Yesterday, I had the fortune of attending my first San Francisco 49ers game since January 7, 1995. As a fan whose 49er roots go back to my childhood, that’s almost too embarrassing to admit. My grandfather used to actually work at both Candlestick Park and the Cow Palace, so I went to events at each venue throughout my childhood. Since the Giants final season at Candlestick in 1999, I hadn’t stepped foot in The ‘Stick.
On the drive to the game, I could clearly recall my Candlestick memories I had from my childhood. I remember my increased heart rate as we would drive to the parking lot and just look at the outside of the stadium. Then the increased enthusiasm as we passed through the turnstiles. Then, the overwhelming anticipation of walking through the concourse knowing of the splendor held on the other side of the walls.
Unlike today’s modern stadiums where you can still see the action on the field while waiting in line for concessions, that is impossible at Candlestick. In fact, there are rather large doors you have to open to go from the concourse to the stands. I could clearly remember the thrill it was when those doors opened and I got my first glimpse of the sun-drenched greenness of the field of play. My heart would practically leap out of my chest. I got that thrill every single time I went to that ballpark.
It was a spectacular day. The temperature was perfect. Very little wind inside the stadium. And when a gust would come by, it actually felt good. The game was very good as the 49ers, a far cry from their glory days of the 80s and 90s, played a very good game against a woeful opponent. I honestly didn’t care who they played. I just enjoyed looking around the stadium and remembering going there as a child with my dad and/or my grandfather.
Special thanks to my longtime friend (notice I avoided the word “old”) Megan. I’ve known Megan since college days, and we have served together in ministry in years past. She now lives about 30 minutes from me, and she generously treated me to one of her family’s tickets. Her family has been season ticket holders for about 25 years. Even though the 49ers of this generation are a far cry from their heyday, those tickets are a prize commodity, often passed down from generation to generation.
It was a perfect day. The 49ers won 31-13, the seats were awesome. I wasn’t about to leave mine for anything until it was time to go home.
Below is a link to the pictures I took at the game, followed by another link to pictures I took of Megan’s new puppies and their mother.