I ran into Brandon Phillips, a 35-year-old 49ers fan who owns a hamburger-hot dog stand in the beach town of Ocean City, Md., before the Bengals game and was impressed that he made the trip to Ohio. When I learned that he attends most 49ers road games, dodging insults and sometimes snowballs at each stop, I was really impressed, and I got him to write a quick account of his experiences. (Note: the footage below from the 2009 49ers-Eagles game is not of Brandon, but it gives a sense of what it's like in enemy territory)
Hi guys --
My name is Brandon Phillips, and I am a current season ticket holder of the San Francisco 49ers who happens to live in Maryland. I travel to between 10 and 15 games a season, all of them roads games for me. I have enjoyed doing this for three to four years by myself, but thanks to Twitter I have met and traveled with other great fans who, like me, are displaced.
I am very passionate and borderline pyscho when it comes to my 49ers. And I am lucky to share these experiences with two guys. Their names are Turron Davenport and Jesse Fricker. Turron lives in Philadelphia. Jesse is the all-pro fan. He has been to over 55 games in five years. It also helps that he works for an airline.
But enough about us. I was asked to share some experiences with you guys as a 49ers fan on the road. And of course this is just my opinion, so please take it for what it is worth. Let's break it down into some categories 1) friendliest opposing fans 2) the most clever opposing fans, and finally everyone's favorite 3) the most abusive opposing fans.
The friendliest opposing fans for me are Washington Redskins fans. We got absolutely stomped there in 2005 and they did not rub it one bit. I believe the fans at the time hated their owner more than the 49ers and their fans. A close second was last year in Carolina. Those poor guys had not won a game all season and had smiles on their faces before they won and looks of shock after they won. The most clever fans? I would have to say Seattle. Those guys, with a straight face, tried to give me a jello shooter before the game.... There is no way I am accepting something in a plastic cup pulled out of your jacket pocket. Gonna punt on that one, Sea Chicken fans.
That brings us to the final category, the most abusive fans. And wouldn't you know it, look who we play this week, the winner of this category. The honor goes to Philadelphia Eagles fans followed closely by the Baltimore Ravens fans.
Let's touch on something that 49ers fans remember seeing on Youtube: Eagles fans throwing snowballs at us. I was with my wife and Jesse was with Turron and our buddy, Alex, who lives in San Jose. I can't begin to tell you why they were throwing at my wife. We got up and headed home. Jesse, on the other hand, was shirtless and was taking the snowballs and eating them as they where thrown. I think they realized he wasn't fazed and they laid off when it was clear he was crazier than them.
Baltimore is a close second. I have never heard so many comments about my sexual orientation in my entire life. But don't worry, Eagles and Ravens fans, we will be seeing ya real soon! We will be the ones in the end zone front row on Sunday! I hope this sheds some light on being on the road!
-- Brandon Phillips