Very few of the students at Palo Alto High School were even born the last time the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl 18 years ago. They have literally been waiting their whole lives to see their team compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy.
To make things even sweeter, the coach who got them there, Jim Harbaugh, is a graduate of Paly. He was a star quarterback for the Vikings before going on to college glory at Michigan and the NFL with the Bears and Colts. Big brother John never attended Paly.
The campus is buzzing about Sunday's game (3:30 p.m., CBS-TV), especially the match-up between the Harbaugh brothers. During lunch break last Friday, several students making the trek between Paly High and Town & Country Village for lunch spoke with pride about the 49ers and Harbaugh.
Student Lelaina Hutson pointed to the Paly connection, “It’s really good that the 49ers are in the Super Bowl — so good because the coach went to Paly. Paly kids feel more connected to the team.”
Student Katie Foug points to the school across the street from Paly as the reason for Harbaugh pride, “Everyone here is a big 49ers fan, especially since he was at Stanford.” Harbaugh was head coach at Stanford before being hired by the 49ers.
Back on campus and wearing her 49ers sweatshirt was Mary Puorro, Campus Supervisor. “Having Harbaugh as the coach is very exciting, the brothers facing each other," Puorro said. "Definitely 49er Fever here. My son in Newport Beach is coming up here to experience the Super Bowl here.”
Puorro is planning to gather a big crowd at her house to cheer-on the Niners.
Stick with Palo Alto Patch all week. We'll share old photos, old memories and swelling pride in Palo Alto as the Super Bowl approaches.