49er fans predict another super winBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Fans of the San Francisco 49ers will be glued to their television sets Sunday as the team will be looking to win their sixth NFL championship by beating the Baltimore Ravens.
With San Francisco being the closest NFL team to Sacramento, along with the Oakland Raiders, and with many Bay Area transplants living in the area, the 49ers have thousands of fans in area pulling for them to win the game.
Folsom resident Jeret Arnaz, 42, is one of them. Arnaz was born and raised in San Jose and moved to Folsom in 1993. His family has had season tickets to 49er home games since 1997 and he said he’s been to all but 10 regular season home games since then, while attending all the home playoff games.
“I try not to be biased, but I think the 49ers will win the game because I think they’re the best team in the NFL,” Arnaz said. “I was at the game at the season-opening game in Green Bay and I thought they were the best team then after they dominated the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, coming of an MVP season.”
Joe Duran, 50, has lived in Folsom 23 years and been a fan of the team since he was a teenager. He enjoyed watching the team play this year.
“It’s been an exciting season,” Duran said. “They play together as a team and Jim Harbaugh has gotten them to gel and they’re exciting to watch.”
With the superb play of 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the fact that the 49ers have reached the Super Bowl, all talk about a quarterback controversy has long since ended. Arnaz, an admitted Alex Smith supporter, is now sold on Kaepernick and Duran has always been a Kaepernick fan.
“I was born and raised in Reno so I was really excited for Kaepernick, as he went to college at Nevada Reno,” Duran said. “I’ve never been an Alex Smith fan, so I was all for the switch.”
Arnaz added, “I’ve been an Alex Smith supporter through his years here until Kaepernick arrived. I’m of the belief that you play your best player and Kaepernick is just better. When he went on the road and beat Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Drew Brees, New Orleans, Tom Brady, New England), I was sold.”
Arnaz feels the game will be more of a blowout with the 49ers winning by double figures. Duran senses it will be a close game. Both have opinions on what the keys to the game will be or what the game plan should be.
“Everyone is talking about last year’s game (Baltimore won 16-6 in Baltimore), but we’ve got a different team this year, a different quarterback and it’s on a neutral field,” Arnaz said. “Baltimore’s defense isn’t as good as it used to be and they haven’t seen an offense like the 49ers. The key will be who wins the battle at the line of scrimmage, just like every game. The 49ers need to be able to pressure their quarterback and they need to be able to protect their quarterback. Turnovers are always important too.”
Duran said the team needs to get tight end Vernon Davis involved, much like it did in the win over the Falcons in the NFC championship game.
“They need to exploit the middle of the field with Vernon Davis,” Duran said. “I’d like to see more of the pistol like they did against Green Bay and see Kaepernick run. The thing about Harbaugh is we’re going to see plays that we haven’t seen yet. He’s going to keep the Ravens off-guard.”
Arnaz can’t wait for the game and the party-like atmosphere that will fill the air at his brother’s house in Folsom. Duran will be hosting his own Super Bowl party. Both are predicting a 49er victory.
“I think we’re rolling right now,” Arnaz said. “I think we’re going to dominate. I’m predicting a 12-to-17 point win.”
Duran feels the game will be closer.
“I think it will be a heck of a game. I think the 49ers are the best team in the league and I think they’ll win 28-23.”