Somehow in my lifetime, I befriended a 49ers fan. He's a good enough guy in every other aspect of life, and is really the least annoying 49er fan I've ever met. His little brother though, is the typical blowhard 9er fan. They both came into the bar I work at, and since it was a slow night I ended up talking with them most of the night. As always at work, I was wearing my Seahawks draft day cap. Without football even being mentioned at all, the little brother just piped in with a "(*Expletive*) the Seacocks suck so much (*Expletive*) dick, you'd think that dicks were made out of (*Expletive*) Adderall."
Now, I know he says these things just to get a rise out of me. Even knowing that, I almost lost it last night. It was just so random and out of nowhere that it instantly made my blood boil. I thought about coming back at him with a smartass remark, calling his team the Forty Whiners or something. But instead, I decided to take the high road. All I did was point out how similar our teams are, and how closely our off season moves mirrored each other so both our teams growths were similar these last few months.
Then all he comes back with is "We've been the division champs for two years, get on our level!". So then I kindly remind him of how the Seahawks won the division four years in a row, and when we did that, the 9ers weren't only half a game behind us, that it was a close division race last year.
And then he pulled out the San Francisco safety blanket, "Yeah, well come talk to me when you have 5 Super Bowl rings!" And that's when it hit me. I finally realized why that phrase infuriates me so much. My friends brother just recently turned 21, so he was maybe about 2 when the 9ers won their last Super Bowl.
So I asked him "What does that have to do with anything?" just to set him up.
He came back with "The 49ers are the better team, duh (*Expletive*)face."
To which I came back with "No, it doesn't." And then he almost looked he was gonna punch me in the face, so I had to explain to him what I meant. Having those 5 rings means that his franchise has a better history, which nobody can take away from them. But to this kid, those rings are just a number. Until these last two years, the 9ers have largely been a bad team his entire life. He was not a fan with the privilege of experiencing his team win a Super Bowl. He just knows that they did at some point in time.
However, those 5 rings don't help their team win. There are no players, staff or personnel left on that team from their last Super Bowl win, as with every other team from that year. But those 5 rings didn't help them win a 6th last season, and those 5 rings aren't going to help them be a better team next season. Just as the Seahawks never winning a Super Bowl doesn't mean that we're never going to win one.
So with the help of my friends highly immature brother, I finally realized why the whole "We have 5 rings" argument ticks me off. It's not a point or a counter point, it's not part of intelligent football banter, it's not even relevant to the teams today. It's a safety blanket for fans to fall back on when nothing is going their way. Granted, it's a safety blanket that I wish the Seahawks had, but we don't. At least we can look the future, and not two decades ago for hope.