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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Being a 49ers fan in Cowboy Country

Jan 17, 2022 at 10:40 PM--

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After an epic 23-17 win by the San Francisco 49ers, social media has been quiet in my part of the country. That's because San Antonio, Texas is a part of Cowboy Country, and when you support a hated rival like San Francisco, fans will tease you if they lose, especially if they are family.

In Texas, the Waiter family are majority Cowboys fans, with a small minority of Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, and the 49ers fans. Growing up with a family of your dreaded rivals and living in Cowboy Country was an adventure, especially in the 90s, when both teams were considered the kings of the NFL.

Last season, when the 49ers lost to the Cowboys, 33-41, the family let me know "We Dem Boys" through text messages and phone calls. It did not matter how depleted the 49ers roster was because it was San Francisco.

My fandom with the 49ers started with being a fan of the hated Dallas Cowboys in 1987, when my older brother, Derrick Hawkins, watched Dallas play Washington on a Monday night. The Cowboys lost that game to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, 13-7, but it was his cheering for "America's Team" which made me a fan.

Fellow 49ers fan and friend Randall Spruill, who grew up in a family full of Cowboys fans, said his father called him after the game and was unhappy about the ending.

"He called me cussing and raising his voice like I was nine years old," Randall said. "I think he came back to his senses and said I am going to bed early."

Before Sunday's playoff game, Randall said he received many hate texts and Facebook inbox messages.

"If you look at the game yesterday, the 49ers fans turned AT&T Stadium into a sea of red," Randall said. "I think you definitely got to be resilient, thick-skinned, and this makes it easy to keep winning against the Cowboys."

Unlike Randall, I saw the light after the Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII.

Usually, when you watch a team that you love win it all, you would be excited, but it was the news broadcast by KSAT 12 which turned me away.

After the game, the news station showed excited fans were across the city about the Cowboys being champions, but I wondered where were these Jokers when Dallas was 11-5 in 1991, 7-9 in 1990, and 1-15 in 1989?

I know quite a few fans were making jokes about Dallas and not supporting the team, but they finally won a Super Bowl, and now they are on the Cowboys bandwagon?

After watching the circus of these so-called fans, I switched my fandom to the 49ers because I liked them since their 20-16 Super bowl XXIII victory over the Bengals and because I played wide receiver. Jerry Rice and John Taylor were my heroes.

Josselyn Martinez, the president of the Niner Empire San Antonio chapter, said she loves the 49ers-Cowboys rivalry.

"All my friends are Cowboy fans, so I get the brunt of it all," Martinez said.

Niner Empire San Antonio chapter president Josselyn Martinez prepares the Rod Dog's Saloon for fans to cheer on the 49ers against the Cowboys. Photo: Sasha D. Robinson

The San Antonio chapter watched the playoff game at Rod Dog's Saloon because of the family-friendly environment available for all Niner fans in San Antonio to cheer for the red and gold.

Josselyn, who took over as president of the chapter in February of 2020 after Jesus Archuleta stepped down, said she became a 49ers fan because her family is from the Northern California area. She also dated someone who loved San Francisco.

"The Cowboys have no chance because the Niners are hungry, and so are their fans," Josselyn said. "We are gonna let them know we are here."

Niner Empire fans gather at Rod Dog's Saloon to watch the 49ers-Cowboys playoff game. Photo: Josselyn Martinez

When the matchup was announced, many 49ers fans in Cowboy Country were taunted on social media by family members saying the 49ers would lose and "We Dem Boys." Like Josselyn, I stayed quiet.

My cousin, DeShawn, sent me a text telling me how the Cowboys would win.

When Derrick walked into our younger brother (and Bills fan) James' house to watch the game with us, he wore his Drew Pearson jersey and was confident in a Cowboys victory.

"Yes, it is going to be this kind of day," Derrick said. "He (Pearson) is in the Hall of Fame, and the Cowboys will beat the 49ers."

Cowboys fan Derrick Hawkins sat with family to watch the 49ers playoff victory. Photo: Sasha D. Robinson

Just like many games in this historic rivalry, it was an emotional roller coaster on both sidelines and in the living room. When the clock hit 0:00, all I got were comments about the referees cheating the Cowboys out of a possible comeback.

Unlike many Cowboys fans, Derrick got up from his seat on the couch and called the loss as it was. He made no excuses and even took some razzing from my son and his nephew, Kendall Robinson, who asked him, "How 'bout them Cowboys?"

Some of my family members may have taken the loss hard because I have not heard from them, but Westley Morris, a long-time Cowboys fan, said Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott lost the game from the opening kickoff until the end.

"He's a useless quarterback, and any other quarterback would have won that game yesterday," Morris said. "He is the worst excuse for a franchise quarterback I have ever seen, and it's not going to get any better."

Westley has been disappointed by the Cowboys' play for the past 15 years.

"There was nothing about the Cowboys I saw yesterday that had me thinking positive for next season," Morris said. "I feel bad for CeeDee Lamb because he didn't deserve to be on the Cowboys."

Even though they lost the game, Dallas is 5-3 in the playoffs against San Francisco. However, they will watch the 49ers play the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs at 8:15 p.m. EST on January 22.
  • Written by:
    Sports has been my first love since I was 12 years old. At one point I wanted to play football professionally. I started to take photography as a hobby in my teenage years but this was when I followed sports. I started to listen to sports radio, I found my true calling and it was to be a sports talk show host. Though I follow football and basketball, I started to have a new love of cultures around the world. After graduating from San Antonio College in 2018, I worked for the Castroville News Bulletin before going to A&M San Antonio to get my communications degree. Since I have written for the Ranger of San Antonio College, the News Bulletin and the Mesquite of Texas A&M San Antonio, I met many people and went to a lot of events. My major milestone was being in the press box of the San Antonio Commanders game for the Mesquite and being apart of a press conference with the Medina County Sheriff and other local news outlets. When I am not doing anything, I like to watch old cartoons on the DC Universe, play video games such as Mega Man and the Mass Effect series. I have also created Youtube channel called "Anger Management" with my friend Aaron Donnell.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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