Recent Comments


    49ers Super Bowl Bound?

    By John Chen–

    If the San Francisco 49ers don’t beat the Philadelphia Eagles and win Super Bowl LVII, I will never see the East Coast again!

    There’s a lot to like and be optimistic about this San Francisco 49ers team not just making but bringing the Super Bowl LVII title to the Bay Area. With elite playmakers on both sides of the ball, the 49ers have no glaring weakness, other than a young inexperienced signal caller who has thus far outperformed expectations and proven to be a winner. It’s no wonder San Francisco fans are currently buzzing with great anticipation and the team is the talk of the town. Afterall, football is America’s game and us fans often live or die with the success and failures of our beloved team.

    This past fall, many of the 49er games were scheduled during our San Francisco Gay Flag Football League (SFGFFL) season. And with so many diehard LGBTQ+ pro football fans playing in the league, there are always at least three to four National Football League (NFL) games being streamed on various Apple and Android devices on the sidelines, especially when the Niners are playing. There’s no shortage of enthusiasm when it comes to football for the millions of LGBTQ+ fans. We are just as rabid, passionate, and homer as anyone else!

    My good friend Darrel Bayani, a former SFGFFL Commissioner and a National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) Hall of Fame Inductee, is one of the biggest 49er fans I’ve ever met. Darrel is scarily well versed in every Niner player and team statistical category, every draft choice, every trade, and every victory as well as loss. He also knows the names of every player, including the ones on the practice team! During SFGFFL games, I always find Darrel engaged with our many other pro football diehards in intense and no-nonsense discussions regarding the ins and outs of our 49er team.

    “This season, the 49ers are in the best position to make a serious Super Bowl run for several factors,” Darrel excitedly repeated to me in between downs at a flag football tournament in Las Vegas just a few weeks ago. “First, [the 49ers] have the best defense in all of football! Ranked #1 in virtually every meaningful statistical category. Our pass rush, led by a beast, Nick Bosa, is relentless and incredibly difficult to block even for the best offensive lines, which makes it much easier for the linebackers and defensive backs to cover receivers downfield.”

    Darrel continued, “Second, we are loaded with talented key skill position players such as Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, and Kyle Juszczyk. Our offense operates behind a stout line led by the best left tackle in Trent Williams. The icing on the cake is the Cinderella story of ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ our 3rd string quarterback, Brock Purdy.”

    Darrel concluded, “And finally, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has made excellent offensive play calls off well prepared schemes putting our offensive weapons in space and let them do their thing. Let’s not forget our Defensive Coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, who leads and commands a shutdown defense. And there you have it. With all that’s going for the Niners, how can anyone bet against us not winning the Super Bowl?”

    I can tell you firsthand, talking football with Darrel, especially when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, is like talking to a panel of ESPN experts.

    Interestingly enough, my in-laws were all born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania and have been brainwashed to be the biggest Philadelphia Eagle homers, similar to Darrel with the Niners. The most logical and analytical is my brother in-law, Steve. Why did I bring up my in-laws? Because, in the 49ers path to Super Bowl LVII, is the NFL team with the best overall record, the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Steve corrected me immediately and annoyingly when I said the 49ers are the best team and have the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. “Now that [the Eagles] got a healthy Jalen Hurts back, our offense is on another level. Hurts is a special quarterback who can hurt even the best defense with both his arm and legs. In fact, the coaching staff has successfully implemented quarterback running plays designed to ‘hurt’ aggressive and relentless defenses.”

    Steve added, “Our defensive line is a major strength, and our team can get to the quarterback and force him to either hurry his throws or sack him without blitzing. Our line can seriously pressure an experienced quarterback into mistakes, let alone a rookie with little playoff experience. Plus, we are the #1 seed. We get to rest our players an extra game and we get home field advantage throughout the playoffs. I like our chances of getting to the Super Bowl and winning it all!”

    Notice Steve’s analysis is pretty much directed and targeted at the San Francisco 49ers and my homer remarks about us having the best team. FYI, I cut and pasted Darrel’s Niners assessment and texted to Steve for his consumption to which I received an eye-roll emoji as his response. Which also led to a friendly in-law bet. Should the 49ers beat the Eagles and go on to win the Super Bowl, Steve must skinny dip in our ice-cold Pacific Ocean the next time he visits. Should hell freeze over and the 49ers lose to the Eagles, I would have to take an au naturelle dip in the Atlantic.

    For my sake, Darrel better be dead on correct about our 49ers or I am never visiting Pennsylvania ever again in my lifetime. Or even worse for Darrel, Steve, and I, some other team like the Kansas City Chiefs and their all-world quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, will win Super Bowl LVII.

    John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball, and football teams.

    San Francisco 49ers Advance to NFC Championship Game

    The San Francisco 49ers on January 22, 2023, defeated the Dallas Cowboys in a nailbiter game that had both teams tied until the Niners reigned supreme with a 19–12 victory. Now the impressive men in red and gold will compete against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, January 29, starting at noon, for the NFC Championship title. The Niners’ winning streak is currently at 12 games. Hopefully that will extend to a record-breaking 14, given that a Super Bowl victory is within reach.

    The 49ers, along with all other NFL teams, clearly have a much longer road ahead in terms of achieving LGBTQ equality within their ranks. The team has taken some steps, such as hosting a PRIDE Watch Party in 2022 and a Panel on LGBTQ Activism in Sports. There are also some related digital wallpapers available for fans at:

    Here we present some thoughts about the intersection of our community and pro football from former SF Pride President and Krewe de Kinque Founder Gary Virginia and San Francisco Bay Times sports columnist John Chen.

    Let’s go, Niners!

    Published on January 26, 2023