SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The buses carrying the San Francisco 49ers wound their way through the streets of Santa Clara Monday, a quiet homecoming for the team after their disheartening 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
Only a handful of fans stood outside the chain link fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport as the players streamed out of their charter flight. Among them was Stella Masi.
“We are super proud of them — win or lose we are still proud of the Niners,” she told KPIX 5. “For now, I don’t want to talk about next year. Right now I want to just focus on seeing them and welcoming them back home.”
Masi said she believed it was important for the team to see at least a few welcoming faces.
“I believe it’s very important for them to see — win or loss — if you are a 49ers fan you should still be proud of them because it was a great game in the beginning and all the way to the end. Support has to always be there for them,” the Palo Alto resident said.
Jennifer Kelley stood at the fence, waving her 49ers flag along with her friend Susan Lanzinger. Both are Sunnyvale residents.
“You got to support your team,” Kelley said when asked why she was greeting the team. “They been awesome. They brought back the spirit. Saved me as a fan since 1981. I love this team’s energy.”
“I was so excited we won the division,” she added. “I thought all the rest was gravy…I felt so bad for the guys because it meant so much to them.”
Just getting to the Super Bowl was a major feat in Lanzinger’s eyes.
“We weren’t expected to do so well,” she said. “It’s been terrific. We hoped they’d win the Super Bowl, but there is always next year. We had a great season.”
Kelley said whenever she has seen interviews of the players, they have been inspiring.
“I find them so inspiring,” she said. “All these young guys. Post game interviews, they are inspiring for everyone in every day life.”