San Francisco 49ers’ Playoff Hero Robbie Gould Sends Warning to Complacent Rams Fans Ahead of NFC Championship Game: ‘We’re Going to Turn It Into Levi’s South’

The San Francisco 49ers and their fans have taken over SoFi Stadium in the past, and they’re hoping to do it again this weekend for the NFC Championship Game. The Los Angeles Rams are trying to avoid that, and they’re doing everything they can to hold onto a precious home-field advantage in the biggest game played at SoFi to date.

Still, 49ers kicker and playoff hero Robbie Gould has faith that the Faithful will be out in droves. Rams fans have no room to be complacent for this one.

San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould sends a warning to the Los Angeles Rams 

Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers
Robbie Gould #9 of the San Francisco 49ers kicks a field goal in overtime against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium | Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The kicker is not often making headlines before a huge game, but Gould is no average placekicker. He’s the hero of San Francisco’s walk-off win at Lambeau Field last weekend, and he’s a perfect 20-of-20 kicking in the playoffs over his legendary career.

He’s got ice in his veins, and he’s not afraid to show it.

Heading into the title game against LA, Gould sent a warning to the Rams that could also act as a galvanizing call for his fanbase.

“I hope to see a sea of red out there,” he told Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC “We’re going to turn it into Levi’s South.”

There’s a history behind Gould’s comment, though it’s not necessarily ancient. 

The 49ers and Rams met up in Week 18 at SoFi Stadium with everything on the line for the away team. The 49ers needed to win in order to get into the playoffs, and for a while, it looked like they were going to be bounced. From down 17-3 at halftime, the 49ers roared back to force overtime where Gould hit what ended up being the game-winning field goal. 

It was clear that even though the Rams were the home team, no home-field advantage existed in that contest. The entire bay area seemingly traveled down I-5 south to cheer the 49ers into the playoffs, and they were so loud that they impacted the game.

That’s what Gould and the 49ers are hoping for again, but this time a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line. 

The Rams are trying avoid a repeat of their last meetup with the 49ers

Sean McVay, LA Rams
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams during warm up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium | Harry How/Getty Images

Even Rams head coach Sean McVay had to admit that San Francisco’s fanbase essentially stole LA’s home-field advantage in Week 18.

“They made it difficult where in a lot of instances, you’re kind of absent of your verbal communication. If they get as loud as they were when our offense was on the field — in certain parts of the field it was really noisy,” McVay said, according to NFL.com. “It was really difficult to operate.”

With so much on the line in the NFC title game, McVay and the Rams are doing everything they can to hold on to any advantage they can find at home. 

When tickets for the game initially came out, there was a restriction on who could buy them. You couldn’t buy tickets unless you were a resident of the greater LA region.

“Residency will be based on credit card billing address at checkout,” a Ticketmaster notice alerted any potential buyers.

That restriction is no longer in place, but that hasn’t stopped the Rams from actively trying to keep their fans engaged.

Kelly Stafford, wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, bought a “good amount” of tickets to give away to Rams fans. In a move you don’t often see by the home coach, McVay also took time out of a press conference to plead with his fans not to sell their tickets. He didn’t come out and say it, but we all know which fanbase is buying those things up, and it’s not the ones wearing blue and yellow.

“Hold onto those tickets and it’ll be much appreciated,” McVay pleaded earlier in the week. “But our guys are looking forward to putting on a good show against a great opponent. Can’t wait to be able to do it and don’t sell those tickets!”

The 49ers are leaning on the Faithful for one more takeover

San Francico 49ers Fans
San Francisco 49ers fans celebrate after the NFC Wild Card game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys | Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s nearly 400 miles to travel from the bay area to LA, but the 49ers have a fanbase that travels well. It also helps that they’re everywhere.

The Rams may be the home team in LA, but they’ve only been in town for the newer generation for a few seasons. San Francisco, on the other hand, has been operating since 1946. They’re one of the iconic teams in the NFL, right up there with the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.

You don’t stick around for that long as a franchise without picking up fans across the country, especially with five Super Bowl wins under your belt.

“Faithful, they travel tremendously,” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “It’s not just something that you could put your finger on and you can’t see specifically, but you could feel it, you could hear it. And our team responds well to that. Hopefully, the Faithful will be out there loud and proud. I know they’re trying.”

The game on the field will be orchestrated by two great minds, McVay and Kyle Shanahan. It will feature superstar players like Matthew Stafford, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, and Deebo Samuel, among others.

The game off the field and in the stands is going to be equally as important to this matchup, though, which is a unique wrinkle in a game with so much at stake.

LA fans have never been known for their great passion for NFL football. They’ve got beaches and Hollywood to distract them, after all. If not that, it’s the Lakers and Dodgers. Even USC will steal some eyeballs. It’s a tough pro football town. 

There’s a reason the franchise took off for St. Louis in 1995. In a town where everyone is trying to be seen, it’s hard to get attention. 

The Rams are asking for it ahead of the biggest game of their season. The 49ers are hoping their pleading will be drowned out in a sea of red.

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. Contract information via Sportrac.

RELATED: George Kittle on What Makes the San Francisco 49ers Dangerous in the Playoffs: ‘This Is a Gritty Team. It’s a Salty Team, and We Just Keep Bouncing Back’