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Emergency Meeting: Calling All 49ers Fans

If you say you are a fan of the 49ers, then you're a fan of the 49ers and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.

Are you a 49ers fan? No one else can determine whether you are or not. Only you know. There is a good chance that if you are reading this you are. 

I have been a 49ers fan since I was a kid in the '80 s. The first game I can remember watching was the Super Bowl in 1985 against the Miami Dolphins. I was only 6 years old, but I can remember the excitement in my house when they won. I grew up watching the 49ers win Super Bowls like it was normal.

In 1991, my mom sent me to Stanford Football Camp. That year, Bill Walsh and Ronnie Lott were the special visitors. Admittedly, and unfortunately, I didn't really care too much about Bill Walsh at that age. I was only 12-years old. All my attention was on Ronnie Lott.

Ronnie told us about the story of his finger. It kept breaking and causing him to miss games, so eventually he decided to amputate half of his finger so he could get back in and play. That was the most insane and awesome thing a 12-year-old kid ever heard. Ronnie was a legend.

After telling us his story, he picked a couple of us to race him. I was one of the lucky ones he chose. We ran 40 yards and about halfway there he turned around and ran backwards. I ran as fast as I could, but he still beat me by 15-20 yards.

The last time the 49ers won a Super Bowl was in 1995. I was a sophomore in high school. I watched it with all my friends, and besides meeting Ronnie Lott that was probably the best memory I have as a 49ers fan. At that time, I would have never thought that I would make it to age 43 without seeing another one.

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Now I have four kids myself, and all are 49er fans, but all they have seen is two Super Bowl defeats. To them, that's the best it's been as a 49ers fan.

Every year I get excited about the unknown possibilities as the season approaches. Every year I hope this is the year my children get to experience what I did when I was a kid, but that hasn't happened. Turns out it's not as easy as they made it look when I was growing up.

Sometimes I get too emotional after a loss. I know I shouldn't -- I'm 43-years old. I'm not a kid anymore, but I love this team so much so I criticize them hard when they aren't on the right trajectory. My kids don t understand it. They aren't into it like I am. They are fans too, but they don't have those memories of excellence to draw from, and that's okay.

What I want all us 49ers fans to understand is this: if you say you are a fan of the 49ers, then you're a fan of the 49ers and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Whether you are a newer fan that likes seeing the 49ers compete every year, or an old, jaded 49ers fan like me  who is tired of just being relevant, that's alright.

I'm going to be hard on the 49ers when they aren't playing up to the level I think they need to. I might criticize the owner, the coaches and the players. You may not be like that. You may not like that I am. That's okay.

We may debate about how they can be better, and we may disagree about how they can get there. That's okay too, but what's not cool, what we shouldn't do, is attack each other. 

We all want the same thing. We are all 49ers fans. Be good to each other.