Niners faithful celebrate as team clinches playoff berth

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerA shutout win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday gave the team its first playoff berth since 2002 -- and its fans a reason to party.

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerA shutout win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday gave the team its first playoff berth since 2002 -- and its fans a reason to party.

Fans had a lot to celebrate after the 49ers’ NFC West-clinching victory Sunday — and they were given every opportunity to revel in the glory.

Despite the new ban on postgame tailgating at Candlestick Park that sprung from violent incidents at a preseason game that sent two people to the hospital, dozens of fans barbecued, drank beers and cheered in the parking lots following the victory. And police and other law enforcement let them go.

The win gave the team its first division title in nearly 10 years, and fans leaving the stadium chanted “playoffs” and screamed with excitement.

Windel Wyambao, 46, couldn’t contain his joy. The season-ticket holder since 2006 said he’s been through many ups and downs with the team, but feels the Niners and the fans deserve the playoff run.

“When I first bought tickets, they were getting six or nine points a game and I thought I shouldn’t be paying for this,” Wyambao said. “Now it’s time; it’s long deserved.”

Wyambao said he could “smell the playoff tickets” heading to his mailbox in Pittsburg.

Many fans said they were happy the team is returning to the playoffs, but hesitated to say their beloved Niners will win the Super Bowl.

“We have the defense,” said Mannie Diaz, 41, of San Francisco. “We have a good quarterback, not the best quarterback, so we may be able to take [most teams].”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

Sharing the victory

“Everyone wants the 49ers to play a weak team, but we need to play Green Bay to show just how good of a team we really are.”
— Juan Rios, 41, San Francisco

“I’m excited. I’m not sure about [Alex] Smith — he doesn’t have the leadership. But I am excited and thankful to be in the playoffs.”
— Mark Nugent, 31, Hayward

“It’s such a happy feeling. This is huge!”
— Dan Olberg, 51, Hayward

“Before my wife even liked football, she would tell me to go outside and do something useful, say cut the lawn. Now, she watches with me and we can’t wait for the playoffs this season.”
— Carlos Solis, 63, San Jose

“I’m a Niner faithful, and it is about time they make it back to the playoffs. It’s our time. I have and I will support them ’cause they’re my team.”
— Fernando Echeverria, 33, Manteca

Candlestick ParkLocalNFLSan FranciscoSan Francisco 49ers

Just Posted

ose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014. 
Rose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014.
Willie and Rose: An alliance for the ages

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

City officials have informed the owners of El Farolito, a legendary taqueria that started in the Mission District, that they cannot open a new location in North Beach due to rules against “formula retail.” (Gil Duran/SF Examiner)
Free El Farolito! San Francisco’s North Beach burrito ban must not stand

San Francisco reaches new level of absurdity with ban on famed burrito spot

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski is pictured at bat on July 29 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park; the teams are in the top spots in their league as the season closes. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
With playoff positions on the line, old rivalries get new life

Giants cruised through season, Dodgers not far behind

Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

Most Read