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Theory: The 49ers Are Terrible Because Their Fans Are The Worst People On Earth


Over the years, fans of the Oakland Raiders carefully cultivated a reputation as the NFL’s most unpleasant and belligerent fan base. In addition to being unforgivably loud and inexplicably aggressive, Raider Nation truly cemented their position with the wide scale adoption of that apocalyptic biker gang from hell costume we’re now all too familiar with.

Raiders’ fans may dress the part, but the truth is they aren’t worst in the league. Hell, the aren’t even the worst fans in their own metropolitan area. That (dis)honor belongs to the San Francisco 49ers, a team whose dangerously violent fan base has been overlooked largely due to its immediate proximity to the carnival of human misery known as Raider Nation.


But just two games into the regular season it’s members of Niners Nation that are responsible for very public beatings in as many weeks. After defeating the Minnesota Vikings ugly in Week 1, 49ers fans were caught on video pummeling a Vikings fan in the parking lot outside Levi’s Stadium. Four of the men involved were arrested on felony assault charges.

Week 2 only brought more ugliness, as the 49ers were manhandled by the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, losing 43-18 in a contest that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score may indicate. Following the game, a group of Niners fans decided to pick a fight with Steelers fans in the parking lot outside a Los Angeles area Buffalo Wild Wings, only to prove themselves worse at fighting than their team is at playing football.


And these are just the two latest in a long line of particularly vicious assaults involving 49ers fans. Other noteworthy incidents include:

March 2015: Obnoxious 49ers fans menace Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch at a bar in San Francisco, with one referring to him as a “Seattle Sea Chicken.” A brief scuffle ensued, but ended before things got out of hand.

December 2014: 31 fans are arrested at the Oakland Coliseum during a game against the Raiders—with an impressive showing from Niners Nation. An additional 93 fans were ejected for various offenses, many for fighting. This happens every time these two teams play each other.

October 2014: A pair of Niners fans brutally assault two men in a bathroom at Levi’s Stadium, leaving one of the victims partially paralyzed and “close to death.”

September 2014: A group of 49ers fans are involved in a bloody brawl with Cardinals fans on the road at University of Phoenix Stadium. The ones that aren’t arrested are ejected, leaving behind a bloody scene.

January 2014: Accused of being a bandwagoner, a 49ers fan attempts to stab two people at a party in Fresno after the NFC Championship. The knife is quickly wrestled away from him, at which point he leaves and returns with a gun, firing several rounds and wounding both men.

February 2013: Following a loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, an enraged 49ers fan is booted from a party for picking a fight with a Ravens fan. The man leaves, only to return minutes later to murder one of the men who ejected him.

January 2013: An altercation between a Niner fan and a Falcon fan results in the latter being stabbed in the throat by the former.

September 2012: A violent brawl breaks out between 49ers and Texans fans during a preseason game.

August 2011: A man wearing a shirt mocking the 49ers is seriously wounded after being shot in the parking lot at Candlestick Park following a game against the Raiders.

In the last year or so, media outlets in the Bay Area have slowly begun to recognize Niners Nation as the marauding menace and blight on civilized society the rest of us know it to be. In October 2014, the local NBC affiliate provided a “reality check” about arrests at Levi’s Stadium versus the Coliseum in Oakland. While Raiders fans averaged a healthy 12.3 arrests per game, 49ers fans more than doubled that with an average of 25.2 arrests per game.


That same month, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee examined the toxic “frat house culture” permeating Niners Nation, which he blamed for the trail of blood that is all too often left behind wherever 49ers fans assemble. Although Barrows accurately notes that random fan violence has become an NFL-wide plague, he doesn’t have to look outside the Bay Area for examples to help make a broader point.

In fact, the situation in and around Levi’s Stadium on game day may have finally reached critical mass. Highlighting ongoing safety concerns, the recent attack on a Vikings fan has attracted the attention of the Santa Clara City Council. At this week’s meeting they plan to “discuss possible actions to address health and safety issues at the stadium.”

San Francisco 49ers fans cheer on the 49ers as they walk around the parking lot prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay)

San Francisco 49ers fans cheer on the 49ers as they walk around the parking lot prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay)

One particular action that already has the full support of two council members, with others willing to explore the possibility, is halting alcohol sales at halftime. There are concerns about lost revenue at the stadium, but at this point a second half booze ban is most definitely on the table. As well it should be—alcohol only feeds an already raging fire.

But whether they’re drunk or drunker, the fact remains that 49ers fans are the worst people in the world. Nothing the Santa Clara City Council does will ever change that. All we can do is sit back and enjoy as the Niners spiral back into the bottomless pit of abject mediocrity that’s defined them in the salary cap era, content in the knowledge their fans are getting exactly what they deserve.

Or maybe we should take a lesson from Niners Nation itself! Instead of sitting back and watching, we could make like 49ers fans after an opposing player injury and continue doing the wave until players from our own team plead with us to stop. Yeah…let’s do that instead.

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