• Adrien Julienne

All for One and One for all: The Story of the 2021 San Francisco 49ers


Image Credit: 49ers

 



The San Francisco 49ers, the Purest Forms of Football and the Mighty Faithful



A Complete Team in the Golden Age of Quarterbacks

Football is a beautiful game. Legendary coaches from Vince Lombardi to Bill Walsh have always emphasized one thing; The team, the team, the team.


Football is first and foremost a team game. Behind one of the more powerful fan bases of the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers embody its purest forms.


In 2022, however, this doesn’t make enough of a good storyline.


National media has decided to omit complete coverage of a united, hard-working and drama-free team, favoring the individualistic performance of a group of superstar quarterbacks, praising them for winning or crucifying them for losing.

Maybe this is the perfect representation of our society today: individual accolades trump collective achievements. More clicks, more enraged debates, more divisive opinions, and more yelling. It’s a numbers game.


Well, a certain type of numbers.


The Bengals do not exist. Joe Burrow is the sole responsible for his team being back to the AFC Championship for the first time since 1989.


Patrick Mahomes has already been crowned the Best Quarterback of All Time in the Galaxy and has surpassed the Big Bang as the biggest phenomenon in the history of the universe.


Matthew Stafford has erased 13 years of failure after two games against poorly prepared opponents and has already been crowned king of the NFC.

The Packers lost this week. Nobody knows how, why, nor against whom. Aaron Rodgers - despite being eliminated – has occupied the main seat of every talk show.


If you woke up today from a year-long coma, you wouldn’t know who the last team of the Top 4 is.

Force-Feeding Rams Content to Boost Los Angeles Influence

The 49ers have one of the largest fan bases in the NFL that is not limited to Northern California. Routinely, the Faithful travels well and often shocks opposing home teams by invading their home ground.


The Rams, on the other hand, recently relocated to Los Angeles and are still devoid of support even from the local Angelenos, preferring to remain loyal to their 49ers, Raiders, Steelers, or any other teams with which they established an emotional connection growing up.


A home game at SoFi Stadium typically features close to half of the attendance rooting for the away team – a common sight for both Rams and Chargers, who are struggling to generate any momentum in the stands despite the quality of the product they’ve put on the field.


The NFL is desperately trying to surf the wave of the Rams’ success to gain any kind of traction in the L.A. market. As a result, almost the entirety of national media and prime-time TV talk shows have focused on the Rams instead of one of the biggest brands in the NFL worldwide, the San Francisco 49ers.


This segment below from Colin Cowherd’s show looks too scripted and hyperbolic to be his actual train of thought:



The lack of appreciation for the 49ers’ accomplishments, combined with the dark cloud hovering over an organization scared of reliving the embarrassment of Week 18 with a sea of red invading the stands on national television, has led to one thing: It has thrown gasoline on the burning fire that is the Faithful’s passion.


Sean McVay, Karen – I mean Kelly – Stafford, Melissa Whitworth among others have re-assembled a team of Avengers to counter the evil Faithful, adopting the bold strategy of begging a mostly casual fan base to keep their championship game tickets in the midst of public meltdowns.


Imagine that.




The only 49ers-related topic that seems to make the headlines these days are Jimmy Garoppolo’s statistics. How dare he lead his team to clutch wins on the road in frigid conditions while posting under 300 passing yards? Would it help if one of his brothers shared ridiculous pregame dancing videos?


The lack of spotlight in the media to favor the likes of the Los Angeles Rams, a team with virtually no fanbase, is a bold marketing strategy. The NFL is pushing hard to establish L.A. as a football city, force feeding Rams content in a region where the 49ers’ stronghold is not fading away anytime soon.


Unfortunately, it seems as though this plan may have backfired, re-lighting the burning desire of the Faithful to claim SoFi Stadium as their second home on Sunday.


Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch’s Greatest Achievement to Date


Buried in the abyss of mediocrity with a 3-5 record approaching the mid-season mark, San Francisco seemed set to get ready to clean up the lockers in early January and enter the offseason facing heavy criticism and difficult questions.

Instead, the team stormed back to clinch a playoff berth in dramatic fashion and has come on the brink of another Super Bowl run. Kyle Shanahan kept his exciting shiny new toy in the box for one last ride with his charismatic leader of a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo.

Humility, resiliency, and composure. Maybe the team should inherit of the Faithful nickname instead of its fan base. When everything looked dark, the players never lost faith.

Winning is the ultimate goal. But winning with a culture of high character guys makes it even sweeter.

Maybe this is Kyle and John’s biggest achievement this season: an unrivaled camaraderie in the locker room.

The 49ers continue to cultivate the cliché of a team-first mentality, with no egos and a thirst for toughness and physical play.

Football purists will agree that the 49ers embody everything that makes this sport so special. The feeling that every single position contributes to the achieve the same goal: winning no matter what.

No matter how ugly it gets.

No matter who in the depth chart makes the play.


This team continues to exhibit an unbelievable level of unselfishness that stems from its best players, all uniquely as humble as they are talented. How John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan built this team from the ground up should be in the pantheon of team building.


Even Jim Harbaugh’s successful tenure flamed out after four years of testosterone overdose and star players going on a rampage of disciplinary issues on and off the field.

Out of the Spotlight, But Not Alone


Camera crews, make sure the broadcast angle is adjusted low enough to omit the sea of red from up above.

Catch every highlight of Mister Positive Sean McVay rallying his troops and talk about how much of an impact this new stadium has had on the Los Angeles tax payers – I mean fans.

Win or lose, at 49ersHub we’ve got our boys covered, and the Faithful doesn’t need the flashy headlines from the national media.

We’re part of our own tribe now, and we’re rooting for a team of players who have transcended the most honorable values of the magnificent sport of football.


Thank you for doubting this team all season. Thank you for focusing on the losers instead of the winners every week.

You have lit a fire that has spread through this team faster than a McVay sprint to the end zone to celebrate prematurely.


We will forgive. But we won’t forget. And in the long and rich history of our favorite 49ers teams, this one belongs with them all.

Now go mighty men, battle in an arena infested of invaders who came to cheer for you and everything that you represent.

You will get to write the last pages of this story.


 

You can follow Adrien on Twitter here!


Stay tuned to 49ersHub for more great 49ers coverage and analysis!