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When my family moved to Howland, Ohio, when I was a freshman in high school, I quickly learned that while the region in northeastern Ohio was formally Cleveland Browns territory, there was a big, loud San Francisco 49ers subculture. The reason for this was twofold. In part, it was a function of how good the Niners were at the time. In larger part, though, it was a function of the team’s owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. Howland is a bit east of the city of Warren, which is itself due northwest of the much larger city of Youngstown. In Youngstown, the DeBartolos weren’t quite royalty, but they weren’t quite not. I knew the name DeBartolo within weeks of moving to the area. They were a family... Full story

18 February