Ladies and gentlemen, your Orange County 49ers!

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A story from my past came flooding back as I read Cyd Zeigler's Jock Talk Blog post riffing on a Forbes report that raised the possibility of the 49ers leaving San Francisco for the OC.

Bernie Mullin, who runs the Atlanta-based Aspire Group, an industry consultant, tells Forbes Frisco, Buffalo and Minnesota are NFL teams that may leave their towns in a couple seasons for greener pastures in Las Vegas or Orange County.

That got me thinking to several years ago, when I attended a Monday Night Football game at Anaheim Stadium, where the Los Angeles Rams spent nearly all the first half kicking the shit out of the San Francisco 49ers. Hall of Fame Niner quarterback Joe Montana hooked up with either Jerry Rice or John Taylor just before halftime for a score, but other than that they were getting snuffed.

I've got this weird Bay Area thing when it comes to football. The Raiders are always No. 1 in my heart, but as soon as they are out of the playoff picture -- these days, after week one -- I start rooting for the Niners -- these days, after week two. At the time of that Monday night game, both teams were contenders, but even I was not stupid enough to let my Niner freak flag fly.

Or so I thought.

As I was taking a whiz at halftime, a drunken Lamb fan came up behind me at the urinal, said "Niner fans are fags" and threatened to kick my ass. I just ignored him and went on my way, but I couldn't figure out how he pegged me for a San Francisco rooter, until I noticed the off-red ski parka I was wearing might resemble a Niner jacket to someone wearing beer goggles.

The Niners went on to pull off what I believe was the greatest come-from-behind victory in MNF history. Montana hooked up with Rice and Taylor for TDs so many times those plays all became a blur by the end. This was also the first of many games where Rams QB Jim "Chrissie" Everette experienced "happy feet" as Niners defenders closed in for several second-half sacks.

With the Niners having dominated the Rams that night, and now the Niners possibly coming to play in the stadium once darkened by the Lambs, I may yet get the ultimate revenge for that "fag" comment. Incidentally, Jock Talk Blog appears on Outsports.com, a website dedicated to gays and gay issues in sports. Uh ... now wait a minute!


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