Eduardo Hernandez hasn’t washed his 49ers jersey since the season started, and he doesn’t plan to wash the food-stained and beer-soaked uniform until after the Super Bowl. He did the same thing when the Giants were in the playoffs, and hey, why mess with success? It worked then, he said as he leaned against a wall at Mission and 24th streets.
Even though the Super Bowl isn’t until Sunday, it was impossible to walk far in the Mission this last week without spotting at least a few red, white and gold uniforms — sweatshirts, shirts, hats, even beanies. Not to mention all the 49ers signs, banners and flags that have suddenly popped up in the neighborhood.
The 49ers faithful are ready for another championship in San Francisco.
Dan McHugh stopped by a stand selling 49ers shirts at the 16th Street BART station Friday, even though he had already donned a Niners cap. He’s confident the team will win the Super Bowl because they have a secret weapon: coach Jim Harbaugh. ”The way he pulls off his strategy is unbelievable,” McHugh said. ”Without a doubt, I know they are going to win.”
Celinda Juarez says that this is the 49ers’ comeback year after they fell in the NFC Championship game last season. “We’re faithful to our Niners,” she said as she walked down Mission Street near 16th. “They’re my home team.”
They are Fred Gutierrez’s home team, too. He’s been a 49ers fan for 50 years. He remembers going to Niner games at Kezar Stadium when he was 12 years old, and all five of the previous Super Bowls his team has appeared in.
Before the NFC Championship game, Gutierrez bought a case of candles at St. Dominic’s. With a group of friends, he lit one for the 49ers and prayed to St. Jude. He’ll do the same thing, with the same friends, before the Super Bowl.
Last week, Vince Alvarado and his friends Dwayne and Jose stood on 24th Street discussing the big game. The group will celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with a barbecue on Lucky Street, the same spot where they watched the Giants win the World Series just a few months ago.
Alvarado knows the 49ers will win the Super Bowl, because they won the other five times they made it to the biggest Sunday in sports. “I’m not hoping, I’m believing,” he said.
“We’re a city of champions,” added Jose.