The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most storied franchises in football. From Joe Montana to Jerry Rice to Steve Young to Ronnie Lott, they've won championships and had some of the most memorable teams in NFL history. So when it came time to fill the spot for writing about the Niners, we knew we needed someone special. Thankfully, David Fucillo sort of fell into our lap. Consider us lucky. Fucillo has done a remarkable job building one of the most amazing communities in SB Nation. The Niners are once again on the upswing and NN is a destination for all those fans. Without further ado, let's get to know David Fucillo.
Tyler Bleszinski: Tell about how you came to be at SB Nation.
David Fucillo: I used to work for the Oakland A's and had learned about, and begun reading, Athletics Nation. Through a networking functions through the grad school program I was in at the time I came to know Raymond St. Martin, known as Saint on AN, and the eventual lead writer at our Raiders blog. I had been interested in starting some kind of blog, so I started a blogspot blog. After a short while I talked to Raymond about potentially starting the 49ers blog at SB Nation. Raymond got me in touch with Dave Halprin and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bleszinski: What's been your experience at SB Nation?
Fucillo: As most would agree, it's been a great experience. Obviously the tech folks are top notch and the folks above me (Tyler, Dave, etc...) have been as helpful as could be. It's been an interesting transition as the network has developed as a whole. While I write more frequently, and have more toys to play with on the site, what I've enjoyed about the experience is that the structure of things has remained the same, leaving the bloggers with a lot of autonomy, while still providing assistance. SB Nation has grown immensely in my almost 3 years here, but the growth has not gotten in the way of the experience and camaraderie of the network.
Bleszinski: What's the best part about writing for SB Nation?
Fucillo: I'd say there are two things I can point to right now, although the list could go on forever. As mentioned above, the autonomy is a big plus. Our league manager keeps on us about partnership stuff, which is obviously necessary. However, beyond that we're given a lot of space to do what we want on the blog. The responsibility falls on each blogger to make the most of their site and there isn't a pressure to write one way or another, or take specific angles on your team.
The second thing is definitely the blogging platform that we have access to. I was pleased with the original platform, but this change has been better than I could have imagined. Given how things were on my little blogspot site, it's like going from hammer and chisel to a computer.
Bleszinski: Have there been challenges?
Fucillo: I'm sure many others would agree on this, but I'd have to say coming up with new material in the offseason. During the season there is plenty to keep the site buzzing throughout the day. However, in the offseason, it's definitely much more difficult to get multiple posts up in a given day. There are times in May/June where it's deathly quiet in the NFL. I've brought on additional writers, but during those summer months, it can be a little bit more difficult to keep things fresh. When I've reached "projecting the 49ers practice squad," I know I'm closing in on rock bottom.
Bleszinski: How'd you come to be a 49ers fan?
Fucillo: I grew up in Las Vegas, where obviously we had no football team. Given that I was a child of the mid to late 80s, and I had absolutely no interest in being an LA Rams or Raiders fan, it was easy to hop on the 49ers bandwagon. Although I started as a bandwagon fan, the last decade has certainly allowed me to prove my loyalty.
Bleszinski: Who is your all-time favorite Niner?
Fucillo: It's a tough call for me. I'd say it's probably Steve Young. Although I loved those 49ers teams in the 80s, I think I was always a Steve guy as opposed to a Joe guy. Montana had the rings and was the Man, but Steve Young always seemed to have more personality to him. It's reached into their post-playing life where Steve Young puts himself out there on tv and in football-related issues, while Montana has kept out of the limelight. I had a chance to interview Steve Young a couple months ago for a Hall of Fame promotion and it was definitely one of the thrills of my life.
Bleszinski: What's your all-time favorite 49ers moment?
Fucillo: The Catch II - Steve Young to Terrell Owens to beat the Green Bay Packers in the 1998 Wild Card playoff round. The 49ers had been eliminated by the Packers the previous 3 years and to see them finally beat them was a thing to behold. TO had been having a crummy day, and given what transpired in subsequent seasons, this was probably the happiest moment of his tenure. I probably could have picked Montana to Taylor or "The Catch." However, I think I appreciated this moment so much more than those moments from the 80s.
Bleszinski: Where do you think this year's edition of the Niners will end up?
Fucillo: The 49ers seemed to be on the cusp of getting back into the NFC West race when they fell flat on their faces last weekend up in Seattle in a nightmare of a loss. At this point, I'd say 7-9 is likely, although 8-8 is certainly possible if they can upset the Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Although the team has had some very rough patches, they've taken a step forward under Mike Singletary and are close to breaking through.
Bleszinski: Tell me something about yourself that might surprise your readership.
Fucillo: My readers know a fairly decent amount about me. However, one thing they don't know is that when I was a kid I was a junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Additionally, from ages 7-10 I took part in the National Tae Kwon Do Junior Olympics, and actually won a silver medal in 1988 when I was 8 years old.
Bleszinski: Thanks so much for your time.