Before you dare slap the label “bandwagoner” on my forehead, allow me to honestly explain myself: I’ve never claimed to be a die-hard football fan, and I still don’t. I’m just one of those folks who’ll watch for the entertainment value of seeing burly men roughing it if I’m at a bar or restaurant or at a family gathering and everyone is too timid to touch the remote. I also loved going to the games at my high school, because I was “cultured” that way, and because I kind of had to as part of the school newspaper and Associated Student Body. But professional football, in particular, has always been a part of my life in the strangest way—mostly the fact that my sister was born in late January, when the Super Bowl used to take place before 9/11. So naturally, my parents threw huge house parties and invited all of our family and their friends to celebrate my sister’s birthday, as well as watch arguably the largest sports event of the year.
As the years passed, and with circumstances moving the Super Bowl a week later, we no longer had those parties. However, my habit of tuning into the telecast annually was already well ingrained. I always rooted for the underdog (My parents or my brother would tell me which team it’d be) but more importantly, I looked forward to which hotshot would be performing the National Anthem, which pop/rock act would provide the (usually) electrifying halftime show, and all those commercials and premiere film trailers. In the end, it wouldn’t matter who’d win because the sights of teams and fans celebrating would move me.
Today marked one small step closer for a team I actually care about to be that team to relish in the ultimate victory.
Despite baseball being the only professional sport I’m really into and the San Francisco Giants being the only team I can call “mine” and mean it fully, I have mad love for every professional sports team from the Bay Area, because I’m so proud of where I come from and because it seems like everyone else in the world tends to underestimate them. So to follow the story of the San Francisco 49ers this season—after hearing about all of the disappointments of the recent years before—has been gratifying and inspiring, and hearing that they had won the NFC division playoffs against the New Orleans Saints in an insane game (I couldn’t actually see it due to my work hours, but I did get live updates plus a lot of joyous screams outside our building during those torturous last few minutes), got me psyched for today and what may be coming.
I will never be able to shake off those cloud nine feelings of when the Giants won the World Series in 2010. Hearing all the cars honking and the loud cheers and getting high-fives from strangers during the commute home made me feel like it was happening all over again, somewhat. I can imagine what it’ll be like if the 49ers advance and if they go all the way—and it’s going to be absolutely incredible. I hope that the die-hards will no longer have to long and finally be able to taste the sweetness of winning, just like in the glory days of the franchise (For those fortunate enough to have actually lived through that time, it will be a familiar and welcome feeling in a new era). I hope that the hard work of the admirable players and coaching staff will be handsomely rewarded. And I hope to see the streets of SF littered with confetti for its football team.
If history repeats itself, I also believe that every time a San Francisco team wins an end-all, be-all championship, I experience the best year of my life so far. Lucky charms, I’ll call em. Come on and make my year, boys!
There is still much to overcome, but as yesterday’s game showed, anything is possible. I look forward to seeing how the rest of this postseason pans out for the Niners, and I hope that the city of San Francisco envelops in scarlet and gold for this team.