San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
TURLOCK, Calif. - It was a game of highs and lows, giving football fans at the Dust Bowl Brewery a season's worth of mood swings in a span of three hours.
For Turlock citizens, the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons had a more personal element involved. It was a championship with a friend leading the home team.
"It's very stressful. Definitely stressful," said Dave Jones.
"We root all root for Colin, not just because he's from here, but because he represents so well," said Diane Romeo, whose children went to Pitman High School with Kaepernick.
"I feel like I'm watching my own son get the opportunity of a lifetime," said Angela Jones, who became a football fan after Kaepernick became the starting quarterback for the 49ers this fall.
And as the final seconds ticked off the clock with the 49ers leading 28-24, Jones and the rest of Turlock watched the boy from Pitman High go to the Super Bowl.
"I'm crying. All his dreams came true in one season," said Krisdina Gehriny, who has been friends with Kaepernick since the 7th grade.
"If anyone deserves this, it's Colin."
"I'm so happy for Colin," said Romeo.
"And I told you we were going to the Super Bowl!"