This past sunday, Isaac and I joined Jerry Rice at Candlestick Park for the 49ers and St. Louis Rams game. Talk about a day for the books. Let me give you a little run down on one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced…
Isaac and I carpooled from the North Bay down to Candlestick Park on Sunday morning. We planned to meet around 8:30am in Vallejo so we could give ourselves a comfortable amount of time to drive, find parking, explore the area. This was my first time going to a 49ers game (I know, how pathetic. A 49ers fan who never has seen them play live) so I needed some time to check out the tailgating and the die-hard fans that participate in these weekly extravaganzas. Isaac and I bought some “Farewell Candlestick” banners and picked up our tickets at will-call. Jerry told us to get there around 11:00 because we would be able to get down on the field… I think we got there no later than 10. We did NOT want to be late for this day. When we got inside the gates, we were directed to the entrance for the field. Our passes allowed us to walk right onto the sidelines and soon we met up with Jerry. He greeted us so warmly and immediately we were thrown into the midst of pictures and now it was “Team Rice” mode for us.
Over the next couple hours we were introduced to Jerry’s girlfriend, took lots of pictures, watched the 49ers warm up and even shake hands with some amazing players like Colin Kaepernick. It was so amazing to see these talented NFL players come over to Jerry, Isaac and me and see them interact with Jerry. you can see they hold him with such great respect. He is an idol to even the most talented NFL players on that field today. Away from the field all you heard the whole day was “Jerry! Jerry! Over here! We love you!”. The fans were going crazy to see the most decorated NFL and 49er wide receiver live in Candlestick Park. Jerry is a very humble man, he signed so many autographs, hugged so many fans and received their cheers with warmth and appreciation. It was a really fun thing to see up close and in person.
After Jerry participated in the coin-toss as the Honorary Captain of the game, we moved from the 49ers team bench up to our seats for the game as the game started. As we passed the south end-zone, the crowd was going wild. “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!!” Every 49ers fan knows that chant in their sleep and the stands were just shaking. Here we were in the midst of this pandemonium and I was just soaking it all in. What it must feel like to be absolutely loved by a city, never forgotten, remembered forever for what you have achieved, for the happiness you have given so many people for your handwork. It was amazing to see this, I will remember this day and this specific moment forever and ever.
We had amazing seats in a north stadium box and we had a great view of the entire field. Isaac and I were just in awe of this entire day and it could not of gotten any better. (The 49ers won, so it did get better!) At the end of the game, Jerry acknowledged the crowd sitting below us and they just started cheering and cheering for him. The game was still going on and it was quite hilarious to see the entire north side of the stadium looking up at us and not paying attention to what was happening on the field. I think Coach Harbaugh was even looking over!
So, needless to say, this day was absolutely surreal and I am so thankful Jerry wanted to share it with Isaac and me! I would love to repay the favor one day and include him on an “Emily Talley Appreciation Day”, so I have a lot of work to do! Time to go break some records!
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I am back in snowy Colorado for a couple days before heading to Florida on Saturday. Thank you all for your support of my golf and also my fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! We are close to reaching $1,000 to donate. I am truly thankful for all of your help!