Call it “Redemption”– the 49ers Move On, and I was There to Witness It

69,732 citizens were in San Francisco last Saturday to witness what will most likely be the best sporting event that I will ever see live: the 49ers playoff game versus the New Orleans Saints.

My dad and I had great seats at the 30 yard line, lower deck, 38th row, which created the exact view you see above (no zoom).

It was an amazing 49ers victory (36-32), completely worth the $330 per ticket that I paid to go – incredibly stressful, incredibly emotional.

Quick notes of my impressions of the game:

  • I heard a lot of comments afterwards that the 49ers fans were as loud as they’ve ever been in the past 10 years. It really wasn’t that loud though. It didn’t match the consistency or the aggressiveness (in terms of noise) of a college football game, at least not from my Cal Bear memories of standing up in the student section for all 3 hours and cheering non-stop with the mic men. The crowd roared in bursts for most of the game, though the end sidelines were much more consistent with the cheering. Most people behind me sat down and weren’t too loud. The exception to all this was the last 4 minutes of the game, in which there was a good surge from the crowd.
  • Since the game, there have been articles about how Saints faints were treated poorly. I didn’t see any of it; one of the Saints fans nearby me got a little rowdy himself, and some other 49er fans gave it right back, to the point that ushers told both sides to settle down. As far as I am concerned, people take this stuff way too personal and then try to get into fights and in everyone’s faces about it – almost like religion.
  • Nearly 70,000 fans being energized together watching a big play come together feels like being at the top of the roller coaster just as it begins to drop – even my dad, who is not really an emotional outburst kind of guy, got in the hang of things, high fiving and cheering along by end’s game.

Huey Lewis and the News did the anthem before the game. Sean Kingston did the half time show, which no one cared for. He seemed to “sing” one 10 minute song continuously, and it wasn’t even his hit song, Beautiful Girls.

I finally detagged and wore my Steve Young Mitchell and Ness Jersey. Dad wore an 80’s area Jerry Rice jersey, which I believe may be an authentic as it has a nameplate on the back, not a printed name. #ebayfinds

I think the towel at the lower left says it all.

Ted Robinson, 49ers radio announcer:

“Vernon Davis. With. The. Play. Of. His. Life! Alex Smith. With. The. Play. Of. His. Life! And the 49ers are nine seconds away from playing for the NFC Championship! Can you feel Candlestick!

All this really doesn’t mean much unless the 49ers win it all – I really don’t care about “The Catch II”, and “The Grab” just seems unoriginal. As negative as that sounds, no one remembers losers. Non-49er fans don’t know The Catch II. But everyone remembers The Catch because the 49ers ended up winning the Super Bowl a couple of games later. If the 49ers pull it all off, call it “Redemption”, not just for Alex Smith, but the whole team.

Click to see more photos.

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