SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Some 60,000 fans packed Levi’s Stadium for the Niners first preseason home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. The parking lot was a sea of red and gold and with a new season comes high hopes.
“We are ready now,” said John Kennedy of Hayward. “We have a spark. We got Garrapolo. We're ready. I don’t know about a Superbowl but we will be close.”
Excitement was building especially for Quarterback Jimmy Garrapolo It’s the first game action since the 26-year-old signed a $137 million, five-year deal making him the league's highest paid star.
“Jimmy G means to me when I was younger when Montana was playing,” said Antony Murillo of San Jose. “He sparked up the town right now. It's a good thing.”
49ers owner Jed York made good on his idea of halting all stadium operations including concession sales and entry into the game during the Star Spangled Banner.
York first brought up the idea at the NFL owners meeting back in May when the owners voted on a policy that players must remain in the locker room or potentially be fined if they don’t stand during the National Anthem.
York was the only owner who abstained. Many fans voiced their support Thursday.
“Good for Jed,” said Kennedy. “At least he's with the players.”
“I agree I mean you should show respect,” said Murillo. “Stop what you are doing. I go to baseball games, my son’s baseball games. I pull off my hat. I show respect for the veterans people fighting this war.”
One fan thought stopping services was a little extreme.
“If you are in the stadium, you shouldn't be getting a beer,” said Kelly Leal of San Jose. “Pay your respects at that time but if you are trying to get in to game that would be a little frustrating.”
Fining players has been paused. It’s unclear if any other NFL teams will follow the 49ers lead.
“I don't really have a strong opinion about it,” said Mike Cruce of Modesto. “I don't think it's going to be more than a two-minute temporary delay in getting your beverage or your food or getting into the stadium. I’m okay with it.”
Two Philadelphia Eagles players raised their fists and two Miami Dolphin players knelt during the anthem before their games Thursday night. It doesn't appear any Niners players knelt Thursday.