Another loss for the San Francisco 49ers, and many are saying 2014 is a season in turmoil, thanks to the less-than-stellar play of quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
His incredible upbringing and impressive plays seem to have worn off on local loyalists, while many bandwagon fans are also showing disapproval of the Northern California player.
NFL Shop said in the second quarter of 2013, Kaepernick’s jersey was the best seller in the entire league. But his off-field drama and poor on-field play have affected memorabilia sales.
“Kaepernick was by far, the best seller… about 10 to 15 times the next player,” Tim Cowan, District Manager of Sports Fever said. “Our business is directly related to wins and losses, so you're going to have that downsize effect if someone’s having a tough season.”
Cowan said Sports Fever’s sales of Kaepernick jerseys have diminished for two reasons. First, his popularity has declined. Secondly, many have already purchased his jersey during a higher point in his career (2012-2013 seasons).
Many fans are posting on social media that they are now burning his jersey, and bandwagon fans seemed to have moved on. But Micaela Cherjalearn said she is a much more faithful bandwagon fan.
“I am a proud bandwagon fan because it makes him [her boyfriend] happy and I'll do whatever it is to make him happy, even if it means cheering for the 49ers, except for of course, when they play the Eagles!” she said.
Still, die-hard fans are buying plenty of 49er gear this holiday season.
“You come out the womb a 49er you know? Only the real 49er fans are still around,” life-long 49er fan, Alfonso Acevedo said. He’s making sure his children will be as faithful as he is. His Six-year-old, JoJo was recently selected to be on the 49er Kids pamphlet, which has now immortalized his fandom.
“He is no bandwagon... He's stuck a 49er now,” Acevedo said.
While most still see a glimpse of hope for Kaepernick and the 49ers, others said they will move if they must.
Sean McGuire is a Las Vegas native. He considers himself a 49er fan, thanks to his father. He even has a signed, rare, black Kaepernick jersey. But he said his Vegas upbringing is swaying him to look strictly at the numbers.
“Kaepernick, prove yourself!” he said. “If he can't cut it, fans are going to turn. Four times now, we were ready to go to the playoffs. If you can't get it done, step out of the way.”
Kaepernick still has two games to show improvement, and reassure fans they are not only rooting for the right team, but the right quarterback.
The final two 49ers games of the season will be at Levi's Stadium
December 20, 2014 5:25 PM PST at home vs. San Diego Chargers
December 28, 2014 1:25 PM PST at home vs. Arizona Cardinals