I’m not ready for it to potentially be the last game at Candlestick. That park is a staple in this city, and it represents so much. I’m not really ready to see it end, and I don’t think I will be when it’s over.
Eric Wright doesn’t just share a name with one of the best cornerbacks in San Francisco 49ers history, he too became a 49er this season. Wright didn’t just root for the 49ers as a kid, he grew up within walking distance of Candlestick Park in the Bayview-Hunters Point district.
Wright was on the field for three snaps during Monday night’s 34-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons, including the final play of the game. After the clock expired, the scene on the field looked pretty similar to what one would see after a normal game. Well, other than several people feverishly putting together a stage near the north end zone for a farewell ceremony emceed by Chris Berman.
Most of the players walked toward the locker rooms after some handshakes and short conversations. A few of the game’s prominent players from the winning team conducted impromptu interviews, and the Christian players gathered at midfield for a postgame prayer.
Wright walked slowly from the end zone where Tramaine Brock intercepted Matt Ryan’s final pass. At the 33-yard line, he stopped took a knee. There he remained for two minutes, collecting his thoughts.
Then he got up and walked over to a bench on the 49ers sideline, where he sat by himself for two more minutes while removing tape from his fingers.
“I just wanted to take it all in. The reality of the situation is once I leave this locker room, there’s a possibility that I won’t be back in here ever. I just wanted to spend a little extra time out there and definitely enjoy the fans that actually stayed outside as well. So, just feel the energy and just pay my respects,” said Wright.
“It was a great opportunity just to be a part of history. Growing up here, I literally grew up blocks from here, so this stadium means a lot more to me than a lot of people. It’s just one of those things. You’re happy to have a movement to sort of a better arena so they say, a new arena, but nothing can take away what the Stick means to our city.”
You can check out my full interview with Wright in the video below, where after playfully covering my camera with his hand he talked about becoming a pretty prolific blogger before I asked him about what ended up being a pretty emotional night for everybody. However, even though Wright has only been with the 49ers for a short time, he was probably affected more by the chance to play in the last game at Candlestick Park than any other current player.