Monday, February 4, 2013

A Heartbreaking 49ers SB Defeat

I am someone who grew up in Oakland, California who followed the Raiders and A's as a small child, ATTEMPTED to follow the 49ers during adolescent years when the Raiders were in LA, and who resumed fanship of the Raiders during their final years in LA and with their return to Oakland.

First off, let me explain my attempt of following the 49ers during my adolescent period: several years had already passed for the LA Raiders existence, and this was the second appearance of the 49ers in the Super Bowl.  Oakland was going through a minor resurgence in the downtown area as their newly built 5 Star Hyatt hosted the visiting Miami Dolphins when the Super Bowl was being played at Stanford.  I was about 13 or 14 at that time.  When the 49ers won their second SB victory, my jr high mates and I BART'd to San Francisco for the victory parade.  At one point Wendell Tyler, the running back was reaching out to the crowd, was close enough to our group while we gave him a "#1 salute" (real one, not the middle)  At one point he was like "where y'all from" and we replied "Oakland" and he jokingly was like "all man" and kinda did like a "sweep away" with his hands and moved along to the crowd.  At that point I decided that there was no NFL team for me to root for.  Those following years until the Raiders return I didn't follow football much until a girl I was dating had an admiration for this "new receiver named Rice."  I then started to follow the Niners briefly during that time and attempted to "emulate" Rice's look. That include getting the same earring, working out at Gold's Gym (didn't know where he worked out, I just knew I needed to 'hit the gym') and at that time wore those fitness/biker's lycra shorts. (SHUT UP)  Driving across the Bay Bridge during bumper to bumper aftermath of 49er games in a car decorated with various Raiders gear can be challenging in the 90s.  When the Raiders were originally slated to return to Oakland in 1990, but didn't, I dealt with the gloating and chastising from 9er fans.  When I attended a church service in 2001 after attending the AFC Championship game in Oakland, I had to deal with the praise and worship team leader declaring, "I'm a 49ers fan and God is good cause he kept the losers of the Bay Area to remain losers."  I found myself praying for a mass church shooting that night. 

So fast forward to the "here and now."  Listening to the radio call-in shows, seeing the different Facebook and Twitter updates and hearing directly from friends and contacts on both sides have been disheartening.  First off, as someone who wears his Oakland heritage on both his heart and sleeve, and as someone who religiously follows the whereabouts of the Raiders, let me go on record that I REFUSE TO refer to the 49ers community as "Whiners, ect."  Yes, as a Raiders fan I admit that I was bracing for an onslaught of fanfare and euphoria of a local 49ers victory while out here in Raiderland there's so much "Oakland can't support the team, move them to a better place like LA" talk.  Actually the current turn of events and overall perception of Oakland has been disheartening altogether.  Secondly, let me also go on record that I will NOT gloat at this recent defeat.  I'd like to make a few points:

1) I know that there were AT LEAST 2 key components of the 49ers SB team yesterday that folks from the Raider Nation wanted badly: HC Jim Harbaugh and QB Colin Kapaernick, myself included. 

2) If given a choice between appearing in this weekends Super Bowl versus our actual 2012 record of 4-12, which would you choose? 

3) I've experienced the exact same emotional sense of disappointment before as the Niner fans are experiencing now.  It was wrong for people to gloat and celebrate when I was going through that disappointing experience, therefore it's wrong for me to do the same when someone else goes through something similar. 

4) REAL WINNERS NEVER celebrate a defeat of anyone, including their own opponents.  I'm from a traditional martial arts background, and learning the history and tradition of various schools, sects, styles showed me that masters were held in high regards not because of their accomplishments, but how they assisted their own opponents. 

Lastly, I've been studying various forms of metaphysics and a consistent point made is the inter-connectedness of everyone.  Society declines anytime people buy into the myth of separateness and splinters out into factions.  Society tends to accomplish more anytime the emphasis is on unity.  When the Niners were in the NFC game two weeks back, I held my breath of the possibility that they'd win and participate in the Super Bowl, which they did.  I knew how much of the potential this situation could create conflicting factions as a result of appearing in the SB, and right now emotions are high, raw and words are firing in all directions now that the SB is over. 

Look at the overall picture: The Super Bowl has not reached a 50 year history mark yet.  The Bay Area has collected 7 Lombardi trophies in 47 years.  (No, I'm NOT including that last Super Bowl Lombardi the Raiders won in 84, sorry)  This region has had10 appearances in the Super Bowl in the 47 years.  (6 appearances for 49ers, 4 for the OAKLAND Raiders)  Basically 1 out of every 5 Super Bowls in the entire history of Super Bowls, a team from the San Francisco Bay Area has appeared in it.  Face it Bay Area, we're spoiled in the least. 

So process this Super Bowl, show some love for yourself and each other, and prosper. 

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