There is a lot of emotion involved for me this season as it is the final season played at Candlestick Park as the place where much glory was gained for Bay Area sports is scheduled to be demolished next year. I am 23 years old and never got to see Joe Montana take us to the Super Bowl 4 times and win 4 rings. I never saw "The Catch" in 1981. I was four when Steve Young and posse won Super Bowl XXIX, and its safe to say I don't remember much from that game except of what I see on the highlight reels on NFL films. But on that fateful day of January 3rd, 1999, with 8 seconds left on the clock and Terrell Owens catches what seems to have been like an improbable pass from Steve Young, after almost tripping on his own feet, my heart was won over! I was eight years old. I will never forget that moment for as long as I can breathe.
Although like most other kids I grew up watching the Saturday morning Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles, Sundays were always special because I got to see my 49ers. The way the red and gold colors complement each other so well and the way the ball flies with the draft of the Bay Area wind, it was just a wonder to be a part of. Sadly, I grew up with the struggling and turmoil years of the Erickson/Nolan/Singletary era, where there seemed to be no hope for my dreams of a winning season, and the opportunity to witness the marvel of the championship days that I have only heard stories of. Each year I patiently waited and continued to pray that something would turn the team around. When we drafted Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Patrick Willis in consecutive years, I finally started seeing the sparks of brilliance again.
The past 2 years we finally were able to regain that magic that 49ers used to have back in the Golden Days and the winning culture that the Bay Area as been so used to and have taken for granted. When Alex Smith threw the TD pass to Vernon Davis against the Saints in 2011 Divisional game, and the return to the SUPER BOWL last year, I can just feel it knocking on the door. The feeling that I have only dreamed of. We are so close now.
A lot of memories were made in the stadium. A lot of hardship was also endured here. Now with the scheduled demolition of The Stick next year, I cant help but feel a bit emotional and nostalgic. It's the place where I fell in love with the 49ers and the game of football. The place where many of us fans witnessed history. The place where a dynasty was built. The walls and structure of the stadium can be torn down, but the glory and memories can never be taken away.