BEN LOMOND -- Adam Allgrove is just about dressed for the game before he even drives into the 49ers parking lot on game days.
Game-issued jersey, game-issued pants, game-issued socks. He wears turf cleats, gloves, sweat bands and a game-worn quarterback's hand warmer around his waist. He even dons a game-worn Wilson towel and carries a Gatorade water bottle for good measure.
Oh and, of course, the 26-year-old Ben Lomond resident tops it all off with shoulder pads and a Niners helmet with protective eye shield to complete the head-to-toe look.
Walking around the Niners' parking lot pregame, Allgrove, out of the white butcher's coat he wears on a near-daily basis at the Ben Lomond Market, might look more like "The Butcher" -- San Francisco middle linebacker.
"Kids sometimes think I'm a real player. Some want my autograph," said the 6-foot-2 Allgrove, who signs his John Hancock as the name that appears on the back of his jersey on game days, "49er Faithful."
The pregame walk-about was an idea Allgrove had after seeing some younger fans wearing jerseys and helmets prior to 49ers home games. It all coincided with a growing 49ers memorabilia collection he had started.
The Niners superfan now gets more out of walking around the parking lot in full Niners gear with friends than he ever did tailgating before games. He takes photos, shakes hands and does his best to get the collective 49ers faithful riled up before kickoff.
In other words, he's the team's unofficial parking lot ambassador.
"Some fans that you see will be really drunk and just want to hit your shoulder pads and smack your helmet," Allgrove adds. "Others fans will actually come up and talk to you and ask you, 'Hey, where'd you get all the memorabilia?' Of course, I tell them, 'From the locker room!'"
Which is mostly true. Much of what Allgrove wears on game days is game issued, meaning it passes the NFL's specifications and was issued to players. It's all part of a collection he began years ago, one that has since grown to include a variety of game-worn items, footballs and photos.
Allgrove said he's spent two to three years collecting memorabilia, spending thousands of dollars (and counting) in the process. His most prized possession? A throwback jersey worn by Jerry Rice from the 1994 season, which he had autographed two years ago by the Hall of Fame wide receiver.
You won't see Allgrove wearing that one on game days, though.
"The attention is fun, but I just like getting people motivated and enthusiastic (for the game)," Allgrove said of his game-day walk-arounds. "It's fun. It gets other people excited, and the more noise (in the stadium) the better. That's the way I see it."
Allgrove doesn't see himself as a superfan, a crazy fan or an ambassador for the team. His older sister April said the best way to describe him simply is faithful.
"He's not crazy or neurotic, but he respects them," said April, who nominated Allgrove for the Sentinel's contest. "At a young age he developed a love for them and the team and today, he's really the only one in the family that has this admiration for the sport."
Where Allgrove's fandom originated becomes hard to pinpoint. The San Lorenzo Valley High graduate never played football growing up, nor did anyone in his family. He remembers watching the 49ers with his grandfather on TV, which was his first introduction to the team.
Still, Allgrove's fandom has never wavered. And as his memorabilia collection grows, so too will his passion for the Niners.
"I don't see myself as their No. 1 fan or even a superfan, just because of the amount of things I've heard from other people "... crazy things about guys from way back that went to games at Kezar (Stadium)," Allgrove said. "A lot of my friends refer to me as their biggest fan.
"But I'm just a fan, and I always will be."