A Reasonable Attempt to Explain Unreasonable Fandom

dodgers niners logoUsually when this topic comes up, I think, “Whatever! I don’t need to explain myself!

But upon further review, I really do have to justify it.

Such is the life of a Los Angeles Dodger/San Francisco 49er fan. It’s a strange, cross-state rivalry fandom that has just so many awkward, twisted aspects to it that it must not go ignored.

When my ecstatic tweets about the 49ers advancing to the Super Bowl subsided on Sunday, I had plenty of very confused and/or upset Dodgers followers who could not fathom me rooting for a team from San Francisco.

So let me offer my sincerest apologies for injuring said egos. But I will not apologize for my fandom. And this is why, from the beginning:

I’ve been a fan of both teams for so long that I can’t even remember the “Ah-ha!” moment of my fanhood. It’s just been ingrained in me since the day I was born, passed down from my father, who also supports both teams.

See, he grew up in Southern California and worshiped the Dodgers much like I do today. And while he was in the Raiders and Rams and Chargers zones down there, he appreciated the way the 49ers ran their organization. So, his favorite football team has always been the Niners, despite the geographic difference.

Luckily, he moved with my mom up to the Bay Area right before I was born. We got out of the smog and into my favorite place in the world. But even if we had stayed in SoCal, I would still be a 49ers fan. It’s in the family blood. That’s just how it works with sports.

Plus, L.A. is a football graveyard now. What I’m trying to say is…blame my dad if you want a scapegoat.

Just kidding. Sorta.

Yes, it’s weird growing up in Giants country as a Dodger fan. But from a young age I realized the theory of fair weather fandom and front-runner fandom and just thought it was plain stupid. So for the sports I cared about the most, it has been do-or-die, thick-and-thin, win-or-lose support for the last 24 years. That’s something any true fan should respect.

I’m writing this mostly for my Dodger fan friends who are aghast at the possibility of a member of the family rooting for anyone from San Francisco. Well let me tell you something, guys and gals. It’s not a geographic rivalry — it’s a sports rivalry.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There is a geographic rivalry between SoCal and NorCal. I’m not sure why, since L.A. has the Dodgers, nice beaches, and a whole lot of nothing else. Whereas San Francisco has everything you could want in a hometown (to summarize: NorCal rules, SoCal drools).

So the hella dank California rivalry is kinda jaded bruh. It should not factor into the Dodgers-Giants rivalry (which, for those of you who have forgotten, started in NEW YORK). What should matter is that I always have, always do, and always will bleed Dodger Blue, whether I’m in San Francisco, L.A., Newfoundland or Timbuktu.

And another thing — 49ers fans here aren’t all Giants fans. Remember, there are two teams in each sport in the Bay Area, and all four teams have a large legion of fans. I know plenty of 49ers fans who despise the Giants and root for the A’s, and vice versa.

So…yes. I can love a team from San Francisco. I can also hate a team from San Francisco. And I do love a team from San Francisco, and hate a team from San Francisco. The only things those two teams have in common is they play within the same city limits.

kemp niners hat

All the while, I’ll love the city of San Francisco, love a team from L.A., and hate the city of L.A. These are values I’ve held since the day I was born (legend has it I wore a Dodgers hat and a Niners shirt in the womb, actually), and I don’t intend to give them up. I will not change my sports faith just because it’s logical.

To settle the final score, since this is mostly for people on Twitter, it seems like a good time to remind you who else roots for the Dodgers AND 49ers.

If you can’t accept any of the other reasons I’ve laid out for you; that I was born this way, stayed true, and don’t connect it to the geographic rivalry, then just tell people it’s because Matt Kemp is my idol.

After all, that’s true. And he plays for my favorite baseball team, while rooting for my favorite football team. Don’t forget it! Oh…and…um, please don’t unfollow me on Twitter. My social media presence is pathetic already…thanks.

So prepare to watch me happily tweet away as the 49ers take on the Ravens in about 10 days. And when Opening Day rolls around, you’ll see nonstop Dodger tweets filling your timeline. It’s up to you. Can you handle it? Can you make any sense of it? Either way, you better get used to it!

You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman. Until he tweets about the 49ers. Then you will unfollow me. Damn.

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