It’s the ultimate grudge match: a chance for the 49ers to face the Kansas City Chiefs again in the Super Bowl, hoping for a different outcome than four years ago.
In early 2020, fans were excited. But this time, they’re even more electrified — supercharged by a new quarterback, a new running back, and a new appreciation for what it would mean for the 49ers to bring home a sixth Lombardi Trophy from Las Vegas.
Call it a drive to win, or call it pride in the franchise many said they’ve been faithful to since the 1980s, but whatever the reason, fans seem to be buying everything in sight with a 49ers logo on it.
“I feel like the energy is different,” compared to 2020, said Emile Sadeh, owner of the Fresh Society streetwear store where some 49ers players are known to shop. “People are coming in way more excited, and grabbing way more items.”
Early in the week, Sadeh had sold out of many 49ers jackets and sweatshirts, until a shipment arrived on Wednesday to replenish them. In the meantime, he was happy to sell fans the store’s exclusive “Bang Bang Niner Gang” T-shirts, or show off a good luck charm he thinks might be the real reason for the 49ers’ success all season.
“This is the tee,” he said, holding up a shirt that read “(expletive) Kansas City; Sincerely, Niner Gang.”
“It started with Dallas,” he explained. “Kittle had that shirt.”
Sadeh was referring to 49ers tight end George Kittle, who wore a T-shirt with colorful language under his jersey during a game against the Cowboys — an apparent homage to former 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer, who wore a similar shirt before the 1994 NFC Championship. (The 49ers beat the Cowboys in that game, and went on to win the Super Bowl.) Fresh Society designed a new “F— Dallas” T-shirt inspired by that one, and began designing similar shirts for the 49ers’ other opponents too.
“We did Seattle; we beat them,” he said. “Then we did Green Bay. We didn’t do Ravens, we lost. So then we’re like hey, we’ve gotta keep making these shirts, as a superstition-like good luck thing.”
After the store’s “F— Detroit” shirt apparently brought the Niners the luck they needed to beat the Lions in the NFC Championship game, Sadeh decided to go ahead with the Chiefs shirt, complete with an unofficial Super Bowl LVIII patch.
Shoppers who came by the store in San Jose were mostly headed out of town, on their way to Vegas. One said he was going to meet his dad, who lives there. Both are lifelong 49ers fans. But there was a catch.
“I’m actually going to be popping up in Vegas without him knowing, and letting him know that he’s going to the game with me,” said Rick Telly, and then added with a chuckle, “Hope he’s got a strong heart!”
Across town, Fancy Flavors Bakeshop was busy catering to the many 49ers fans having Super Bowl parties right here in the Bay Area.
“We specialize in French macarons,” said owner Jessica Banh. “I just love making Niner macarons, because we have a lot of Niner fans — they come in with their families and they’re sporting their Niner gear. I’m always kind of like, ‘Yeah, go Niners!’”
Once the 49ers made it into the playoffs, Banh began preparing for the onslaught of orders she’d ultimately get if the team went all the way. She designed templates for macarons shaped like footballs and helmets (in 49ers colors, of course) and began making batch after batch of traditional round macarons printed with full-color 49ers logos.
“A general order is about like a dozen, but we’ve seen up to four dozen in one order, for the Super Bowl especially,” she said.
Though most of her Super Bowl orders were made in advance, Banh said she’s still planning to have some of the specially decorated treats available for walk-in customers. After all, she said, anything that goes unsold can be eaten at her own Super Bowl party.
“It’s just been so fun to make something so different and creative, and just to kind of cheer on our home team,” she said.
Source: NBC Bay Area