Most of us know the 49ers haven't been to the playoffs since 2002. We also know that the Niners have been one of the worst teams in the league during their absence from the postseason. As a 32 year-old man I grew up taking for granted that Niners would be good if not great every year. The last decade or so has really given me a wake up call to appreciate the good years because you never know when it will end. This year has been fun to follow again. Not that I ever stopped watching the Niners because week in and week out, year in and year out I still watched hoping to see a sign that things would be better soon. I am always loyal to my teams and I get a satisfied feeling when my teams make it through some adversity to eventually end up in a better place. The same thing happened in 2010 when the Giants finally broke through to win the World Series after a few lean years to put it mildly. Now i'm not predicting the Niner to win it all but to say they can't would be a foolish statement. Let's just let this thing play out and see where the 49ers finish. In the meantime here are my top 5 reasons why it feels great to have the 49ers winning again.
1. It gives the NFC West some crediblity:
The last couple of seasons the NFC West has been the butt of too many jokes about the record of the teams in the division. Even with the Cardinals making a run to the Super Bowl in 2009 and the Seahawks knocking off the Saints last year the media has decided that the NFC West is the weakest division in football. It was hard to argue against the numbers but the 49ers sitting at 9-2 gives the division some credibility once again. Going to the east coast and beating some media darling along the way helps too.
2. NFL highlight shows show some love
In recent years the 49ers would be the last highlights shown on all the national media networks. They would get the 3 clip treatment followed by a quick boxscore and then show would move on to a breakdown of a game they already did highlights of. Now the Niner games are getting the breakdown from all the so called experts. You are seeing more and more national interviews with players and coaches too. It's nice to see the Niners in the first segment of Sportscenter or Inside the NFL again.
3. Niners will be on primetime again
The 49ers used to be a staple on MNF. You could pencil them in for 3 games a year on primetime. They still got on once a year or so during the down time just because their fanbase is so big but next year they should be back on several times. There is nothing better than watching your team play with the lights on and the whole nation watching with you. It gives you a little pride when they can win a big matchup with everyone watching.
4. Talk radio is tolerable
When things are going bad for your team it makes it very difficult to listen to talk radio. The fans are just calling in to freak out and overreact to every little thing. Each guy calling in has a more ridiculous answer for the teams problems than the next. When the 49ers are winning then people actually call in to talk football again rather than to talk about who needs to go or what trade that would never happen in a million years needs to be made.
5. Fantasy football takes a backseat
In recent years fantasy football has become king. When the Niners were down it was easy to take solace in your fantasy team to ease the pain of year another lost NFL season. It's nice to get together with the fellas again and the first thing we talk about is the Niners and not the fantasy league. We all enjoy the competiveness of fantasy football but having a winning 49ers team to get behind is a lot more fun. Everyone can get together and put the computer numbers aside for 3 hours while we enjoy watching our team play on Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers are back to playing good football and the world feels right again because of it. Go Niners!