The San Francisco 49ers will are considered the away team when they play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. The last time they played in London was in 2010. They were considered to be the home team against the Denver Broncos. This will be their second trip oversees. Do they have an advantage over the Jaguars?
Let me first mention that the last 49er team to play in London was a far different team than this one. Troy Smith was the quarterback and Mike Singletary was the head coach. The team has upgraded both of those slots in a major way. They did end up winning that game against the Broncos and the crowd was definitely on the 49ers side.
The Jaguars are at a disadvantage in this game because their franchise doesn’t have a history. Why does this matter? It matters because a team with a history of legendary players will be popular overseas because of the big names that they have had. I recall being in London for the 2010 game and some of the people in the city still thought Joe Montana was the quarterback for the 49ers. That being said, I can only imagine the look on their face if someone asks them who Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne are!
The 49ers have a surprising number of fans in London. I have interacted with them both in person and on social media. The teams have a pep rally at Trafalgar Square in Westminster the week of the game. When I was there, the fans came out in droves. All of them had their red and gold on.
Here is a picture that I took from on the field before the 2010 game:
One of the 49ers players, Lawrence Okoye, is from the UK. He is an Olympic medalist for his country. That will draw a lot of people to the game and they will be there in the 49ers colors supporting their home town hero. Okoye had his first individual press conference as a 49er this week.
You can watch it here: LAWRENCE OKOYE PRESS CONFERENCE
Another reason that the fans will be there to support the 49ers is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. He has a history with the UK as well. Tomsula was the defensive line coach for the England Monarchs (1998) and the Scottish Claymores (1999-2002). He was on hand at the pep rally in 2010 and the crowd cheered for him loudly.
Aside from the obvious on-field advantage, the 49ers have the support of the 85,000 fans that will be at Wembley Stadium. The majority of them will be there to cheer on the 49ers.