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49er Faithful gearing up for Sunday’s showdown

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49er Faithful gearing up for Sunday’s showdown

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick looks to lead his team past the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to advance to the Super Bowl.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED January 19, 2013 1:24 a.m.

It’s a good time to be a Bay Area sports fan.

Just three months ago the San Francisco Giants won their second World Series title in three years, and come Sunday the 49ers will once again be knocking on the door of the Super Bowl, returning to the NFC Championship game for the second straight year.

But what does that mean for local fans who want to get in on the action?

Since the team will be traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons to determine who goes on to New Orleans on Feb. 3, the chance to celebrate in the parking lot of Candlestick Park is no longer an option for die-hards that have fine-tuned their tailgating and dialed everything down to a science.

But that won’t stop Jimmy Kerrigan from heading to San Francisco to party with other fans in the city at one of his favorite bars in North Beach.

“I’d love to be at the game in Atlanta but that’s an expensive weekend,” he said. “This is something that I can afford and I’ll be around other fans that truly appreciate 49er football.

“I think they have a good shot at making a run at it.”

It’s not only local fans, however, that will be getting together this weekend.

Websites like have allowed 49ers fans from across the country – people from New York, Texas, Charlotte and San Diego – to find other like-minded souls to get together with so they get that hometown feel when rooting on their favorite team.

Those who live locally won’t have to look far to find a place to enjoy the game.

After last weekend’s trouncing of the Green Bay Packers, local sports bars are gearing up for a crush of people come Sunday that want to be somewhere other than their living room when the 49ers go to their first Super Bowl in nearly two decades.

Modesto’s Buffalo Wild Wings is expected to fill up early as fans and friends of Turlock native Colin Kaepernick – the former University of Nevada quarterback that set an NFL playoff rushing record for quarterbacks last week – flood in support their local hero.

Rookie’s Sports Bar in Manteca is also bracing for another large crowd after nearly filling up the massive bar area last Saturday. They’ll be offering $1 beers for the first quarter.

Merchandise has also been flying off the shelves for local merchants who stocked up for Christmas and have seen sales stay steady ever since.

According to Big 5 Sporting Good Manager Sean Tonnacliff, more and more people are starting to trickle in looking to outfit themselves for the big game and even more could be coming if they end up walking away with a win on Sunday.

“We still have a few shirts left,” said Tonnacliff. “But people are really excited. We have some big fans that work here at the store and you can feel the excitement level among the people who come in.”

Tonnacliff said that it’s hard to compare the sales between Giants gear and 49ers gear because baseball sales skyrocketed after the Giants came back to win the NLCS and earned a bid to the World Series. Merchandise continued to sell even after they won the trophy, he said, and it wouldn’t be unlikely to see a similar phenomena here.

“We’ll know more if they go on,” he said. “That’s when people will really start coming in.”

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