SAN FRANCISCO — Many of the New York Giants fans who braved the miserable weather, terrible traffic and the boos and taunts against them as they entered Candlestick Park for Sunday's NFC championship game shrugged it off and took it in stride.
"It's football, baby!" laughed David Lerner, 42, an investment banker from New York City who brought his 16-year-old son, Eric, to watch the mega-match that will send the winner to the Superbowl. They were proudly wearing their blue-and-white Giants jerseys.
"I've had no issues whatever," Lerner said. "He's a big boy and can take it," he said, nodding toward his son.
They are, after all, New Yorkers.
"It doesn't faze me," said Sean Trachtenberg. The 35-year-old and his girlfriend ran a gauntlet of good-natured boos and loud requests that they go back home as they made their way toward Candlestick Park. "I'm from Brooklyn and I've seen it all."
San Francisco police, the 49ers and NFL adopted extraordinary security measures for Sunday's showdown after New Orleans Saints fans complained of verbal abuse, threats and intimidation by some 49er faithful in last weekend's game.
Undercover police were dressed in Giants' garb and on the lookout for nasty fans. Giants' ticketholders were handed a card as they entered the 51-year-old bayside park with details on how to contact police if they feel threatened. More security cameras and undercover police officers were in place to identify abusive fans.
San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said shortly before kickoff that there had been no reports of any serious ugliness against Giants fans amid the sprawling parking lot filled with tailgaters. But any threats, verbal or physical abuse — and they're out.
"There's always going to be a little bit of playing around; this is a sporting event, after all," Andraychak said. "But anybody who is caught crossing that line, being intimidating or using profanity or threatening behavior, they will be ejected from the game."
Joseph Chan, a security usher for the 49ers, said undercover officers were everywhere. He said he hates it when the crowd gets unruly.
"What happened if there was an earthquake? We'd all have to help each other. We all have to respect each other," he said.
NFL security director Jeff Miller told The Associated Press that if the cameras or undercover police catch abusive behavior by fans, they would be yanked from the stadium.
Several New Orleans Saints fans wrote highly publicized letters to the San Francisco Chronicle after last week's game, complaining of being so badly abused they feared for their safety.
"Every 49ers fan, the team and its owners should be ashamed and embarrassed to wear the red and gold today," Don Moses wrote in the letter published Tuesday. "They won the game but are losers in every other way."
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee instructed the police to do whatever it took to make Giants fans feel safe.
Nick Koulouris, who was tailgating with a group of 49ers fans while watching another football game on a flat-screen TV rigged up to a generator on the back of a pickup truck, said he was ashamed of the "lowlifes" who make visiting fans feel unwelcome.
"We're just normal, everyday working class guys out here having a good time," said Koulouris, a plumber from Mountain View, a city just south of San Francisco. "It's just a sporting event, and you're supposed to just have fun; win, lose or draw."
And that's how Joe Derby, 24, of Staten Island, NY, took the shouting at him as he entered the stadium Sunday.
"It's not harassment — it's love," he said, laughing as Giants fans booed him and his friends loudly.