David White

David White: Enjoy the season grind if you can, 49ers fans, January is a long way off

Happy anniversary, San Francisco 49ers.

It's been 20 NFL seasons since your last Super Bowl victory, which is another way of saying it's been two decades since you last won the only game that matters to your five-ring franchise.

All of which brings us to the current problem of being a 49ers fan.

Your team has been to one Super Bowl and three straight NFC Championship games with Jim Harbaugh's pleated khakis working the sideline refs.

The 49ers are great again, and have been three years in a row. To be sure, this beats the Dennis Erickson-Mike Nolan-Mike Singletary prison term the franchise served last decade.

But, when you are the San Francisco 49ers, and you've won a record five Lombardi Trophies in 14 years, and visitors at company headquarters are greeted by images of Dwight Clark making The Catch and Bill Walsh getting a team piggyback ride off the field ... well, great just isn't good enough. Not when you're the 49ers, and not with your besties from Seattle reigning as the world champions.

With that in mind, doesn't the next five months feel like an utter waste of time? Fast forward to the playoffs, preferably the NFC Championship, and just cut to the bone. January can't get here fast enough.

Admit it: Training camp means nothing to 49ers fans. You just want to make sure Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis shows up, new contract or not.

The preseason mean less than nothing. You just want quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stretch out his long legs just enough to be ready for the season, but not enough to sever any ligaments.

The regular season doesn't even matter anymore. Sure, you want to beat the Seahawks coming and going, and make sure to hang 50 on the Raiders, but no one throws parades after Thursday night wins at St. Louis.

Quick -- the 49ers won 12 regular-season games last year. Name one lifelong memory.

Of course, you can't. You are 49ers fans. July through December is a time killer. You're like a Lakers fan in the '80s, a Braves fan in the '90s, a Patriots fan in the '00s.

You don't want Michael Crabtree to be the NFC Offensive Player of the Week in September; you want him going to Disneyworld as Super Bowl MVP in February.

Only, a little head's-up from someone who covered the 49ers when they first started this nice little run back to relevance: Pay attention this season, because championship windows close quicker than you think.

Coach Jim Harbaugh's contract doesn't last forever. Vernon Davis is the best receiver on the field, and he held out all offseason wanting more money. Running back Frank Gore is on the wrong side of the age tracker.

One defensive end, Aldon Smith, is a repeat offender with the local authorities. The other, Justin Smith, can survive on Old Man Mean for only so long. Last time we saw, inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman was breaking three legs and all the ligaments therein.

And yet, the 49ers remain of the great teams in the NFL, which is great and all, unless the idea is to be the greatest of all, and that hasn't been the case since Nineteen Ninety-Four, folks. And remember, Bill Walsh set the standard in these parts, not me.

So, go ahead and tune into training camp this week. Enjoy it if you still can.

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