It's been a year since we lost that heart-breaker to the Giants last year in the NFC Championship. It's been 10 years since we fired Steve Mariucci, effectively ending our last run. It's been 13 years since Eddie D left the team. It's been 18 years since our last Super Bowl.
It's been a tough decade or so, but I want to say that it's made me really appreciate what we have now as 49ers fans, and the journeys our team has gone through.
Remember when the Yorks were among the worst owners in football, being described as locking up the water-coolers to save money?
Remember Dennis Erickson?
Remember all those hard-fought games with the Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks that we just couldn't close out?
Remember when Mike Nolan called out Alex Smith, even though he was playing with a separated shoulder?
Remember Tim Rattay? and Ken Dorsey? and Cody Pickett? and J.T. O'Sullivan? and Trent Dilfer? and Troy Smith?
Remember Physical, with an F?
Remember when we booed Alex Smith, and chanted that we wanted Carr?
Remember when Vernon got sent to the locker room by Singletary?
Remember when Frank Gore cried after seeing some of his teammates having fun, after a loss?
I remember all those times, and I'm sure the team does too. Take a look at how our roster was built. A lot of these guys have been around throughout all those dark times. It's an amazing story to see that this team of perpetual losers are now going to be playing in a Super Bowl next week. I'm so excited to see it.
I love that the York family has turned it around, and ownership is considered a strength of this team now. We have a new stadium next year, and the staff and roster loves playing for the owners. I love that we went from Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, and Mike Singletary, to having THE best coaching staff in the NFL.
I love that we find ways to win, even when it looks like we're gonna lose. Remember Philadelphia last year? and Detroit? and the Saints? And this year... remember the Falcons?
Most importantly, I love how much this team plays together. Yeah, there's so much talk about how much the Ravens want to win it for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. That's great. If it weren't our 49ers, I'd root for them too. The Ravens are a great and deserving team.
But I don't think people know how much the team wants to win it for the guy around them, not just two guys. Sure, Alex Smith isn't our starter anymore, but he got us a lot of those wins this season and has been the perfect teammate this year. Frank Gore has been our rock for the last 8 years. I was always afraid he'd waste away, with all the talent that he has, on a losing football team. Vernon Davis has come full-circle since being an immature young tight end, to being a leader on this football team. Almost all our guys have shared in the losing and have come this far. They simply don't want to let eachother down, and I think that's the best thing about watching this team.
I don't know what will happen next week, but I just want to say that I'm very proud of my team.
[ Edited by Wubbie on Jan 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM ]