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Column

Forever faithful

I have been “Forever Faithful” to the San Francisco 49ers franchise since I was a little kid.

Yes, I started cheering for the 49ers when they were at their best. They won their first two Super Bowl titles under Bill Walsh when I was too young to attend school. I truly became a fan in the late 1980s when they won back-to-back titles in 1988 and 1989.

When I think back at those days, the first memory I think of was the year the 49ers blitzed the Broncos 55-10 in the 1989 Super Bowl. A family down the street from where we lived had four kids at around my age and they were all Broncos fans.

I remember sprinting down the street after the game and letting them know who won the game.

The older I get, the less trash I talk. But those were fun times.

I still think Walsh is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. George Siefert took over for Walsh and won a Super Bowl with Steve Young in 1994. That was a 49-26 rout against the Chargers.

The 49ers are 5-1 all-time in Super Bowls. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott were part of four of them. Roger Craig was part of three. Those four players are the biggest reasons I became a 49ers fan.

You can throw Brent Jones in there. Steve Young, Tom Rathman and John Taylor, too.

While I enjoyed some great years as a child, I also watched some bad years as an adult. No matter what, I am forever faithful.

They never won fewer than 10 games from 1988 to 1998. But they also won just nine games total in 2003 and 2004, won 16 games from 2005-2007 and were really bad until this season starting in 2015.

The most recent string of success came under Jim Harbaugh. He won at least 13 games in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and reached the Super Bowl in 2012. The 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in a game that came down to the final play.

I enjoyed the Harbaugh years, but I also will never forgive him for passing the ball four times on their final possession from inside the 5-yard line instead of handing the ball to future Hall of Fame running back Frank Gore a couple times.

Gore is my favorite 49er from my adult life. I also loved Patrick Willis and Justin Smith. Joe Staley is the longest tenured 49er and he is one of my favorites from this year’s NFC-West winning team along with George Kittle, Fred Warner and DeForest Buckner.

It took Bill Walsh three years to win a Super Bowl in San Francisco. He went 2-14 then 6-10 then 13-3.

Kyle Shanahan is in year three of his six-year contract with the 49ers. They were bad his first year and bad last season. But he and general manager John Lynch have built this team into a powerhouse with a chance at a sixth Super Bowl.

I don’t know if San Francisco will win the Super Bowl this year. But their chances went up after New Orleans and Baltimore both lost in the past two weekends.

I grew up with a lot of Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers fans. So beating the Vikings this past weekend and eliminating the Packers next weekend would be super fun.

The Niners already have Super Bowl wins over the Broncos and Chargers. Could a date with the Kansas City Chiefs be next? Beating three AFC West rivals in Super Bowls at some point in my lifetime would be interesting, too.

I don’t care who the 49ers have to play. I will be there for all of it. Good or bad. And Forever Faithful.

Contact Troy Hyde at thyde@newtondailynews.com

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