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LORI WEBER MENKE: Supermom creates superfans

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Last month, our family visited family in Santa Rosa, Calif., and spent a few days exploring San Francisco. I must admit, visiting family was a little bit of an afterthought. The first and most important part of this trip was attending a 49ers game at Candlestick Stadium.

I've been a lifelong 49ers fan, and I'm in the process of raising two boys to be lifelong 49ers fans, and it hasn't been easy. I'm married to a Vikings fan, but like I've said before, every Supermom needs a challenge.

Our oldest son, Riley, didn't want to be a 49ers fan, until we bought a Wii U for Christmas and discovered Madden. Riley and my husband, Jayson, are fierce Madden rivals. They're not friends, they don't help each other, they are RIVALS. So, getting Riley to be a 49ers fan was really Jayson's fault.

Every time they played Madden, Jayson flat-out refused to let Riley be the Vikings. Jayson always had to be the Vikings. Being the ever helpful Supermom, I told Riley not to worry about it and to go with the 49ers instead. (After all, his chances of beating his father would be better if he was the 49ers.)

And guess who helped make her son the champion of Madden in our house?

You guessed it -- this Supermom.

Jayson isn't very happy with me. He's a little bit of a sore loser. So, you can imagine being 11 and consistently beating your dad at Madden and then the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl.

Last year's Super Bowl didn't go so well for my 49ers, and Riley was crushed for days when they lost. And that, my dear friends, is how I know I've created a life-long fan.

One child has been won over and now comes the opportunity to convert our youngest son, Parker. This was done with good, old-fashioned bribery -- plain and simple. Take the kid to California, buy the kid a ticket to a 49ers game, slap a jersey on him and Supermom was victorious.

While in California, we were asked many times how it was that the 49ers would have such loyal fans in North Dakota. I wish I could say that I became a 49ers fan by winning Madden games or getting a jersey, but the sad truth of the matter is I was bought with $1.

Yes, $1.

The year was 1985. It was Super Bowl XIX and my uncle, Dwight Nelsen, was at our house watching the game. He bet me: If the 49ers win, I got $1. If they lost and the Dolphins won, I had to make him a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Not a very smart bet, I realize now, but the 49ers won making me $1 richer and a life-long fan.

After that, there was no turning back. And of course it didn't help that the 49ers were such an awesome team. Joe Montana wasn't hard to watch either. Yup, all in all not a bad bandwagon to jump on.

Going to Candlestick was truly an amazing experience. To be at the stadium where Joe Montana and Jerry Rice played those games I grew up watching on TV. And, of course, I couldn't show up at Candlestick without my gold 49ers jacket that I saved all my babysitting money to buy. The jacket I was teased by classmates for years for wearing growing up in Vikings territory. The jacket I wore every single day of high school -- even when it was 20 below zero. The very same jacket that flew all the way to San Francisco only to have Riley put it on before leaving the hotel and refusing to take off.

Now, every Supermom has her limits and apparently mine is a gold jacket. I did relent and let him wear it until kickoff.

Then, it was all mine.

So, for all of you Super Parents out there who need a little help converting your children to be fans of your favorite team don't give up. There's always hope.

Until next time,


Weber is a super-mother of two and Multimedia Manager for the Herald. She can be reached at or (701) 780-1113.