The Experience Of A Lifetime
January 5th, 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Well everyone, Iím finally back from my vacation, and as Iím sure you all figured out by now, I was unable to update the site as it was simply not cost feasible. It was a good thing I put the site into Ďauto-pilotí before I left. But now that Iím back and the site is up and in full working order, I figured this would be a great opportunity to recount my first trip to Candlestick / 3Com / Whatever-they-name-it-next Park.
Traveling across international boarders and across the North American continent was a long and boring trip. And waking up two days in a row to get to San Francisco at 4 AM local time is always grueling on the body - especially when you are up until two the night before updating a website. But when it was all said and done, seeing the 49ers and Eagles square off was definitely a highlight of my soon to be 20-years of existence.
My father and I arrived in SF at about 8 AM. Awed by the size of the SF International Airport we somehow found a taxi that would take us down to Pier39 (After-all we had some time to kill). Despite the downpour and never-ending drizzle - I was already in 9ersí Heaven. I had never seen so much 49ers merchandise in such a small area before. As my eyes glossed over I fought to keep control limiting myself to just a few souvenirs - and an ice cream cone.
We made it to the game very early on the Saturday morning - about 11 AM for a 2 PM start. I attempted to find Tank (A faithful member of the Paradise Forum) amidst the thousands of tailgaters - and was disappointed after walking through the parking lot unable to find his truck. It was ok though - my feet would have gotten wet one way or another - and while I was disappointed not to find him - there was still so much to look forward too.
My ultimate goal was to get onto the field and meet a player or two. This dream is normally unrealistic but I was given the name of a Public Relations Representative from a friend - and thus was determined to try. I made my way through to the entertainment entrance where I was able to contact him. We met - and unfortunately he was unable to get me on to the field. I wasnít too disappointed, after all from where I stood, the field was only ten feet away - and I got to see the team warm up from up close.
Before the National Anthem we made our way to our seats, located on the home right corner, and got ready for a great game. While watching I instantly bonded with some 9ers fans seated around me. It was truly overwhelming.
By far the highlight of the whole experience was watching the 49ers top the Eagles seven times from the goal line. Truly one of the best defensive efforts Iíve ever seen - and to be their live - amidst all the noise and cheering was truly powerful.
I will never forget seeing Terrell Owens catching a touchdown so close to me. And I will most definitely never forget my first 49ers game. And so I apologize for being away on vacation, and thus unable to update my site. But clearly, I had good reason - so thank you for staying faithful to 49ers Paradise. If anyone wants to know more about the game feel free to email me. Iíll have some photoís that I took up soon too.