It Still Means Something To Be A 49er
June 25 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Throughout the glory years in 49ers history, mainly the past two decades, there has been a certain mystique that accompanied the 49ers. That is to say, teams would look at the 49ers during pre-game warm ups, and know they were defeated. Others would look at the team, and just know they had to become a part of it. Still others believed that even down by three touchdowns with two minutes to go, the 49ers could pull it off. All this comes with the territory of five Super Bowl Championships and more wins over a decade than any other team.
But as the 49ers hit the bottom of the NFL thanks to our friend Mr. Salary Cap, the mystique seemed to disappear. Players no longer were willing to play for the 49ers for less money than they could earn else where, and even the Rams, who the 49ers had beat over and over and over again believed they could beat the 49ers (and they did). It was a tough time.
The pride however, never really left. The 49ers and their fans new it was just a matter of time before they would reign again at the top of the NFL. Last season, the 49ers caught a few teams by surprise on their way back up the NFL ladder. The team clinched a playoff spot, and was one game away from home field advantage. The mystique had returned.
This off-season, the 49ers had an easy time re-signing their free agents, and replacing two players they were willing to part with. Not because the team was willing to spend big money, but rather because players wanted to be 49ers. The 49ers Pride never left the team, but now that they have began their climb back to the top of the NFL, the mystique has began itís return.