Crowd gathers at Sierra College with former 49ers players to send some good luck to New Orleans

8:25 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKLIN, CA - 49ers faithful in Rocklin are excited for the Super Bowl.

Several dozen fans made it out to Sierra College, where the Niners held training camp for nearly two decades.

"I mean you could actually get close to them, and talk to them sometimes," lamented long-time 49ers fan Michael DeFranco. "I thought it was just, it's like they were gods almost."

DeFranco used to come watch training camp when he was in high school.

Since then, the 49ers have not won a Super Bowl. Training camp was moved away from Sierra College in the late '90s.

A lot of people, including former team members, believe the Rocklin training camp sent good mojo to the team. With an appearance in this year's Super Bowl just days away, Sierra College officials wanted to try to revive a tradition.

"The idea here is to get the mojo going, that good ol' Sierra College mojo that took them to five world championships, try to get the vibes going all the way to New Orleans, and we're starting right here, today," said Matt Folsom, Sierra College's sports information director.

Roseville resident and former 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz jumped on the idea and decided to come out and try to send some good vibes to his former team.

"We realize that when [the 49ers] played and practiced here [in Rocklin], they won, so let's do everything we can, let's get the mojo right, and let's have some players come out on the field," said Bunz.

Bunz was a superstitious player himself when he played in the '80s, and he feels there is a connection between practicing in Rocklin and winning the big game.

"So whatever we did to start the season, that's what we did, and you almost feel awkward if you don't do it, you almost feel out of place," said Bunz.

Whether the practice holds true and helps the Niners win this weekend remains to be seen, but some fans see it as a way to pass an old tradition along to a new generation.

"I wanted to introduce it to the boys and see the players and keep the tradition going," said Melanie Netherby, who was there to watch practice with her two young sons.

"It's like when I used to come here with my dad," she added.


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