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49ers Return To Roots

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 10:  A gerneral view of a San Francisco 49ers helmet during an NFL game between Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers on September 10, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Glenn Franco SimmonsAnalyst INovember 30, 2009

How many 49ers fans remember the "one-day wonder"?

It occurred in 1991, when the team announced that its helmet logo would change from "SF" to "49ers."

Hell fire and brimstone hailed down upon the storied franchise as fans and media blasted the doomed proposal, which was dropped as a serious proposal after a single day.

Some faithful saw it as a sell-out in anticipation of what they thought would be the team's eventual move to another locale because San Francisco was—and remains—too dysfunctional to properly carry off permitting a new stadium.

The tidal wave of public furor only subsided when the 49ers franchise withdrew its ill-fated proposal.

Another ill-advised move occurred in 1996—the team's 50th anniversary.

Perhaps a foreshadowing of the 49ers gradual move away from being a Super Bowl-caliber team, the franchise debuted the ill-advised cardinal red jersey.

This was blasphemous to many fans. In fact, many refused to buy the jersey, choosing instead to order the throwback color.

As the seasons wore on, an infamous new era emerged—one marked by losing, horrific quarterbacks,wasted draft choices, terrible management, and a shrinking fan base.

Thankfully, the old colors—worn from 1964 to 1996—returned as the Jed York era began this season. It was a move welcomed by many fans.

In fact, at each home game this season, I've seen more traditional 49ers red than the cardinal being worn on caps, coats and jerseys.

By that single action—choosing to bring back the old color, York demonstrated his savvy because it shows he is in tune with the fan base and the team's Lombardi legacy.

Let's hope a return to tradition can evolve into a return to playoff-bound teams.

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