Monday, January 30, 2012

Football Fan(atics)

I have just learned a valuable lesson. Not from an older, more experienced person. Not from a friend or colleague. Not even from a family member. I have been officially put in my place by a 7-year-old boy. Who is just as passionate about the game of football as I am. And who loves the San Francisco 49ers just as much as I do.

If any of you watched the playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants, you will understand. This game determined one of the teams would go to the Superbowl. The game of all games. The champions in all of football. As it so happened, my dear Niners lost. It was a team effort but many of us avid 49er fans would break the loss down to two key plays. Involving the same 49er player. And resulting in our 49er loss.

Memories of the old 49er days and the "Team of the 80s" flashed across my mind. Led by Bill Walsh. The Montana (or Young) to Rice connection. Roger Craig, and his legs, throwing high knees (and big players) around like they were marshmallows. Ronnie Lott as the hardest hitting free safety in the NFL. His hits would make you cringe and cheer all at the same time. What does this 7-year-old boy know about that era?

He would know nothing. What he DOES know is that he was angry at Williams just as much as the rest of us. This poor child even cried because his team lost. And he asked his dad the universal question: WHY? Then his dad (smart guy that he is) turned everything around. And made his son think. Which in turn made us all think. This 7-year-old boy taught me forgiveness. His dad asked him the simple question, "How do you think HE feels?" And that's when the tables turned and the mindset changed to think about the player. And how terrible he must be feeling.

And that calmed me down. AFTER I felt humiliated at my actions and words. About that 49er player. And it got me thinking. My Niners have had it bad for quite some time now and for them to make it this far wasn't even fathomable. No one would have guessed. Non-Niner fans actually gave the team props. And I am still a fan. For life. Because in the end, it's all about the Red and Gold! I get it. I finally get it.

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