De Anza students football fandoms endure regardless of team successBy Kunal Mehta
Fans of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders at De Anza College are loyal to their teams even when they are not doing well, but do prefer to win.
The Raiders lead the AFC West with a 9-2 record, while the 49ers are last in the NFC West with a 1-10 record. This is a stark reversal from 2013, when the 49ers were competing in the Super Bowl and the Raiders finished the season with a 4-12 record, as reported by The Mercury News.
49ers fans are not bothered though.
“My entire family is 49ers fans, and there is no change in our fandom due to the downturn,” said Joseph Schmidt.
Schmidt recently bought a new 49ers hat that he wears around campus.
Victor Bejarano concurred and said, “I try to watch them every week, even when they’re losing.”
A fan since 2011, he too wears a 49ers hat around campus to show his support for the team.
Sathya Reach said he has stopped watching the 49ers play not because of their downfall, but because of an increased focus on school.
“I used to watch (the 49ers) with my cousins, not so much anymore,” Reach said.
Regardless of their support, 49ers fans have opinions on how the team is doing, mostly about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick protests police brutality against minorities before each game by kneeling during the national anthem. His protest placed him on the cover of TIME magazine, and ranked as the most disliked player in the NFL in a September poll conducted by E-Poll Marketing Research.
Bejarano does not follow Kaepernick’s actions off the field, but said that on the field, Kaepernick was not getting the job done.
“He does what he does, and has his own reasons,” Reach said.
Self-described Raider “fanatic” Mike Nijmeh agreed, calling Kaepernick a bad quarterback.
James Stewart, a Raiders’ fan since 5 years old, disagreed and said, “I like Kaepernick, and wouldn’t mind if he was a Raiders’ backup quarterback.”
Both Nijmeh and Stewart praised the Raiders' quarterback, Derek Carr, and Nijmeh, dressed in his Raiders hat, jacket and jersey, said, “Carr could easily be the MVP this year.”
Stewart said that while he also thought Carr is MVP caliber, Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, is realistically more likely to win.
“Maybe in five years,” said Stewart, explaining that he expected Brady to have retired by then.
He is not the only one, as Raider teammate Khalil Mack considers Carr to be a potential MVP, reported USA Today. USA Today Sports’ MVP tracker has Carr in third.
Some 49ers fans are indifferent about the Raiders, others support them because of simply being in the Bay Area, and others just do not like them.
Bejarano said that he supports the Raiders because they are a Bay Area team, but that it bothers him that they are doing so well in contrast to the 49ers.
Nijmeh summed up his feelings by saying the Raiders’ success has made him much happier on Sundays.