Introducing "Fann Take," a new piece of content created to give you, the Faithful, a voice on 49ers.com. All of us at 49ers Studios know how passionate you are and hope that this serves as an avenue for you to feel closer to your favorite team.
With that, let's dive into the first post.
The San Francisco 49ers are ready to begin their season on "Monday Night Football" against the Minnesota Vikings and will welcome linebacker NaVorro Bowman back into the lineup.
By now, you're all well versed about the knee injury Bowman suffered in the 2013 NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks and the grueling 18-month rehab it took to get him back to this point.
And now that Bowman is ready to make his return to regular season football, it seems fitting to begin "Fann Take" by recapping all of the linebacker's top moments with the 49ers.
Thanks to everyone who submitted responses via Twitter using the hashtag #FannTake.
On with the countdown:
**5. A man of the people
It's important to recognize the man as much as we respect the player. Bowman's character is just as impressive as his ability to make plays in the backfield, and that's saying a lot.
Through Bowman's "Fourth & Goal Foundation" – which is a very fitting name as we'll point out in a moment – the linebacker continuously works to make a difference for local youth.
In June, Bowman hosted his inaugural "Celebrity Steak-Out," where he and his teammates served dinner to guests in attendance at the Fairmont San Jose.
Since the inception of his foundation in 2014, Bowman has been raising money in order to build state-of-the-art playgrounds for underprivileged youth. The first is expected to be completed next summer and serve 10,000 youth in the area.
In addition to the play zones, Bowman hosts his "Operation Santa Claus" event each year to provide a shopping spree for 50 low-income families.
"I wasn't too privileged growing up," Bowman said at the steak-out. "I had to scratch and claw and find things to do as a child. And me being where I am today, I'm able to provide something, especially for kids ... who don't have as much as the next kid. So I really want to provide inner-city, low-income students in the Bay Area with a safe place to play."
Beyond the foundation, Bowman is just a really cool dude, as many of you pointed out on Twitter.
It was the celebration on this play that made it so memorable for fans. Following a sack of the Carolina Panthers quarterback in the 2013 Divisional Round, Bowman used Cam Newton's patented "Superman" celebration in the backfield.
Panthers fans weren't too keen on Bowman's display, but it remains a memorable moment for the Faithful.
The 49ers went on to win that game, 23-10.
- A dominant performance against the Rams
If you want to point to a game where Bowman showed he was an "Alpha Dog" linebacker, this may be the one. The 49ers started the 2013 season 1-2, entering Week 4 after back-to-back double-digit losses to the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.
To make matters worse, San Francisco went into the contest against the St. Louis Rams without Patrick Willis.
Bowman more than picked up the slack.
The linebacker finished the game with six tackles and two sacks of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. San Francisco cruised past the Rams, 35-11, starting what turned into a five-game winning streak.
The NFL was officially on notice that Bowman was one of the best linebackers in the game.
- Sending the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII**
Down, 28-24, in the 2012 NFC Championship game, the Atlanta Falcons faced a 4th-and-four from the 49ers 10-yard line.
As the clock ticked under a minute remaining, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sent a pass in the direction of Roddy White. Just before White could secure the catch and move the chains, in came Bowman to breakup the play. The linebacker silenced a packed Georgia Dome and sent the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
**1. The "Pick at the Stick"
Was there ever a doubt? The iconic play that closed the doors at Candlestick Park in style was always going to top this list. What you'll also notice is that Bowman seems to have a knack for making big plays against the Falcons.
To refresh your memory, the 49ers were holding onto a slim, 27-24, lead against Atlanta in Week 16 of the 2013 season. Ryan and the Falcons offense were driving deep into San Francisco territory with under two minutes remaining, looking for the go-ahead touchdown.
And then* it* happened. Ryan's pass intended for Harry Douglas was deflected into the air and into Bowman's arms. You know the rest; the linebacker took the interception 89 yards for the score, marking Bowman's first NFL touchdown and just his second career pick.
The play sealed the win and gave 49ers fans one final memory at the venue that five Super Bowl championship teams called home.
For what it's worth, the 49ers host the Falcons in Week 9 this season.