And, it seems, the team's fans behaving poorly and team brass making excuses for them.
Or so it is with this NFL fan. Now I only started to root for the San Francisco 49ers this year. I liked them before, they've had a tough defence for years. But watching Alex Smith become a bona-fide NFL quarterback and bring their offence alive and take them from 6-10 to 13-3, well it was fun. Then that great pass from Smith to Vernon Davis with seconds left and a playoff win over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
'The Story' of the San Fran 49ers
I was hooked. Hooked until reading 'the story'. The story is one that likely many of you read, in the San Francisco news media, here at Digital Journal
, or elsewhere. That one story and I was done;
that one story and I was an Eli Manning fan and loved receiver Mario Manningham; that one story and I wanted the New York Giants to go to the Superbowl.
The story was simple: fans wearing New Orleans Saints paraphernalia at the game between the Saints and the 49ers in San Fran on Jan. 14 were harassed. Common? Perhaps. But what helped turn the tide was the story of a father, Don Moses, who lives in San Fran but is originally from New Orleans. Moses went to the game in Saints colors with his young daughters and the three of them had their experience seriously marred by unruly, idiotic 49er fans.
"Every other word from dozens of fans around us was an f-bomb shouted at the top of their lungs," Moses wrote in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. "There were seven or eight large 30-to-35-year-old guys directly behind us who cursed and threatened us the entire game."
Jed York fumbles the ball
You may say that can happen anywhere, and perhaps that is so. But however unsavory it was to read about, it was not the deciding factor, but rather the deciding factor was the reaction of 49ers president and CEO, Jed York, whose parents own the franchise. Here is what York had to say about the experience Moses and his children were put through:
"I apologize for any rudeness that may have happened," he told the media
. "I think you saw 49ers fans who were very excited about hosting a playoff game for the first time in a long time."
Simply put - that doesn't do it, not for me it doesn't. Nothing short of a no excuses apology, along with a ticket package, some Saints jerseys and another perk or two, nothing short of that would do it for me. To have the man and his children go through that and you get no more than a qualified sorry? Sorry, no.
On Being a Sports Fan
So there you have it. Instead of moaning after New York beat San Francisco, 20-17 on Jan. 22nd, I'm with Don Moses, or where I assume he is, and happy with the result. Doubtless most 49er fans are great and the players had nothing to do with it and it's still the exact same, exciting football team that it was before this incident, but I don't care - I don't like 'em no more.
Liking sports is, in large part, about respecting and admiring people and I lost some respect, and certainly admiration, for a franchise with so many fans and a leadership who clearly lack a strong sense of sportsmanship. Or care much for others. Of course you might say the "dozens" of idiotic fans and the lacking-in-class Jed York don't define the team. And I might agree.
But can't help it - I'm still glad they're out.