 1984 playoffs. We were in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and we got to watch the Super Bowl for Montana-Marino, and my dad split a Budweiser with me, a seven year old boy. I thought it was the greatest thing ever, and watching my dad scowl as I cheered for my favorite team only made it better.” [Read more]

Karl Carroll: “When I was 5 my uncle like many Irish in the early 80s (83 actually​) moved to the us. Namely the bay area. On his first trip back he brought me a 49ers cap. So at 5 I became a 49ers fan despite not even knowing what they played. About a year later a new friend saw my cap and introduced me to the NFL.” [Read more]

realzninerfan: “I grew up with a stepdad that was a hardcore Dallas fan ... I was only 4 when The Catch happened but I remember it being referred to as the "Stupid lucky f***ing catch" as I got older. And when Tecmo Bowl and Super Tecmo Bowl came out I found myself picking the 9ers when playing against my stepdad and would watch him freak out as Rice would catch everything thrown at him. Still makes me laugh thinking about how pissed he would get.” [Read more]

djbake6798: “[T]he first NFL season I sat down every Sunday and Monday night to watch football with my dad was the 1981 season. There was no way at that point in my life I was going to end up being anything other than a 49ers fan. My dad (who sadly passed this January), who was very much larger than life to me as a kid, was a lifelong Niners fan who grew up in Redwood City and told me stories of watching 49ers practices as a kid. Combining that with watching Joe Montana and the 49ers go 13-3, watching the NFC title game and the Catch to beat the Cowboys and then beating the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI in that 81/82 season and it was the birth of a fanatic.” [Read more]

Rhardin49: “It was a beautiful fall day in early September of 1957 in Seattle Washington and my dad (a Husky season ticket-holder) took me to see the SF 49ers play the Chicago (yes Chicago) Cardinals at the U of W stadium.” [Read more]

MexicanFaithful: “I got hooked on the Niners was because of my grandfather. I've got a lot of Niner-related memories with him. Grandpa, my he rest in peace, used to play Football back in college here in Mexico, and naturally, he enjoyed very much watching whatever NFL game the biggest local TV station transmitted.” [Read more]

#7storm: “Growing up in a family that I am not embarrassed of saying that lived in some extreme poverty, football was never a priority or interest of mine. My entire family was Cowboys fans, so I jumped on the bandwagon. Never watched a single game, but I was a supposed fan of the Dallas team, and that how it went on until I went into an adoption process and eventually placed in a permanent foster home. It was 2012, and my foster parents were watching the 49ers playing the Bears. I saw this young, ripped dude just completely dominating the Bears. I asked, ‘Who is that?’ My foster mom said ‘That's Colin Kaepernick. He's a lot like you ya know, he didn't have his real parents for him either, but you know what, he didn't let that stop him and now look at him, he's playing like he is a hall of famer.’” [Read more]

jason.silvaportillo: “One excerpt that stood out to me in the biography was during his early football career, instead of drinking beer after a game, [Steve] Young would rather drink a glass of milk. As silly as that sounds, I found that really relatable because I did that same thing too after a flag football game. As a kid, you always find yourself cheering for the winner no matter who it was but that moment about Steve Young sealed it for me and I have been a 49er fan since.” [Read more]

@JayNovel: “Racine, WI. Dec. 14th, 1987. An entire house of Packer fans, a screaming Bears fan, and a kid who was just enjoying the attention. The game featured the 11-2 Steve Young led 49ers vs the 10-3 Chicago Bears.” [Read more]

DownDan: “Being from Ireland, there was hardly much of a football culture growing up, except for that played by 11 weird men with a round ball. No, my first experience of the NFL was a PSP (yes I know, they used to be cool, trust me) I was bought from the internet - it came with a couple of games, WWE Smackdown - literally the best thing 7 year old me had witnessed - and some weird game called Madden (2006 or so).” [Read more]

JAX9er: “Was in Bible school/college in Minnesota in 1980 bec after high school that's what we were expected to do...first time ever watching TV and first football game was the 9ers....was a fan ever since.” [Read more]

brazilian49ersfan: Sou brasileiro e tenho 35 anos. Até meus 30, a palavra futebol só existia para o esporte da bola redonda. Não me lembro quando comecei a torcer pelo flamengo (equipe de maior torcida no Brasil), é paixão de vida toda. Camisas, estádio, choros de alegria e de dor... Até meus 30, o flamengo reinava sozinho, absoluto.

Mas sempre amei esporte e depois de assinar a tv paga, comecei a assistir com mais frequência outros esportes. A ESPN passou a ser um dos meus canais favoritos. Num desses momentos, procurando o que assistir, me deparei com um jogo de “football americano brasileiro” na tv e a ligação de um dos times com o flamengo me chamou atenção. Assisti ao jogo todo e gostei do esporte!!!

Era setembro de 2012 e mais uma vez mudando de canal, parei na ESPN que transmitia um jogo de dos Cardinals. Fiquei impressionado com um tal de Fitzgerald e passei a tentar entender as regras (pode ter certeza, não é simples pra nós aqui). Vi mais um, dois, três jogos e comecei a entender os objetivos e as pontuações. Pesquisei mais um pouco e logo as noites de quinta, domingo e segunda ficaram reservadas para a NFL.

