Sunday’s National Football League conference championships boil down to a pair of heated rivalries.
If the past few weeks are indicative, Rookies at the Manteca Bowl and Family Fun Center could see plenty of rabid fans supporting their teams.
“We have mostly (San Francisco) 49er fans,” said Janna Quitiquit, who is the bar manager there. “But lately we’ve had a few (Denver) Bronco and (Seattle) Seahawk fans.”
That alone should make for some interesting dynamics in terms of fanfare at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill, 1251 E. Yosemite Ave., come this weekend.
“We open at 9:30 a.m. (on Sunday) but there’s already people waiting around to claim their spot,” Quitiquit said.
She noticed that it’s not too difficult to spot the true sports fan. Sorry, no face-painters spotted thus far.
“Most are in jerseys and other sports attire supporting their favorite team. You won’t find too many in their regular clothes,” said Quitiquit.
At Rookies, the local team – in this case, the Niners – in the postseason usually equals better business. Quitiquit noticed that last year when San Francisco played and lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.
But that pale in comparison with this particular Niners vs. Seahawks clash.
The NFC Championship Game will feature the top defenses in the league coupled with a pair of young dynamic quarterbacks in Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and Russell Wilson (Seahawks).
There’s also no love lost between SF coach Jim Harbaugh and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, dating back to their days at Stanford and USC, respectively.
The Niners had their woes at Century Link Field and Seattle’s boisterous fans otherwise known as the “12th Man.”
Those at Rookies sporting jerseys with the likes of Kaepernick, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis, et al, are hoping that their team can continue the postseason success.
The Niners, after all, prevailed on the frozen tundra of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and just avenged their earlier loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Quitiquit is expecting a few hundred at Rookies come Sunday.
The earlier game will feature the New England Patriots at Denver in the AFC title game. The back story, of course, are quarterbacks Peyton Manning (Broncos) and Tom Brady (Pats) meeting for the 15th time.
But perhaps the most anticipated matchup is the Niners-Seahawks game.
Quitiquit and others at Rookies are expecting that game to be loud, festive but not too crazy. “We have security here,” she said.
The bar and grill will have plenty of drink specials throughout the day.
“We’ve purchased extra beer for this weekend,” Quitiquit said.
She’s hoping that the good times will continue to roll for the local team. That would mean another Niners Super Bowl, which can bring a boost to business.
Rookies is open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, call 209-824-2889 or log on to www.mantecabowl.com.