Having grown up a 49ers follower despite not being from San Francisco, most people just assumed I was a bandwagon fan. I cheered for a team in the midst of a run of five Super Bowls in 15 years so clearly I was just around for the good teams. But much of this decade has proven those facts wrong in a big way. Cheering for the 49ers in the past decade has been tough. The team fell into the abyss of salary cap hell to come out a broken franchise. The team drafted a quarterback in 2005 who has been mediocre. The team seemed to be on the verge of righting the ship in 2006 with a 7-9 record, only to roll out a 5-11 record in 2007.
As bad as things have been, the light is now appearing at the end of the tunnel. The team sacked head coach Mike Nolan midway through last season and are now led by the fiery Mike Singletary. While some fans are still cautious, Singletary and young owner Jed York are getting many others excited about the 49ers again. As great as it is to win championships and dominate the league, it is the tough times that make us truly appreciate something as simple as making the play-offs.
Much of this decade has involved 49ers fans wandering through the desert of ineptitude, but they have taken small steps to return to respectability. They have added a great inside linebacker in Patrick Willis. They added Justin Smith and Nate Clements. They have also captured Michael Crabtree. If they can return to the play-offs, my excitement will know no bounds. Fucillo is the editor of NinersNation.com www.ninersnation.com