Anthony (Tony) Sapena, 71, is a born and bred resident of San Jose, CA and a true lifelong fan of the San Francisco 49ers. Tony dedicated 32 years of his life as an employee of the US Postal Service and twice that amount of time as a 49ers fan. Growing up, Tony would bond with his father over televised 49ers games, which started his passionate following of the team. Unable to participate in sports growing up, Tony got involved anyway he could. In high school, he became the manager of both the baseball and football team and religiously watched sports on TV.
Tony has attended 2 games in his lifetime, one with his father when he was a child, and another many years ago with a friend. He speaks of both games like they were yesterday, as they were true highlights of his life. Today, Tony continues to be a completely devoted 49ers fan. Staff at The Atrium in San Jose claim, “You will always know if there is a game on because Tony will be completely decked out in 49ers gear; he makes sure everyone knows that they are playing.” Tony never misses a game and always watches games until the end, even if the 49ers are losing. This upcoming season, the 49ers are moving from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to the brand new Levi’s Stadium, which is being built 14 miles from Tony’s community in San Jose.
Tony’s “Wish of a Lifetime” was to be able to go inside and watch a 49ers game in the brand new stadium that he has watched being built. On September 28, 2014, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale sent Tony to a San Francisco 49ers game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the premier season of the new stadium. Although it was a true nail-biter, the 49ers were able to pull a win, the final score being 26 to 21. Although Tony’s voice was hoarse for days after the game, he was able to state that his father would be proud he received the opportunity to experience his true Wish of a Lifetime.
Prior to attending the 49ers game, Tony was presented with a 49ers goodie bag at the all residents meeting. Of the several gifts he received, Tony was most excited about his brand new 49ers jersey, which he continued to wear for several days after the game!