49ers fans are not known for up-beat attitudes. With the exception of the ancient years when they were coming off Super Bowl victories, there have always been dark shadows in their fan's perceptions.
When the playoff river ran dry and the streak of winning seasons was snapped, someone, somewhere thought it would be a good idea to play on the loyalty of the remaining San Francisco supporters. The fan base was dubbed the "49ers Faithful" and suddenly t-shirts claiming such affiliation emerged from everywhere.
As a young Jed York took over as president and owner, and a charismatically gruff Mike Singletary was appointed to the position of head coach, these "Faithful" members began to multiply and grow louder.
Unlike the members of "Raider Nation" who lash out aggressively when their team is insulted and keep their heads high during the filthiest of downpours, the "49ers Faithful" apparently directs its anger and insult inwards during times of letdown.
Many think their negastivity is actually productive and that belittling their team will change the tide. Blame and finger-pointing are favorite tools among such down-and-out rock kickers, and a high-and-mighty attitude is never far behind.
The absence of optimism is understandable at 0-4, and preaching realism is encouraged. Frustration like this is fitting and, in many ways, healthy. Nevertheless, only they who give up hope are genuinely doomed.
At 0-4, where is your Faith?
The word "never" is getting thrown around like a tennis ball at a dog park, and it leaves a slimy stain on everything it touches.
Did some Seattle fan get to you? Did you get picked on by a Chief's fan after that loss? Did an Atlanta fan shame you into belittling your own team in the wake of a heartbreak loss on a last-second field goal?
Never say never. Never say die.
Throwing your hands in the air and your skirt over your head does not put out a fire. Panic solves nothing.
Mike Singletary is surely feeling the hot seat. Alex Smith will very possibly be benched soon. But last I checked, there are 16 games in a season, and two games back at week four is not the end of the world.
It's an uphill battle, but that's how great comebacks start. Even if they come later than sooner, only the fan that is loyal through the misery and torture can bask in the warmest glow of victory.
So hold your head high and stand by your team—if you really are a member of "The Faithful."