Ideally, as a 49ers’ fan, you’d spend every Sunday during the fall sitting in your favorite section of Levi’s Stadium enjoying the game with a handful of surrounding Niners fans screaming at the top of their lungs for four hours.
Getting to Santa Clara every Sunday isn't easy unless you’re a season ticket holder or have pockets like Jed York.
Sure, you could go to a bar, but nothing beats being in the comfort of your own home. There’s no waiting in lines for the restrooms or having to worry about paying $13 for a 12 oz domestic beer. At home, you control what’s on the menu.
The energy from the crowd and the overall game-day experience cannot be replaced. There’s something underappreciated about watching the game at home, though — and the reasons why are endless.
I’ll share an extreme example. My dad can’t watch any game when it comes to crunch time and the score is close. So, through the first three quarters or so, he’s Steady Eddie. But once the midway point of the fourth quarter comes and stress levels rise, he heads to the patio.
Then there’s the other side of the spectrum. The fanatics who jump up and down nonstop all game. The fans who can spin the worst moments into optimism. Honestly, I appreciate you.
We can all appreciate watching the game from the confines of our home. So let’s talk about the best parts of “homegating,” as we like to call it.
First things first. What’s your game day attire look like when you’re at home? Are you a superstitious type that has to wear the same combination of jerseys/shorts or tee/joggers every Sunday? Then, when it doesn’t work, ditch that fit for weeks? Weather isn’t an issue. You control everything from the temperature to the lighting.
What’s on the menu?
Maybe you’re a picky eater. Maybe you’re over grill food. One of the beauties about watching the game from your place is that you can eat whatever you want whenever you want.
I’m a carnivore. My game day meal isn’t complete unless there’s some type of chorizo breakfast burrito for a 10 a.m. game, carne asada fries for the afternoon game, or something off the smoker for the night game.
Knowing that everyone doesn’t live off meat, we usually have a table full of appetizers. Football at home isn’t the same without finger food.
Whip up some type of homemade salsa — I’m a sucker for mango. For big games, you can get creative with stuffed mini peppers. I have a daughter, and most of my friends' kids have what we’ll call a “limited palate.” There’s nothing wrong with guac or queso.
As for the drinks? There are no wrong answers. If spicy Palomas are what it takes for you to get through a game against the Lions, then, by all means, do your thing. I prefer sour beers for games when the sun is up.
For night games, whiskey or bourbon remain the perfect combo. However, early games could limit your options for drinking if you’re above being judged.
But again, that’s the beauty of being at home. Nobody has to know you put six ounces of hot sauce in your Bloody Mary or that your mimosa is more of a splash of champagne than an actual 50/50 mix.
I know seltzers took the world by storm during the past year and a half or so. I have nothing against those, as they have their purpose. However, I’d much rather have a drink where I can feel a little buzz that gets me wound up for the next couple of quarters as opposed to having to down five Trulys to truly feel something.
The “homegate” experience is about personalizing those three to four hours for you and the people in your house. As is the case with football, we can all enjoy different aspects of it. It doesn’t matter if you watch the game on mute or have your surround sound so loud that your neighbors are knocking on your door — enjoy a 49er win.