When did you first realize you were a Niners fan?
I’ve been with the Niners since the early 90s, when the team suffered two crushing playoff defeats in a row to the Dallas Cowboys before getting sweet revenge in 1994 by winning the Super Bowl. Through it all, Steve Young was my hero—he functioned as the Heathcliff to Joe Montana’s Edgar Linton. And, as everyone knows, Heathcliff always gets revenge.
What’s your ace in the hole that proves your fandom?
After growing up idolizing a franchise for whom winning seemed like a birthright, the Niners’ glory years fell apart, and I suffered in silence for a long, long time. Remember those terrible years? The Tim Rattay years? The Trent Dilfer years? They were trying, but I persevered. A desperate, disastrous decade like that builds character. Surely you should understand that, being a Bills fan and all… (Ed. Note: I’ve got thick eastern European skin.)
Alex Smith Or Colin Kaepernick?
I wish I could say I adored the Real Kap with my whole heart, but something in me still isn’t sitting right with how things ended last season. Alex Smith put in the work and wasn’t ready to give up. We were with him for so long, through so many hardships, (Ed. Note: like the many terribly thrown footballs) and I’m just not the type to ditch my old faithful for a new model. That said, it’s a new year, and I’m ready to let the Real Kap into my battered heart.
Describe to me your thought process from the time Alex Smith got a concussion and then Colin Kaerpnick took the Niners to the super bowl.
I legitimately felt that after nearly 10 years of futility, Alex Smith was finally turning a corner and becoming something better than a serviceable QB. In a matter of weeks, the Real Kap ruined that dream. Somehow I didn’t believe the winning would keep happening. I was primed and ready for the bubble to burst. If the lights don’t go out during the Super Bowl, I think the world sees Colin Kaepernick very differently—as a flash in the pan who blew it big time when he got to the big game. (Ed. Note: I’m pretty sure he would have been cut some slack.)
Is Colin Kaepernick basically Larry Bird walking through that door as Rick Pitino would say?
We will have to wait and see. Tom Brady was an unheralded rookie who took his team to the big dance, and look how his career played out. Of course, Brady won the game. He’s a winner. (Ed. Note: Hasn’t been the same since Adam Vinatieri left.)
If you could have one rival NFL player dissappear Jimmy Hoffa style, who would it be?
You’re asking for my least favourite NFL player??? Doesn’t everyone have roughly 100 of those? I’ll give you the short list: Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Eli, Peyton, Jay Cutler, Adam Vinatieri, (Ed. Note: Hating the guy who won the first two Super Bowls of the Belichek era?) Bernard Pollard, (Ed. Note: Everyone watch this and love) Santana Moss, Chris Johnson, Steve Smith, Tony Romo….I could go on and on and on….oh wow I somehow forgot Tim Tebow….
Any self-respecting fan (excluding Patriots fans since they have no self-respect) usually feels nervous about their team, regardless of how good they are. What makes you nervous as a 49ers fan?
We have a franchise QB who could be a one-year wonder. We have a veteran RB who could be ready to break down at any time. Michael Crabtree is injured, and the rest of the receiving corps is thin on talent. The Real Kap seems to be allergic to passing the ball to our exceedingly talented TE. Oh, and our new stadium, set to open next year, is called The Field of Jeans. That’s just pathetic.
What about the opposite? What makes you irrationally optimistic about the upcoming season.
We have a franchise QB who could be a legitimate star. We have a veteran RB who is a lock for 1000 yards every season. (Ed. Note: I see what you did there. It’s almost as if you write for a living or something) Michael Crabtree is injured, but he’s coming back soon-ish. The Real Kap will eventually figure out how to pass the ball to our exceedingly talented TE. The name of the new stadium still sucks.
What’s your prediction for the season?
The Niners finish 11-5 as the Real Kap proves to be not quite as good as advertised. Another great playoff run, built on the strength of the defense, leads us back to the Super Bowl where we lose to a rejuvenated New England Patriots, (Ed. Note: starting Ryan Mallet at Quarterback) where Kenbrell Thompkins (Ed. Note: Should have upped my bid in my silent auction) has become the new Randy Moss. Third time will be the charm for the Niners. We’ll win it in 2014.