Sunday, January 15, 2012
You probably have to have been a long time fan to appreciate what the local gladiators' return to respectability means to many in this city. For about 20 years we could count on knowing, however dreary or wrong-headed the nation's direction seemed, the boys would make the playoffs, have a strong showing, even go on to the Super Bowl. The team had an enthusiastic, if legally compromised, owner who made sure they got what they needed. Then, after a Louisiana bribery and gambling scandal, Eddie DeBartolo had to cede control to his respectable corporate sister -- and the 49ers sank into mediocrity.
Now they seem to be back. Fans will remain anxious for a long time -- will the current young DeBartolo screw it up again? Can Coach Harbaugh continue to get miracles out of a quarterback that everyone else had given up on? Only time will tell, but for this week, it's a great time to be a fan.