The San Francisco 49ers captured my loyalty when they developed winning ways in 1981. It seemed sudden. A team that had losing seasons seemingly forever, lovable but clumsy, cute but inefficient, all came together in one magical season
Under ex-Stanford coach Bill Walsh and with a spindly-legged young quarterback with the Hollywood name of Joe Montana, the team started pulling out wins in the last few moments of each game. They attained the nickname, among my posse at least, of “The Heart Attack Kids.”
We started recording the games on old VCR tapes so we could watch them over again at our leisure. For the first time in decades, our local NFL team was fun to watch.
The 49ers games became more than just an excuse to get together, drink beer and barbecue.
Since 1981 they have been my annual focus. Even during the bad years in the early 2000’s, I watched, sometimes admittedly groaning as they found ways to lose game after game.
It was worth the wait. In 2011 they again came to life and won an amazing 13 regular-season games and pulled off an improbable victory against the Saints in one of the most entertaining and exciting postseason games I have ever seen.
Here are seven reasons that I am a San Francisco 49ers fan.