The 49ers will almost certainly never play at Candlestick Park again. It’s a sad realization that washed over us when the Seahawks went up 20-3 over the Rams, who had already notched their biggest win earlier in the day when the Redskins lost to clinch the No. 2 overall pick … which goes to the Rams as part of the Robert Griffin III trade.
The sentiment over the end of Candlestick’s run has been a little overdone at times, which is why so many have been quick to point out all the things that made The Stick a rough place to watch sports. Sure, it was pretty frigid at Candlestick during months when it’s not supposed to be all that cold in the United States. The concourses were often crowded, the parking lots flooded, the food options limited, the waits for the bathroom prolonged.
But there’s nothing wrong with the field.
There used to be. Remember the days when prior to playoff games they’d fly groundskeeping guru George Toma in to see if there was any way to salvage the 49ers’ soggy, stinky turf? It didn’t matter what they tried; in the end it would turn into some muddy substance that approximated grass, and CBS (later Fox) would spend at least five minutes of their game broadcast showing photos of various cleats (“Got to go with the 3/4-inch ones!”) and guys changing their cleats on the sidelines because they slipped and fell on their sides during the previous play.
It’s different now. I’m not sure what the drainage situation is these days, and maybe the lack of a baseball team makes the field easier to maintain. Plus, there hasn’t been much rain at all over the past year. But the current condition of the field is great. And when I walk across the field after games, trying to avoid getting flattened by behemoths like Glenn Dorsey or Mike Iupati who happen to be walking by, I always have one thought: how much fun would it be to play a game on this field?
Sure, you could play a game anywhere, but where else could you reenact “The Catch”? And even if you played a football game at Candlestick after it rained, so what? Some of my best memories were made during games of mud football, where you tackle each other clumsily and slide for 10 yards, ruining your clothes in the process.
Candlestick gives tours, but I’m not sure if they rent the place out to people for a day of all-purpose use. They let a woman pose as a mascot with Sourdough Sam, so maybe if I enter my football fantasy with Visa (and apparently I’m eligible, which was kind of surprising) I should shoot for the moon:
- All-day use of the field and 49ers locker room (no need to use the visiting locker room, because it sucks)
- Goalposts stay up, because I’m probably going to want to spend at least 20 minutes trying field goals
- 49ers uniforms (no helmets or pads, though — me and my friends don’t need to Hitner each other)
- Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh serve as all-time QBs, since I might as well shoot for the moon here and Harbaugh could coach us into being not-totally-horrible football players … maybe
I’m seriously going to enter this as #MyFootballFantasy. If I win, who’s with me? No joke, if you “RSVP” in the comments you’ll be invited to play in my Candlestick Park pickup football game if my idea somehow gets chosen.
Want your football fantasy fulfilled? Here’s how to enter:
– Key entry details: Enter at vi.sa/ENTER_INF04, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, submit fantasy (up to value of $100K) and #MyFootballFantasy @Visa. Use Visa to enter OR mail-in with No Purchase Required – 18+ US resident. Judged on creativity, Visa’s & NFL’s brand image, match-to-theme & ability to fulfill. Thru 2/2/14 at 12 am. 1 entry per person. http://vi.sa/RULES_0908t1
– (Disclaimer): I am blogging/posting on behalf of the Visa #MyFootballFantasy Campaign and receive compensation for my time, but the thoughts, words, and promotions on this page are mine, not Visa’s.