Tag Archives: #nfl

Despite the Challenges, I Will Always Be a 49ers Fan

As the seconds wound down on the clock for Super Bowl 53 in early 2020, I watched my beloved 49ers squander a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter to lose the biggest game in American sports to the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss was devastating. But the feeling was not unfamiliar. I remembered feeling that same feeling of acute dismay as a mere 8-year old when the Niners lost the Super Bowl in 2013. My tension had risen to fever pitch after the missed holding call on 49ers wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, late in the game.

    Aaryan Ravi’s view

It is perhaps normal to feel tumultuous emotion when watching our favorite teams struggle valiantly, on the verge of victory before eventual heartbreak, in the final minutes of the game. This year, though, it was something more than the game that sent us Faithful into a tailspin. On Nov. 28, Santa Clara County imposed a ban on contact sports, as part of the coronavirus restrictions,  displacing the San Francisco 49ers from their home in Santa Clara, California to Arizona, where they will play out the rest of their home games this season at the Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

To say that it has been tough being a loyal San Francisco 49ers fan is an understatement. From 2014-2018 the 49ers were among the most atrocious teams in the National Football League. They did not have a single winning season during that span. But, I told myself, there would come a time, when things would change. I pinned my hopes on the “Revenge Tour of 2020,” the Niners quest to return to the grand stage. I banked on the possibility that this would hopefully yield a Super Bowl victory. And I imagined watching the winning game unfold from my place at the home stadium. 

Back in November 2019, I experienced the thrill of watching my team dismantle a formidable Green Bay Packers squad. The calls of “Turnover” and “3rd down” echoed as the Niners humbled a Packers team led by the legendary Aaron Rodgers by a score of 37-8. The electricity that the Faithful brought to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara that Sunday was truly remarkable. I remember sitting alongside 65,000 of my comrades, cheering for my favorite team until I lost my voice on that cold fall night. Sporting a throwback Anquan Boldin jersey, I sat alongside my family and some close family friends as we witnessed the outstanding performance of the Niners on that Sunday night. 

I was convinced I would be able to see that same magic play out once again; that they would be able to repeat their heroics, even after losing the Super Bowl. 

 The Niners have endured a painful and frustrating year, from injuries to coronavirus infections. Added to this is the stress of having to be relocated to another state in the midst of the holidays. Many of the players have little kids, parents, siblings, partners, and spouses that they have had to leave behind in California. In a year when sports teams are struggling to keep their leagues running smoothly, a sudden move to an unfamiliar area is just an added complication for the franchise. 

After less than a day of finding out that they were left without a home stadium, the 49ers achieved a big win against the Los Angeles Rams that helped to keep their playoff hopes alive on Nov. 29. “I can’t be more proud of our team. I mean what they’ve gone through all year, but especially these last two weeks and especially these last 24 hours,” Shanahan said during the postgame press conference.

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Niners wide receiver, Kendrick Bourne, tested positive for COVID-19. He immediately went into self-isolation and his close-contacts, LT Trent Williams, WR Deebo Samuel, and WR Brandon Aiyuk all did the same. Even though they were down four starters, the 49ers got no help from the NFL to reschedule the game due to the virus outbreak and were forced to host the Packers on Thursday night primetime. Later, it surfaced that Bourne had received a false positive on his test prior to kickoff on Thursday night. However, there was nothing that the Niners could do to get back their four starters as they had found out on the day of the game and had already ruled their players as out by that point. They were forced to play with a starting lineup of mainly backup players and incumbents and ended up losing. Despite a valiant effort to make the best out of a bad situation, this was yet another tough break for a San Francisco team that had already suffered its fair share of frustrations during the COVID season. 

This game was difficult to watch from a fan’s perspective because it was evident that the NFL did not make an effort to reschedule the game and that the Niners were being set up to fail. Had the 49ers record been more impressive, the league would have made more of an effort to reschedule the game to boost its ratings for a marquee matchup between the two teams that competed in last year’s NFC Championship game. 

“As a season ticket holder myself, I would do anything to be back in the moment, cheering on my childhood team from the stands. I’m hoping that by next season we can all safely return back to Levi’s [Stadium] and the Niners end up using the momentum of their fans returning to go the distance and win Super Bowl 55,” said Rohan Patel, a senior at Middle College. 

Coach Kyle Shanahan

Players and coaches alike remain hopeful that there will be a definite resolution to the pandemic soon and that they will be able to proceed with a normal season next year. The San Francisco 49ers have done a solid job remaining positive about the uncertain future ahead despite all the obstacles that they have had to endure in 2020. 

Despite the hardships that sports teams go through, we fans are committed to sticking with our favorite teams through thick and thin. The pain of losing stings, sure. But the highs of victory are worth the patience. 

Here’s to a hopeful 2021! 

Aaryan Ravi is a junior at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California. He is a sprint runner on the track team and enjoys keeping up with football, basketball, and baseball in his free time.




Golden Knights Debate Their Way Through the Pandemic

As more summer programs were being canceled, I saw there was a need for keeping students engaged and stimulating their creativity. Being a high school student myself, I could only imagine that those younger than me must be struggling. With COVID-19 bringing in a new distance learning environment and a summer lockdown for students, a group of eight middle school students (Milpitas Golden Knights) with my active volunteer guidance came up with a creative plan to spend the summer holidays safely indoors and socially connected – engaging in Public Forum Debate.

How did this idea begin?  

Eight 6th grade Merryhill school students showed interest in practicing and learning techniques for public forum debate.  With my assistance and leadership as the debate Advisor and judge, the debate club was formed and sessions were organized.  I helped design the debate classes and practice sessions every week for 12 weeks with the idea to keep the students connected, stay mentally healthy, and keep connected during challenging times.

About the Debate Sessions

With dedication, we started to practice from the end of May and the kids continued to learn and acquire the skill that would assist them through middle school. Every week, the team gathered in a virtual meeting session and reviewed through debate materials/rules, watched debate videos, and practiced speeches.  The program was executed as four teams with two members in each team. For every debate topic, the team members were regrouped to support each other. The debate team independently handled work sessions between themselves during the week to prepare for the debate and keep connected. This helped the students to learn and practice teamwork. At the end of each debate, the group voted for the next debate title and continued to challenge themselves. In addition to debate sessions and in the spirit of rewarding and motivating the students, the program was expanded to include a general knowledge quiz, which covered topics like science, history, geography, politics, and sport, at the end of each debate session.


By the end of the debate session, the kids were able to meet at a local park to celebrate their achievements, while social distancing. It was their first time meeting in real life since the start of the summer and the kids enjoyed catching up. They were presented with trophies and medals to congratulate them on their progress and improvement in debating. Team pictures were taken and speeches were given to thank everyone for their participation in the program.

Presenting to the Mayor of Milpitas

The final debate session was attended by the Principal of MerryHill School, Ms. Quinn Letan who recognized the effort put together by the students.  The students were also given the opportunity to present the program to Mayor Richard Tran of Milpitas. In the end, the credit really goes towards all students of this program – Nalika, Diya, Saatvika, Aadya, Sohan, Adithya, Hrithvik, and Katthir. 

If you would like your child to join the debate team, contact [email protected] for more info!

Meghaa Ravichandran is a high school sophomore at Notre Dame High School is the leader and coach for the Milpitas Golden Knights team.