#15 & #42: Eagles at 49ers

I was actually able to knock out two of my 101 goals at once! #15: Go to an NFL game and #42: Come up with a really awesome first anniversary gift for John.

If you’ve been following me, you know that I planned a trip to San Francisco for 4 days to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Well, there was actually a purpose behind this trip (other than just visiting). John’s actual anniversary present was tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Sunday night game.

So, how’d I come up with idea? Well, it actually started about a year ago when we started attending a small group through our church. The couples are all around our age and fairly newly married. One couple had just celebrated their first anniversary and her gift to him was tickets to an Oakland Raiders game. They flew up for the day, went to the game and then flew back home. As they were each telling the story of the gift and the excitement of it all, I began to get an idea. As soon as the Super Bowl was over, I was looking to see when the schedule for the next season would be announced. I was hoping and praying that the Eagles were playing a California team this season because I knew tickets to fly to Philly would not be in the budget. As April FINALLY rolled around, I was unsure I wanted to still do this for his gift. It was going to be an expensive gift, even if we drove, and I had pretty much given up on it. Then, I saw that the Eagles only trip to California happened to fall the weekend after our anniversary. I knew then that I had to get tickets.

After another long 3-month wait until July when tickets became available, I was devastated to find that in order to buy tickets to the October 10 game, I would also have to purchase tickets to another game. So, I panicked a little before realizing I could buy tickets from eBay or something like that. I ended up purchasing the tickets on eBay from a season ticket holder, paid less than I would have if buying directly from the 49ers and was ecstatic when they arrived in the mail (John momentarily intercepted the package which I then promptly took to work so it would be “out of sight, out of mind”). I then began planning our trip and how I was going to tell him about it.

I ended up telling him we were going to San Francisco, but I didn’t mention the tickets at all…until Sunday morning. He knew that the Eagles were in town and I think he was expecting that we were going to go, but by noon on Sunday, he hadn’t seen tickets and I’d given him no indication I had any. He had even checked his closet the morning before we left to see if I had snagged his Eagles jersey so he’d have it to wear for the game (I did grab it, but not until after he had checked for it…minutes before we walked out the door). I laugh about it now because he was pretty grouchy, thinking we weren’t going. While he was in the restroom, I pulled out the jersey and folded it up and placed the tickets on the shirt and put them under the sheets on his side of the bed and waited. When he came back out, the just laid down right on top of everything. I suggested he get under the blankets, but he didn’t want to. Finally, he did and discovered his gift as a big grin spread across his face. He was definitely excited!

The journey to the stadium was quite adventurous. We decided to go up through Oakland, across the Bay Bridge and then south to the stadium. Bad move. Traffic was HORRIBLE getting on to the Bay Bridge. We went about 1/4 mile in an hour leading up to the toll booths, during which time we were rear ended by the car behind us with nowhere to pull over really to exchange information. Awesome. There was very minor damage and we made it to the stadium without any further issues (aside from a grumpy driver). Then, when we tried to enter the stadium, we were told we couldn’t bring my zoom lens inside because it was “too professional.” Umm…what? We scoured the website to make sure we didn’t bring anything in that we couldn’t and it never mentioned anything about camera equipment. In fact, it mentioned camera equipment as something you COULD bring, and didn’t include any qualifiers or exceptions. We had to trek back to the car to put my camera away and they fortunately let John bring his 135 mm lens, so we were able to get some decent shots at the game.

So, now to the fun part with pictures!

Our seats were behind the north end zone, in the highest level, about halfway up. This is the view of the stadium when we first arrived from those seats. We ended up sitting next to a couple from New Mexico. He was a huge 49ers fan (apparently he was “born to be one” since he has never lived in the area and has no relatives who are fans of the team) who had never been to a 49ers game before. Most of the people who were sitting around us, while rooting for the home team, were pretty nice!

It was sunny and warm when we arrived. I wore a tank top and shorts (I did bring a jacket). Bad move. I ended up with John’s jacket on my legs most of the game while he froze (isn’t he a great guy?).

The Eagles making their entrance without any fanfare, and greeted with mostly boos.

And now the Niners taking the field…a band, flags, cheerleaders, smoke and fireworks.

The Eagles kicking off to start the game.

Enjoying the game…the Eagles were ahead most of it. I found it quite entertaining when the crowd started booing their own quarterback because he was sucking so bad. The coach left him in, though, and they did come close at the very end of the game.

I know this may seem like an odd photo to include. I believe it was the San Jose State or Cal Berkeley Marching Band (it was local college night and they had several performing groups from the colleges). John was a band nerd in high school, so he was actually pretty excited about this…though he missed most of it getting food.

The Eagles held on to give the Niners their 5th straight loss this season. Yeah, the fans were not happy about going 0-5. Ouch.

John posing for a photo after the game.

Yes, dear, the Eagles are number 1, at least for one night!

So, that was our NFL game experience. I had a blast, though it really was more about John. I’m a Chargers fan, so I would love to go to one of their games and feel what it’s like to cheer for the home team instead of the visiting team. The trip was definitely a success and John LOVED his anniversary gift, especially since the Eagles won!

The only problem…how do I top this one next year?

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