My first memory of the San Francisco 49ers was Super Bowl XXIII in 1989. If you know the story then you know why it has stuck in my head. If not, let me remind you of “The Drive.”
Joe Montana calmly drove the 49ers from his eight yard line in the final two minutes to throw the game winning touchdown to John Taylor darting through the middle of the Bengals’ secondary. Now that should be memorable enough for the normal 49ers fan.
But I was only two and a half years old. I didn’t know any better. I saw the red team beating the team in white and orange and black(see why i hate the SF giants?) But when that game winning touchdown was scored excitement and pandemonium ensued at my house where my relatives were watching. Pops was jumping and screaming uncles were drunk and enthralled with victory. And my mom— she was in the backyard throwing chairs in the air. I was amazed, bewildered, and eventually consumed by 49ers mania.
A 49er fan was born.
Fast forward to 1995. I was still learning the game of football. Though I was a 49ers fan and football fan this was still my academic peak as math and language arts were my priorities. Gotta earn those pluses and check marks! It was the Super Bowl XXIX and after two years of battling and losing to eventual Super Bowl champs, the Dallas Cowboys, the 49ers finally broke through and earned a spot in the game against the Chargers. Most expected a through beatdown of the Chargers and they were right. It was mostly a coronation of Steve Young taking over for Montana and Gary Plummer removing the proverbial monkey off Young’s back. I was 8 my sister was 12 and this time when we won we screamed out the windows of my parents room in joy! I didn’t fully undestand the magnitude of this Super Bowl win but I was too young and didn’t care. The 49ers were finally back to glory!
But we were wrong.
The next year was supposed to be a repeat year but an early upset loss to the Green Bay Packers derailed that bid and pretty much set the 49ers on the course of 18 years of disappointment.
Once ownership changed the organization lost focus. Do the names Terry Donahue and Dennis Erickson ring a bell? College front office stand outs. NFL flops. there was a point in our glory days when other teams of purge coaches from our staff. But not in the 2000s. The Ted Tollners, Jim Hostlers, Mike Nolans…They just weren’t cut out to guide an NFL team. And don’t get me started on Mike Singletary. Physical with an “F”. What the fuck does that even mean?
Anyways, it’s been a long time coming. So when last the 49ers won the NFC championship last week and earned a shot at the Super Bowl I let out a yell that had the force of 18 years of turmoil and disappointment in the form of a “Let’s Go!” If you know me that my go to phrase. Where are we going? To the Super Bowl. Do I care? Hell yea. Should you? You should.