Valley fans enjoy Super Bowl holiday
49ers fans Mike Jones, Graciela Jones and Olga Padilla cheer on their team Sunday while watching the Super Bowl at Waves Restaurant and Saloon. (CHELCEY ADAMI PHOTO / February 3, 2013)
While Valley Ravens fans are much less common, members of the nonprofit Imperial Valley 49ers Booster Club filled Waves Restaurant and Saloon in Brawley to watch the game.
“We have been waiting for this a long time,” Club member Mike Jones said in anticipation of seeing the 49ers win.
“This is my family,” he said while looking around the room filled with red jerseys Sunday.
He sported not only a jersey but also 49ers pants, a hat, a towel, necklace and even a tattoo in support of his team.
“We are Niners-faithful,” said Club member Ken “Coach” Hensley in agreement.
Hensley came with his wife and kids Sunday to Waves, and said he’s been going to the team’s football games since he was 7 years old.
The club has been around since 2005, has just under 100 members and hosts fundraisers throughout the year to benefit various local groups such as families at Women’s Haven.
Members can almost always be found at Waves for football games during the season, and Waves owner Nick Mah said he enjoys hosting Super Bowl parties there every year.
“It brings a lot of people together,” he said. “It’s a good chance to meet people too. You meet a lot of people every year.”
Football fans of all ages sat with eyes fixed big screens before erupting in shouts, pounding tables and even sometimes pledging allegiance to different players as the game progressed.
Further south, Brawley resident Chris Nunez appeared to be one of the few Ravens fans in Burgers and Beer on Imperial Avenue in El Centro Sunday.
He likes the team for players such as Ray Lewis and said while he was outnumbered, he likes just celebrating with friends on Super Bowl Sunday.
Imperial Valley 49ers Booster Club vice president Fernie Antunez said it’s really just all about supporting your team and being with friends and family.
“Win, lose or tie, Niners till we die,” Jones said, nodding in agreement.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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