Mas chega a hora que é necessário ter competitividade. Pra isso, eu precisava escolher um time. Passei então a buscar um motivo para ter uma equipe, pra escolher por quem torcer. Eu ainda não conhecia todas as equipes e lendo a lista e vendo os escudos no site oficial da NFL, me deparei com o San Francisco 49ers. Rapidamente me veio uma lembrança de infância, onde minha mãe trouxe, pra mim e pro meu irmão, duas toalhas de banho. Uma dos 49ers e a outra do Broncos. Ela pediu que eu escolhesse a minha e confesso que a do broncos era mais bonita, mas acho que pelo meu nome (Tiago FRANCISCO), escolhi aquela vermelha e dourada. Tenho a toalha até hoje.

Pronto, esse era o motivo! Acessei o site e fui ver o roster da equipe. Procurei meu número de camisa que amo desde sempre e pensei: vou comprar! Quem seria o dono da camisa “7”?. Um tal Kaepernick, qb, a usava. Fiquei meio decepcionado por ser reserva, mas...

Fui ver no calendário quando seria o jogo dos 49ers que eu poderia assistir. Quando a ESPN no brasil me apresentaria o time que eu tinha escolhido pra mim, sem nem mesmo conhecer? Seria um Monday Night, dia 19 de novembro de 2012. Marquei na agenda!

Foi inesquecível. Pra minha surpresa, aquele número “7” estava em campo. Ele simplesmente destruiu seu adversário de forma mágica. Eu fiquei eufórico, não conseguia dormir depois do jogo. No dia seguinte eu li tudo que consegui achar sobre o jogo e cada link me levava a outro e mais outro. Eu realmente era agora um niners fan. Passei a conhecer Montana, Walsh, Young, Rice.

Na temporada de 2012 eu não deixei de acompanhar nenhum jogo. Eu estava apaixonado por aquele time: Kaepernick, Crabtree, Willis, Smith... E foi até aquele doloroso SB, aquela última bola...

E lá se vão 5 anos. Nesse período, raramente não vejo os jogos. No mínimo, pelo app. Já são 4 jerseys, 4 hats, 1 casaco e tudo que consigo achar a distância. Em 2015 fiz uma loucura e passei apenas 5 dias na California. Deixei esposa e filha em casa para assistir o 49ers no Levi´s. Foi incrível. Hoje, o ninersnation fica aberto 24h no meu pc e o refresh é a cada 10 minutos. Acompanhei o free agent, o draft e agora os OTAs. Estou muito empolgado com Shanahan e Lynch e acho que em breve teremos um time competitivo de novo.

Não esqueci nem um pouco meu Flamengo, mas hoje ele divide meu coração com essa nova paixão. Meio distante, é verdade, mas tão calorosa que parece que veio de criança. E veio, né?!

Translation: I'm Brazilian and I'm 35 years old. Up to my 30's, the word football was there only for the sport of the round ball. I do not remember when I started to be a Flamengo´s fan, it's a entire life passion. Shirts, stadium, cries of joy and pain ... Until my 30, the Flamengo reigned alone, absolute.

But I've always loved sports and after I get pay TV, I begin watching other sports more often. ESPN has become one of my favorite channels. In one of these moments, looking for what to watch, I found a game of "Brazilian American football" on TV and the connection of one of the teams with the Flamengo caught my attention. I watched the whole game and I liked the sport !!!

It was September 2012 and changing channels, I stopped on ESPN. It was a Cardinals´s game. I was impressed with a guy called Fitzgerald and I started to try to understand the rules (you can be sure, it's not simple for us). I saw another one, two, three games and I began to understand the rules and the scores. I did some searchs, and the nights of Thursday, Sunday, and Monday were reserved for the NFL.

But competitiveness is necessary. For that, I needed to choose a team. So, I needed to find a reason to have a team, to choose who to cheer for. I still did not know all the teams and reading the list and seeing the logos on the official NFL website, I found the San Francisco 49ers. Quickly came a childhood memory, where my mother brought me and my brother two bath towels. One of the 49ers and the other from the Broncos. She asked me to choose mine and I confess that the broncos' was prettier, but I think, because my name (Tiago Francisco) I chose that red and gold. I have this towel until today.

That was the reason! I acess the official site and see the team roster. I looked for the user of the Jersey with the number that I have always loved and thought: I'm going to buy it! Who would own the "7" jersey? Kaepernick, qb, wore it. I was a little disappointed because he was a backup, but...

After, I went to see in the schedule when it would be a 49ers game that I could watch on tv. When ESPN in Brazil would introduce me the team that I had chosen for me, without my even knowing it? It would be a Monday Night, November 19, 2012. I made the appointment!

It was unforgettable. To my surprise, that number "7" was on the field. He simply destroyed his opponent magically. I was euphoric, and could not sleep after the game. The next day I read everything I could find about the game and each link led me to another and another. Now, I really was a niners fan. I got to know Montana, Walsh, Young, Rice.

In the 2012 season I did not miss any games. I was in love with that team: Kaepernick, Crabtree, Willis, Smith ... And it was until that painful SB, that last ball...

And there goes 5 years. In this period, I rarely miss a game. At least, in the app. I already have 4 jerseys, 4 hats, 1 jacket and everything I can find here. In 2015, in a crazy moment, I spent only 5 days in California. I left my wife and daughter at home to watch the 49ers at Levi's. It was amazing. Today, the ninersnation is open 24 hours on my pc and the refresh is every 10 minutes. I followed the free agent, the draft and now the OTAs. I am very excited about Shanahan and Lynch and I think we will soon have a competitive team again.

I have not forgotten my Flamengo, but today he shares my heart with this new passion. So far away from here, it's true, but so deep that I feel like it came from when I was a kid. And it came, right?!