San Francisco 49ers 2013 schedule (all times PT)
Week 1: Sept. 8 vs. Green Bay Packers, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 2: Sept. 15 at Seattle Seahawks, 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 3: Sept. 22 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Week 4: Sept. 26 at St. Louis Rams, 5:25 p.m. (NFL)
Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Houston Texans, 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 6: Oct. 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 7: Oct. 20 at Tennessee Titans, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Week 8: Oct. 27 at Jacksonville Jaguars (London) 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Nov. 10 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Week 11: Nov. 17 at New Orleans Saints, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 12: Nov. 25 at Washington Redskins, 5:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 13: Dec. 1 vs. St. Louis Rams, 1:05 p.m. (FOX)
Week 14: Dec. 8 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Week 15: Dec. 15 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 a.m. (FOX)
Week 16: Dec. 23 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 5:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 17: Dec. 29 at Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
The NFL schedules were released, a day that is scheduled at the midway point between when free agency stops mattering and the NFL Draft. As far as an NFL team’s chances for advancement are concerned, the teams on the schedule are of much more significance than the dates and times they’ll face each team, and the lists of opponents came out months ago. The announcement of the full schedule is fun because it allows people to visualize how the season might turn out for their favorite team.
I’m not going to add up flight miles, since this information is only vital to beat writers who have to plan their flights, hotels and rental cars. What should the 49ers and their fans care about?
– Although it’s impossible to predict which teams will be good or bad at this stage, that first five-game chunk of the season looks like it’ll be an absolute grind. The Green Bay Packers will be out for revenge; Seattle’s stadium is loud and the entire city hates Jim Harbaugh as much as Boston hated Roger Clemens after he left the Red Sox; Andrew Luck could be a top-five quarterback next year; playing at St. Louis is always annoying — on a Thursday after playing on the West Coast the previous Sunday makes it even worse; the Houston Texans are really good (on paper).
– The other monster stretch lasts from Week 11 through Week 16. Just getting through those six games relatively injury-free will be a difficult task.
– Week 16 against Atlanta will receive a lot of attention since it’s a rematch of a competitive NFC Championship Game and the last regular season home game at Candlestick Park. We’ll see if winning that game could earn the 49ers the right to play one more game at The Stick … in the playoffs.
– The 49ers will be on national television five times: at Seattle, at St. Louis, vs. Houston, at Washington and vs. Atlanta. One would have to assume that if they finish 3-2 in those games they’ll have a pretty successful season. If they finish 4-1, they’ll be competing for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Where or where would the best 49ers roadtrip be?
– Now it’s daydreaming time. Clearly London would be the optimal choice. Great city, you get a stamp on your passport and there are a ridiculous amount of 49ers fans in England. Turns out all those times when the 49ers were the NFL’s showcase team in the 1980s and they played preseason games at Wembley helped foster a large contingent of 49ers backers in England.
– None of these road cities would be cheap to visit, but London could get ridiculous in terms of price. A plate of fish and chips costs 10 pounds now, which is roughly equivalent to $85. Sad, but true. Also, I’m well aware that some of you can’t leave the country because of … reasons. So how about the best of the rest? Here’s how I’m ranking the destinations, you might see it differently.
7. Unless you have family in St. Louis, traveling out there to watch a game in that ugly dome seems like an awful idea. Next.
Cons: Rams, dome, no real interest in visiting St. Louis
6. Once in my days freelancing for a video game site, a gaming company that made a WWE-themed game paid for me to visit Tampa to watch minor league wrestling matches. Small-time wrestling was surprisingly entertaining live, but nothing else about Tampa was worth going back for.
Pros: Weather should probably be OK
5. I love going to Arizona for Spring Training, and from afar University of Phoenix Stadium looks like something NASA built (I’ve never been inside). It might be nice to hang out in a warmer climate in late December, but I’m not sure if 49ers vs. Cardinals is a compelling enough reason to plunk down money for airline tickets.
Cons: Game might mean absolutely nothing to both teams
4. Why are the 49ers in New Orleans again? Great, great town … but I don’t know if I could handle another 49ers game at the Superdome. Plus, all the women walking around wearing Drew Brees jerseys while drunkenly shouting “WOO-HOO, GEAUX SAINTS” would get old. And don’t ask how I know the locals spell “go” that way when they’re yelling. I just know.
Pros: Gluttony can be fun
Cons: Brees girls, bad memories from early February
3. Tennessee is intriguing. I’ve never been to Nashville, but maybe I’d finally like my first country music song if I stay a few days in a place that’s all about twangy tunes. Seems like a trip to Nashville and a Titans game shouldn’t be all that expensive, but I have no idea.
Pros: Folksy charm
Cons: Name five Titans … not that easy, is it?
2. Seattle is beautiful in September, before you have to deal with stuff like icy rain. The only problem is the locals can’t stand the 49ers, so if you mention where you’re from or who you’re rooting for you might end up getting fed some tainted salmon.
Pros: Great seafood, beautiful scenery, relatively short plane flight
Cons: Seahawks fans aren’t going to be fun to deal with during the home opener
1. The White House. The Smithsonian. Hearing “RGIII” 9,000 times in a three-day span. The city of Washington D.C. is a great tourist attraction that finally has a decent football team. But I’m only choosing this one as my top destination because …
Pros: David Fucillo, the editor of Niners Nation, took a full-time job with SB Nation and moved to our nation’s capital over a year ago. He came back to San Francisco and stayed at our apartment for a week when he covered the 49ers/Rams tie, so now he owes me one. GET YOUR COUCH READY, FOOCH!
Cons: Fooch used to reside in the Tenderloin (he called it the “TenderNob,” but I knew better) when he lived in San Francisco, so he may very well live in a rough part of D.C. I might have to do some further research on this one.