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The 49ers have a player-created pre-game ritual that could become in-game tradition moment.

Game traditions are in vogue now with teams looking for repeatable pre-game moments that connect their fans, team, culture and branding.  Many use fans or celebrities in roles that provide a memorable experience.

The Minnesota Wild have long had a celebrity to lead the crowd in a “LET’S PLAY HOCKEY” moment pre-game, and teams like the New Hampshire Fisher Cats have kids say “PLAY BALL” to start every game.

Recently teams are getting more creative, like the Columbus Crew’s new ignite the match moment [Crew Ignite Ritual Lights Up Match].

So when I saw this pre-game ritual from the 49ers, I assume the marketing department had crafted another ritualized moment for the team….

This actually is a tradition born and bred by the team for the team.  Here is the backstory.

Many NFL teams have their own ritual as they walk up the tunnel and onto the field. For the 49ers, a large boombox is perched on the shoulders of Nick “DJ Kray” Kray, signaling that San Francisco is coming. 

On Wednesday during Super Bowl LVII’s Radio Row in Phoenix, Ariz., 49ers star Deebo Samuel shared how the idea to carry a boisterous boombox to the field surfaced and how the team decides which tunes to hype themselves up to on the way to the field. 

“It came about in 2019 when we played the [New Orleans] Saints,” Samuel told FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb on Wednesday. “Roddy Rich had dropped a song, ‘The Box,’ and we were vibing with that that year.

“So we start the season off with a song, and if we lose, we change the song. If we’re winning, the song stays the same until something bad happens.”

But now the palyer-led traidtion hangs in the balance, more from NBA Bay Area Sports:

While the boombox entrance is a sight to behold during the season, San Francisco will have to find a replacement for Kray as he was hired to join former 49ers defensive coordinator and new coach of the Texans, DeMeco Ryans, in Houston.

So perhaps this organic tradition created by the team may become a celebrity-led affair in the future. It would make a tremendous back-story for a fan-facing ritual.

The job is open.  Apply within.

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