This New York Times story from November 18 deals with how the city of San Francisco wants to block the 49ers football team from using the name "49ers" if the team goes ahead with its planned move to Santa Clara.
On Tuesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she would explore legislation to block the team from using "San Francisco" or "49ers" in its name if it moves. Senator Feinstein said the 49er is a "tradition of the city," dating to the Gold Rush of 1849.
"You can't move to Santa Clara and call yourself a 49er," the Democratic senator said in a statement. "You're not."
My name may not be Kevin Starr, (further investigation into that has proven that to be true), but what about all the gold miners who lived, you know, where there was gold? I've always understood the word "49er" to refer to anyone who came out for the Gold Rush of 1849.
But far be it from me to disagree with my obviously far more learned neighbors in San Francisco, who are still unaware that they are not living in the center of the universe, nor in even the most important city in California. Or even the most important city in the San Fransico Bay Area probably.