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Billings 49ers fans excited for Super Bowl

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Posted at 1:52 AM, Feb 09, 2024

BILLINGS - The Billings Niners Faithful meet at Craft B & B to watch their favorite team.

The club started about two years ago with just about four people, but now it has grown.

One of the founders of the club has a superstition so on Super Bowl Sunday, he's going to be wearing his special attire with his authentic helmet and some other 49ers memorabilia.

Those fans celebrated during 49er comeback victories against the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions in the playoffs.

“That's why we're called the Faithful,” said Lukas Seely, one of the club’s founders. “Win, lose, or tie, Niner till I die.”

Seeley says Billings Niners Faithful has been approved by the team and is the only 49er Faithful group in Montana.

“There are so many Niner fans in Billings,” Seely said. “So it's really awesome. We get new members every week during the season.”

The club started with fewer than 10 when Seely asked if 49er watch parties could be held at Craft B & B and now it has more than 100.

“During the 49ers game, you're lucky to get a seat in here,” said Dallas Sluder, operations manager at Craft.

Sluder is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, but he also roots for the 49ers along with the 49er Faithful.

“It's great,” Sluder said. “It's amazing. That's something. We're just lucky to be a part of it, to be honest. We're super thankful. We love our guys. We love our group of people that come in here.”

Seely's fanaticism started during the 1988 season when he watched football for the first time, a 49ers 20-16, win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.

“I just remember the feeling of I hope they're going to win,” said Seely. “And they have that comeback drive. I was hooked after that.”

Seely does stand-up comedy and he has a connection with the 49ers.

He worked with a team on his Faithful Forecasts that appeared on the big screen at Levi's Stadium

“It was fun,” Seely said. “It was a really cool experience. It was a dream come true, honestly. I'm not that good at playing football. I wish I could have played for the 49ers. But that was the closest I ever got.”

He didn't back then and he hasn't written anything now to make fun of the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We're not going to say anything bad about the Chiefs,” Seely said. “Just going to keep quiet.”

This season, he returned to a 49ers game with about 60 fans from Billings.

“It was really cool,” Seely said. “Right before halftime, they put up all ‘Welcome Billings, Montana Faithful.’ Right there. It's just like, oh, it's dope.”

Some fans have their superstitions and have their game-day attire ready.

“I just always wanted a helmet,” Seely said about his authentic 49ers football helmet. “I saw somebody wear one at one of the games long time ago and I'm like, Dude, I need one of those. Undefeated in this jersey. Even though we're wearing white in the Super Bowl, I'm wearing this jersey.”

“All sports fans are welcome,” Sluder said. “But just be ready. If you're a Chiefs fan this weekend and you show up, be ready to be swarmed by a sea of Niners.”

“Go Niners,” Seely said.