Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Barber on Bay Area fandom: “This is always going to be Niners country”

Jul 7, 2016 at 7:58 AM--

Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat was a guest on 95.7 The Game's Towny & Zakariah Show on Wednesday and touched on the Bay Area's fandom when it comes to NFL football.

"I do believe, that in some ways, this is always going to be Niners country," said Barber. "You know, up where I am in Santa Rosa ... the Raiders trained in Santa Rosa for years. I mean, that was there town in the summer. They were legendary there, but still, even before things really went south with the Raiders after that Super Bowl year in 2002 – even before then really – the coverage – or I should say the readership at our paper still kind of skewed toward the 49ers. So there will always be a strong fanbase just kind of waiting for the 49ers to come back."

"But I will say this," Barber continued. "Just like every little kid now is wearing a Steph Curry jersey and just like the Warriors brought in a ton of new fans over the last couple of years, I think the Raiders are in position to do that and kind of – think of it almost like the presidential race to win all of the neutral states – to bring in all of those neutral fans for sure."

When asked earlier during the segment to share his thoughts on the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation, Barber said, "It certainly feels like Colin Kaepernick is the more talented of [Kaepernick and Gabbert]. I guess I would put it this way. You hope it would be Kaepernick who emerges as the starter there. I feel like I can see why Chip Kelly is giving Blaine Gabbert a chance, and maybe more to the point, making Colin Kaepernick earn this position and really prove that he's the guys we say two or three years ago, not the guy we saw last year. But if Gabbert winds up beating Colin Kaepernick and he's the starter in that offense this year, I'm with you. I don't think that bodes very well for that team. You'd certainly like to see Colin come through.

You can listen to the entire segment here.

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