With the Bay Area’s embarrassment of sporting riches these days, this kind of conflict is bound to happen. My friends had planned to attend Thursday night’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks weeks ago as a way to reconnect and celebrate our buddy Carp’s birthday. However, all of us follow the San Francisco Giants pretty closely and none of us considered the possibility that they’d be playing in the National League Championship Series.
We all decided to go with the regular season football game in person over the postseason baseball game on television, and I can’t think of a better decision I’ve made in the past month or two.
I had planned to bring my AM/FM walkman into the game, and of course I forgot. Candlestick Park — like AT&T — is pretty much a reception-free zone. My phone was completely useless, which meant I had to get updates on the Giants/Cardinals game from everyone else around me. As the evening progressed and the Cardinals pulled away, being updated became less of a concern.
Here are some things I was aware of about the 49ers’ 13-6 win over the Seahawks while I was sitting in Section 7, Row T:
- Justin Smith was wreaking havoc to the point where it seemed like we were watching a game he played last season.
- I’m not sure if Matt Millen entered into his mind on Thursday, but Patrick Willis looked like he wanted to prove something to someone.
- From behind the opposite end zone, Smith’s interception looked absolutely pathetic, almost as if he handed the ball to Brandon Browner.
- Not a lot of Colin Kaepernick.
- Ted Ginn was feeling frisky.
- Jim Harbaugh cares as much about point spreads as he does about making reporters’ jobs easier.
- Near the end of the game, Brandon Jacobs came out on the field and then ran off in favor of Kendall Hunter before the 49ers broke their huddle.
- No players seemed to be wearing pink on the field, for whatever reason.
Here are some things I didn’t know until I got home and checked out the box score:
- Frank Gore had 131 yards rushing and Marshawn Lynch ran for 103 yards. If you would’ve asked me to guess those totals while walking through the parking lot back to our cars, I probably would’ve said 70 and 60 yards, respectively.
- Russell Wilson completed 9-of-23 passes for 122 yards. I knew the 49ers made things difficult for Seattle’s passing game, but that’s domination.
- While I noticed Ginn’s punt returns, the Seahawks relative lack of return yardage went completely ignored by yours truly. Seattle was unable to return even one of David Akers’ kicks, and Leon Washington returned two punts for a combined total of only 5 yards.
- Vernon Davis didn’t catch one pass? That can’t be right.
Part of me wondered whether I made the right choice in going to Candlestick Park today instead of going into hyper-DVR mode and watching the best possible angles of both games. Watching the 49ers’ pass defense confuse and harass Wilson was a great reason to get out of the apartment. Missing Tim Lincecum’s regression back to 2012 Lincecum was a nice bonus.
But after the game, while standing in a dirt parking lot and throwing a football around with three old friends for the first time in I don’t know how long as the cars around us slowly cleared out, I knew there was no place I’d rather be.
That being said, a Barry Zito miracle (#RallyZito?) on Friday evening would be nice.