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I want to take a moment to tell you about a very special San Francisco 49ers fan. He was born in 1943, grew up about an hour north of Bakersfield, California, and went to college at Fresno State. As a teenager, the first 49ers game he attended was a preseason game played at Bakersfield Junior College. Even after moving to Los Angeles, he still followed the 49ers with a passion. After all, back then, the team was dominating so they were one of the feature teams every Sunday. At the time, there were no internet news sources and there certainly was not the level of team access that we have now. Yet he followed the team season after season, whether it be before or after Sunday service.
Every Sunday, his son saw his dad watching these players on television. They were led by some guy wearing number 16 and he did not fully understand the legacy that this guy would leave behind and certainly did not realize that he was quietly observing a living legend. The household was a 49ers household and the passion for this team was slowly rubbing off on his son. The kid watched as his father showed frustration during losses and a sense of accomplishment during wins ... especially during wins against hated Dallas. Yet it was not until much later that he would fully understand why these Cowboys were so hated.
Years later, the man would attend his first 49ers game at Candlestick Park and take his son with him. It became one of the child's fondest early memories. Not because he finally got to see the team that he had grown to love, but because he was sharing the experience with his father, the man he grew up loving and admiring.
In case you have not figured it out by now, this story is about my father. His passion for the 49ers was only one of what I hope are many admirable characteristics passed on to me. I am a second generation 49ers fan and proud of it. The 49ers offered a unique opportunity to bond with my father and led to many other conversations that helped me understand who he was and the life that he lived. He would always want to discuss new player signings or the game that had just passed over any given weekend.
There are so many traits that I admire about my father. In 2008, he fell and shattered his knee. Even as he lays in a hospital bed, having been there for the past month and enduring multiple surgeries, his courage and determination to recover and walk again is yet another example of his strength and will. This is another characteristic that I have grown to admire. Even though I remember it as if it were yesterday, we are a long way from that first visit to Candlestick Park. However, just like that chilly evening spent among the swirling winds of Candlestick Point, I value every moment and experience that I get to spend with him.
My father was a high school teacher during his entire career. He taught math and touched many lives over the years. He has taught the children of former students and was one of the most admired teachers at his high school. I know this because I attended the high school for four years and no one had a single bad thing to say about him, even the kids who did not pass his class. Any time we would go out, I remember former students wanting to come up to him and say hello or thank him for the guidance that he provided. They would introduce him to their wives and children. Some would mention that his class was a turning point in their lives. It was the class that turned things around for them if their lives were headed down the wrong path. Not necessarily because of what he taught, but because he believed that they were capable of learning it.
At the time, I was in awe at how many people knew my father and how many people he affected during his life. What he probably does not realize is how many people he has indirectly affected as well. 49erswebzone.com has touched the lives of many people over the years. Countless friendships have been formed on this site, relationships have blossomed, and at least one child has been born from one of those relationships. Fans gather before and after games, get together outside of games, and even come to the rescue of their fellow fans when one is in need. I have witnessed some amazing examples of compassion among the fans of this site. None of this would have ever happened without my father because without him, I would not have become a fan. Without him, there would be no 49erswebzone.com. So in a way, he is responsible for it all. Many years ago, it was he who set the wheels in motion.
So on this Father's Day, I would like to give all of the fathers out there my best wishes. I would like all the sons and daughters who visit this site to remember to treasure every moment you get to spend with your fathers. For my father, I would like to thank him for everything that he taught me over the years and helping to make me the man that I am today. I love you dad and hope for a speedy recovery so that we can continue making even more fond memories. One day in the near future, I hope to go to Candlestick Park with you again.
Happy Father's Day from 49erswebzone.com.