Does it make someone a "bad fan" to root for a player when they leave their favorite team? I'm struggling with this. It happened once before, but I was much younger. When Montana was cast off in favor of Steve Young, I was not happy. When the Chiefs played the 49ers in that Monday night game, I couldn't help but cheer for Montana. He transcended my love of the 49ers.
Now obviously Smith has not accomplished what Montana did, but he has captured my heart nonetheless. No need to go through all of the things he has endured, but to have the kind of heart and determination he has showed made it easy for an old(er) guy like me to cheer for him. I really want to see him succeed. As I think of the possible destinations for him, I wonder if I will cheer for that team, and for how long, and if that makes me less of a Niner fan.
In the end, I am and will always be a Niner fan. I got over the Montana thing, and I'll get over this too. But I invested so much into Smith (defending him for years and then being validated the last two) I can't let go as easy as some on this board are able to. Yeah yeah, I know, but I'm man enough to admit that I'm a fan of a player.