Niners rally faithful for home opener

The 49ers pumped up their fans Wednesday with a rally in advance of the team’s first home game of the season Sunday.

Hundreds of people attended the Red and Gold Rally in Justin Herman Plaza, where 49ers CEO Jed York and several former players lauded this year’s squad and also took some shots at the Detroit Lions, the team’s opponent in Sunday’s game at Candlestick Park.

York said he hopes 49ers fans make the team’s stadium “the most intimidating atmosphere in the National Football League.”

He added, “When you’re shaking someone’s hand at the end of the game, don’t do it too hard,” a reference to last year’s game between the 49ers and Lions in which Detroit coach Jim Schwartz took offense to San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh’s postgame handshake and chased him across the field.

Wednesday’s rally featured several former San Francisco players, including offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu, who won four Super Bowl championships with the team.

The 49ers won their season opener at Green Bay last weekend 30-22. Last season, the team made it to the NFC Championship Game only to lose in dramatic fashion in overtime to the New York Giants.

Sunday’s game is scheduled for 5:20 p.m.

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