In sports, traditions are sacred, and superstitions common.
Last week, the San Francisco 49ers were treated to Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt and they trounced the Green Bay Packers 45-31.
So this week, they aren’t taking any chances.
Handel’s sent 150 servings of ice cream to the team as they prepare to take on the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC Championship.
“They like butter pecan and Graham Central Station,” said Jim Brown, Handel’s chief operating officer.
Handel’s also shipped chocolate pecan, cherry cordial, Spouse Like a House, Chocoholic Chuck and Oreo.
The ice cream was a surprise to the team last week, Brown said.
“When they made the playoffs, we wanted them to know we appreciate their efforts,” Brown said. “... Last week we sent it out for the team and coaches, and they won and won big. Now we can’t stop. When you got the mojo, you get a little bit superstitious and don’t want to change anything. We felt we can’t leave them hanging.”
The locally owned business feels a connection with the locally owned football team, even though the 49ers are headquartered in California. John and Denise DeBartolo York of Boardman own the 49ers.
The team and ice cream company also both volunteer throughout the Youngstown area and joined forces in the fall to help patients at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in Boardman.
“I’m a firm believer that you should try to help out and take care of your own,” Brown said.
When the team was staying at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, it became common for players to walk across South Avenue to the Handel’s stand.
“I live in an area where you have mostly Browns and Steelers fans, and I’m a season ticket holder for the Steelers,” said Brown, who shares his name with a famous Cleveland Browns running back.
“But we don’t have a horse in this race right now. My goodness, if someone’s looking for a team to get behind there should not be a question. We all should be rooting for the Niners,” he continued.
The specially packaged ice cream should arrive in Atlanta today.