Road Trip: 2011 San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush
I like to travel up to the Bay area. San Francisco has a unique vibe and its a cool place to visit with lots of things to see and do. So when I get a chance to visit SF and catch a Niners game, its all good.
Its a new season and I was looking forward to checking out the 49ers Gold Rush. I read that they were getting new uniforms and I wanted to see the new girls on the squad. And added plus was that the Niners were playing the Houston Texans and I wanted to see Texans RB Arian Foster in person…one of my keepers in my fantasy football league.
So how did my weekend turn out? Arian Foster pulled his hamstring, but I got some great shots of the 49ers Gold Rush. See for yourself.
Before I begin our regular coverage of the 49ers Gold Rush, I would like to recognize the Gold Rush Cheerleader of the Day. For those of you who are familiar with my Charger Girl game day reports, you know I like to feature the cheerleader that has given me the best photographs of the day. And in this report, I will continue this trend by recognizing an absolutely gorgeous 49er Gold Rush, who I think is named Taylor. You will have to forgive me because as most knowledgeable cheerleader fans know, a girl’s profile photo taken the day of the auditions looks nothing like the cheerleader after their make over. So, if I have incorrectly named our Gold Rush Cheerleader of the Day, my apologies.
So without further ado, our Gold Rush Cheerleader of the Day.
She kind of reminds me of an uber sexy Anna Paquin, Sookie Stackhouse of HBO’s True Blood fame.
Kick off was scheduled for 5:00 pm, so I knew the lighting was going to be an issue. The game would start in bright sunshine, transition to shade with bright back lit backgrounds, then end in twilight darkness. Not the most consistent or best lighting conditions, but this is preseason and the NFL has made prime time telecasts (back east) a priority these past few years. So be it.
A major issue that I encountered was that there were many people on the sidelines. There were your usual security guards, photographers, TV cameramen, SFPD and other miscellaneous game day management personnel. And there were people wearing suits just watching the game.Perhaps it was because it was a preseason game, but I thought the NFL was trying to crack down on the number of extraneous people on the sidelines. What this meant was that I had some difficulty trying to shoot around people to get clean, unobstructed shots of the Gold Rush. Oh well.
The pregame performance is usually a good opportunity to photograph the Gold Rush…but not today. The crowd of suited sycophants prevented that for the most part. But I did snap a few pics of the girls scrambling from the field after the player intros.
When it was time for kick off, the Gold Rush made their way to the top of the dug outs to perform a dance routine. Now for those that may not know it, Candlestick Park is an old baseball stadium converted to a multi-use facility, but the dug outs remain and the Gold Rush make good use of it.
Another interesting aspect of the configuration at Candlestick Park is that the Gold Rush have more than four primary locations to perform their sideline routines, so that means you have only a short time to shoot each line before they move on to another area.
Midway through the second quarter, the fog started rolling and a chill wind swirled in from the bay. Mark Twain is often attributed to the saying, that “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” He wasn’t wrong, if he actually said it all. It was chilly and the moist fog made is seem even more cold.
So during halftime, the Gold Rush changed out of their cute shorts and into dance pants…ugh. Dance pants are really not that flattering to the feminine form and I really hate to disabuse those people who believe that they do. They are not and should be banned from the NFL and NBA. I’ll say that again to any team directors out there…they should be banned from the NFL and NBA.
But under the circumstance, I can understand why they would do that…although I was wearing shorts myself and suffered through the bitter cold…and I wasn’t even dancing to keep myself warm.
By the start of the fourth quarter, with the game well out of hand and the Texans leading, the majority of the fans started leaving for the exits. I did as well. Because if you have never been to Candlestick Park, you should know that getting out of the Stick can be a nightmare when the game sells out. But for this game, the stadium was only a quarter full. I think many people were either scared off due to the previous week’s shooting in the parking lot (a game against the Raiders, need I say more) or they were attending the San Francisco Giants game down the road, a few miles away.
So that ended my San Francisco sojourn, other than driving back home of L.A. the next day. All in all, a nice little road trip and a first glimpse of the 2011 49ers Gold Rush. I heard a rumor that the Gold Rush will be debuting another new uniform soon, so a return engagement during the regular season might be in order!