SBD/February 13, 2013/Franchises

With Recent Success, Could Giants Have Overtaken 49ers As Bay Area's Favorite Team?

The MLB Giants “now appear to be the Bay Area’s favorite sports team” after the 49ers for years “were considered the dominant force in local sports,” according to Ann Killion of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The evidence of the Bay Area's "relative apathy was right there in black-and-white when the Super Bowl Nielsen television ratings were released,” showing the S.F. market ranked No. 28 of the 56 markets measured. For years, it has "been assumed that the 49ers were the biggest fish in our crowded sports pool." They "certainly were" in the '80s and '90s, but in recent years it has been "difficult to get a real measure of their market force because they were such a bad team." This season the 49ers "returned to the top, back to the Super Bowl, barely three months after the Giants won the World Series." This gave observers a "real way to compare the two teams." Killion: "For those of us whose business it is to track the pulse of Bay Area sports, there's a different vibe with the 49ers than there once was." Under coach Jim Harbaugh the team "is intriguing, controversial and watchable, but it doesn't create rabid passion." The personalities of the 49ers “haven’t captured the imagination of the Bay Area," while the Giants have "engendered deep passion.” Giants players are “treated like rock stars or beloved family members.” The Giants are "a movement" and a "regional force." The feeling around the Giants is "similar to what the 49ers created a generation ago" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/12).
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