Seattle’s “12th Man” phenomenon has apparently migrated south. Seahawks fans crowded Pier 39 tonight for a fan rally of sorts, which leads one to assume that a decent percentage of the fans at tomorrow’s game will be sporting navy blue and neon green tomorrow at Candlestick Park.
Seahawks fan rally at Pier 39. pic.twitter.com/KwTjPy1Xkp
— Jayson Jenks (@JaysonJenks) December 8, 2013
They picked the most touristy spot in San Francisco, so this is a lot like a bunch of 49ers fans congregating in front of the Starbucks at Pike Place Market. Getting a table at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was probably next to impossible tonight.
The Seahawks and their fans seem to think this is a coronation weekend of sorts. They throttled the New Orleans Saints on national television, and if they clinch the NFC West tomorrow with what would be their first sweep of the 49ers since 2007, Seattle will leave no doubt as to which West Coast team reigns supreme. If Seahawks fans are in numbers great enough to stage a fan rally on the road, they probably think they’re going to take over The Stick, a la San Francisco Giants fans at Petco.
I’ll be attending tomorrow’s game in the stands, with Ruthless Sports Guy taking my seat in the press box (not that I have an assigned seat or anything). After seeing this photo, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll be surrounded by Seahawks fans. The last time I sat in the Candlestick stands for a game this important was the NFC Championship, and the couple in front of us were New York Giants fans. The guy was wearing an Eli Manning jersey. His girlfriend/wife? Tiki Barber. So I should probably mentally prepare myself to be surrounded by Sherman and Tate jerseys.
The city of San Francisco will probably take the standard precautions to avoid too much in the way of fan violence — extra police presence, with some cops dressed as Seahawks fans. As the rivalry surges past “best in the NFL” and into “maybe the best in North American pro sports” territory, hopefully the trash talk is good-natured and people stay on their best behavior. I was also in the stands for last year’s Thursday night contest against Seattle, and while I heard stories that some sections of the parking lot were a little rough, everything seemed pretty peaceful from my vantage point. However, the stakes are a lot higher tomorrow.