Devoted 49ers followers bonded over two sadly familiar feelings at The City’s watering holes Sunday: a head-smacking loss and an absent fan base.
Local favorites such as Greens Sports Bar on Polk Street, normally a Green Bay Packers bar, were filled with fans when the 49ers were conquered by the Seattle Seahawks 31-6 in the season opener. However, amid the crowd, only a handful were wearing red and gold — and mourning the defeat.
“We’ve gotta make it to the playoffs,” said San Francisco resident Jimmy Stillman, 28, who was the lone man in a red jersey among a group of women wearing green for the Packers. “There isn’t much to watch right now.”
He said he was equally disappointed that he had such a hard time finding camaraderie.
“I just moved here and I really can’t believe there isn’t a known 49ers bar,” he said.
After watching an ominous start to the season with the Seahawks scoring 14 points in a 59-second span just before halftime to take a 14-6 lead, one fed-up fan at R Bar, which is normally a New York Jets hangout, threw a banana peel at the TV screen.
“Oh, come on!” San Francisco resident Amos Morgan, 36, yelled as he shook his head and threw his hand over his eyes. But then, after accepting the loss, he said his love for the team is eternal.
“I’m just hoping for the playoffs,” he said. “We don’t even have to make it to the Super Bowl.”
And while many feel a trip to the playoffs hinges on the performance of quarterback Alex Smith, Stillman said: “It’s all about [tight end] Vernon Davis and [wide receiver] Michael Crabtree. They’re taking us there.”
However, this year’s worrisome start cannot hack the die-hard spirit of the fans who have stuck it out through the years.
“If you cut me, I bleed red and gold,” said Finesse Melvin, 29, who made a sizzling sound as if he were burned when asked if he wants the team to stay in San Francisco.
The next game is a week from today in a “Monday Night Football” matchup with the New Orleans Saints, the defending Super Bowl champion.
“If we win this, we know we’re ready for anything,” Morgan said.
6-7 49ers’ record at Seattle
5-1 49ers’ record in NFC West last year
13-13 Coach Mike Singletary’s record with 49ers
34-30 49ers’ record in season openers