The 49ers are awesome again. Watching the 9ers DOMINATE the Browns last night, I found myself appreciating the 49er players, coaches, and front office. I actually enjoyed some of the plays. It hasn’t always been like this. You see, I’m a die-hard Raiders fan, from the very beginning.
*One of the years both teams struggled ~
In the 1970’s the Raiders were awesome and the 49ers were terrible. No Raider fans disliked the 49ers. They either weren’t even on our radar, or we just felt pity for them.
In the early 80’s, both teams were Superbowl winners, and no Raider fans disliked the 49ers.
By the mid to late 80’s and into the 90’s, the 49ers ruled the NFL, and the Raiders struggled. Many 49er fans assume Raiders fans began to dislike the 49ers because of jealousy. Not true.
*Why are Raider shirts always cheaper than 49er shirts?!
It happened when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles. That first year in L.A., the Raiders won the Superbowl (early 1984) by the biggest blowout margin in Superbowl history (up to that time): 38-9 over Washington.
The Bay Area media covered the Raiders and their record-breaking accomplishment as if it was the Detroit Lions. Just a few seconds of coverage, dwarfed by the 49er coverage. Now, you might be thinking, “Well, the Raiders were no longer a Bay Area team.” True, but the Raider fans at that time still out-numbered the 49er fans in the Bay Area, so coverage seemed like it should’ve been there.
All we Raider fans heard was 9ers, 9ers, 9ers. Very little on the Raiders. On top of that, there began to be an annoying (to us) reputation that 49er fans were whiners (“Forty-Whiner” fans). If their team even lost one game after winning seven in row, they whined like the season was over. They whined when they didn’t blow out teams. And, they began to develop their “wine and cheese” reputation of being fancy-schmancy fans who didn’t rage at a game, but rather sat subdued with their wine and cheese appetites and their nose-in-the-air attitudes.
It’s not like that anymore. A few years ago, 49er fans started beating up Raider fans. The whining when everything didn’t go well stopped. The wine and cheese turned to beer and burgers. And the 49er fans raged intensely in the stands.
On top of all that the Raider coverage got a little better. Of course, with the Raiders moving to Vegas, the coverage will probably almost disappear again. But the annoyance we once felt is gone. We Raider fans don’t dislike the 49ers success so much anymore.
We never did dislike the players, just the media coverage and the fans.
If the 49ers win it all again this season, I’ll watch and appreciate the team effort it took to be champions. I’ll neither like or dislike it. I’m happy for my 49er friends. I guess what I’m sayin’ is – it’s all good.
– Chris Jackson
*p.s. The 49ers’ best all time season start is 10-0 (did it twice) and their next best is 6-0.