Posted by: arijnovick | February 4, 2013

49ers fans toughen up, move past ‘chardonnay days’

By Mark Emmons

This story was featured in the sports section of the San Jose Mercury News today.

NEW ORLEANS — Ari Novick can attest that the old image of 49ers fans as wine-sipping, cheese-savoring football elitists wasn’t just a stereotype.

“I was a kid going to 49ers games during that chardonnay era,” said Novick, an Orange County anger-management expert. “My parents would come to games with wine and cheese. That’s exactly what that fan population was like. But it’s different now.”

While the 49ers have roared back into the familiar territory of the Super Bowl, the fans coming along for the ride no longer are mocked around the country for being too laid back. Instead, ugly incidents at Candlestick Park in recent years including ejections, brawling, harassment of opposing fans and even gunplay have
San Francisco 49ers fans celebrate against the Atlanta Falcons late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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