A devoted football fan, San Francisco native Larry Jacobson is one of only a few people on the planet who have attended every single Super Bowl.
And while he said he takes great pleasure in traveling to new cities, soaking up the energy of the sport’s biggest platform and witnessing football at its finest, something noticeable has been missing for Jacobson over the past 17 Super Bowls: his favorite team.
But with the 49ers sporting a 13-3 record and featuring a fierce defense, Jacobson hopes that drought will change this year.
“I always tell people that you don’t need a Hall of Fame quarterback to win the Super Bowl,” said Jacobson, who lives in The City’s Noe Valley neighborhood. “With this defense, the 49ers can get there with Alex Smith. Of course, that’s my opinion, and that and $1 won’t get you a ride on Muni.”
Jacobson, a former school teacher, has been a longtime season ticket holder for the 49ers, and he’ll be on hand at Candlestick when San Francisco tries to shut down high-flying Drew Brees and the Saints in Saturday’s Divisional Playoff game.
“If any team can stop Brees, it’s the 49ers,” Jacobson said. “That’s what I hope to see on Saturday.”
The 49ers Super Bowl teams of the ’80s and ’90s are mostly remembered for their offenses and legendary quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young, but those squads also featured fearsome defenses, Jacobson said. He sees many similarities between those teams and this year’s impressive 49ers’ edition.
“Really, the core of those great teams was the defense,” Jacobson said. “And that’s the same case with this team.”
While Jacobson has been attending Super Bowls his entire life — a remarkable achievement made famous by a national Visa ad campaign last year — the 49ers have been stuck at home watching the playoffs for the past decade.
But after years of futility, Jacobson says fans are finally starting to rally around the team again.
Calling himself a true fan, Jacobson refuses to make predictions on whether the 49ers will join him at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5.
If the team does make it back, Jacobson said that will make his annual experience all the more enjoyable.
However, if they end up losing in the finale, he conceded that he would be feeling the heartbreak — after all, he’s witnessed the team play in five Super Bowls before, and they’ve never lost.
“If they lose in the Super Bowl, I’ll be depressed,” Jacobson said. “But only until about April.”
45 Super Bowls Larry Jacobson has attended
17 Years since the 49ers played in the Super Bowl
5 Super Bowl appearances by the 49ers
5-0 49ers’ record in Super Bowl