CONCORD (KPIX 5) — The Bay Area is abuzz over the 49ers’ unexpected rise to the Super Bowl. But what about the football fans across the Bay? There’s a difficult choice facing Raider fans this year.
It’s no surprise that Head’s Up Sports in Concord is decked out floor to ceiling in Niners gear. And being a good businessman, owner Dennis Danziger has put the less desirable stuff on sale, with a sign in the front window offering all Raider gear at 50% off. Did that sting a bit for loyal fans of the Silver and Black?
“Actually, no,” said Danziger. “They’re all happy. They said, ‘Oh great, 50% off, I’ll buy a bunch of T-shirts.’”
Raider fans have had to become pragmatists this year, with their team leaving town and their cross-bay rivals basking in the Super Bowl spotlight. There are a few items still on the shelves, but Danziger says Raider fans seem to be in hibernation right now.
“The Raider fans have all hidden,” he said. “They’re just waiting to go to Las Vegas, I guess.”
But that brings up the obvious question: Can Raider fans possibly root for the 49ers in the big game? Cynthia Maertens believes they will…well, sort of.
“I think they’re really excited that the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl,” she said. “Yeah I think there’s a few. A few…a very few…very few!” she said with a laugh after thinking it over.
The fact is, Raider and Niner fans usually don’t get along very well. In fact the store carries a checkers game with the two teams squaring off.
So it would be natural for the Silver and Black fans to root against the 49ers, except that they’re playing Kansas City, perhaps the Raiders’ most hated rival, which puts them in a surreal position.
“They’re gonna want to root for somebody,” said 49ers fan Pat Dintino. “So, I think the Raiders fans will root to see the Niners beat Kansas City.”
Is it because Kansas City is even worse to them? “I think so, I think so,” he said.
But Danziger is pretty sure this unholy alliance won’t last once the game is over. “They’re die-hards and they won’t switch,” he said. So the chances of them becoming Niner fans are…?
So it looks like, for Raider fans, who to root for in this Super Bowl will come down to a choice between the lesser of two rivals. And what about Kansas City? The store owner says he only carries one stadium blanket and a couple of hats for the Chiefs and they’re still sitting on the shelf.