It’s called ‘Kaepernicking‘.
I know it’s only a fucking game.
I get that, ok? But it’s my game.
I started watching the San Francisco 49ers play football at the perfect moment: early in the 1981 season. I got to see a team that had langusied at the bottom of the stats for some while rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of a terrible season, and rise to the peak of football success.
I was there when it started; watching the start of what would be the most successful run of championships in football history.
Sometime in the 90’s, I lucked into a season ticket. I was there for the last years of the Steve Young era; I was there in the stands for Jerry Rice’s last game as a niner. I was there for the Jeff Garcia era. I was there for the last flirtation with greatness in the mid ninties, and I was there when it all sort of collapsed around our ears.
I regrets now that I had to give up my tickets; this year, I wanted them back, so badly. This year, it felt like 1981 over again.
But it wasn’t. Not quite. Because in the last seconds of super bowl XLVII, for the first time ever, it didn’t go our way, and we lost a superbowl.
I point no fingers; yes, the officiating sucked; yes, at times, we sucked. Coaching mistakes were made (on both sides). For whatever reason, that day, they did better than we did.
It feels fucking personal. Not like any other loss I can remember. And I think I’m going to be angry about this one for a while; maybe ’til Sepctember and we’re back on the field, maybe ’til the playoffs end. Hell, maybe until we get to our seventh super bowl; I don’t know. But I’m pissed off.
On the other hand, I posted the above picture (of me ‘Kaepernicking‘) partly because there’s another team I’m now following passionately – the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team. It’s not the same – football is in the blood, I grew up watching college with my father and my aunt, and have been following the niners now for thirty-plus years. But the Sharks have me as much as the niners did back in the days of our second and third superbowls. Hockey is a different thing, a different game.
I didn’t get the above tattoo for my hockey team – but it still represents it to me now. And god dammit, after the crushing disappointment of Super Bowl XLVII, one thing will make it better; lord fucking Stanley’s mug.