Barring a miracle, Candlestick Park will host its final major sporting event on Monday night. When the teams walk off the field and the lights go dark, all that will be left are the memories of great teams, great games, triumph and heartbreak.
Like many, I am excited to see the team move into their sparkling new stadium in Santa Clara, but that doesn't mean that I also won't miss The Stick. As a Bay Area native, I was fortunate enough to have been a 49ers season ticket holder from the time I was 12 in 1986 until 2005.
Along the way, I was there for the great comeback against the Saints in 1980, my first 49ers game. I ran across the field to celebrate clinching the NFC West division title when the 49ers defeated the Giants in the 1981 regular season, a piece of the turf sat in a pizza box in our garage for almost 10 years.
Who can forget the phantom sack of Jim Everett in the 1990 NFC Championship Game, or the amazing play by Ronnie Lott to break up a deep Everett pass earlier in that game? Remember the euphoria of finally beating the Cowboys during the 1994 regular season, and then jumping out to a quick 21 point lead against them in the Championship game at the end of that year? How about the Catch II by Terrell Owens to defeat the Packers or the crazy comeback to defeat the Giants? I was lucking enough to have witnessed many of the biggest moments in NFL history.
Along with the amazing triumphs, I will never forget the heartbreak I felt walking out of that stadium following the loss to Minnesota in 1987, or in January 1991 when the Giants ripped our hearts out and took away the 3-peat.
For me, the biggest moment may have come during an otherwise meaningless regular season game on October 24, 1993. The 49ers beat the Cardinals 28-14 that day. No big deal, they were supposed to do that. What makes that special is that I was on a date with a girl from college. It was our first date. Little did I know where that would lead.
During this preseason, that girl and I would go back to The Stick one last time, only this time we had 3 young boys with us making their first trip to a 49ers game.
Please take a minute to share your memories of Candlestick Park.
By Jack Hammer
By: DougDate: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 7:08 PMComment: My family had season tickets from 1979 until 1998. We were there for everything from "The Catch" to beating the Cowboys in the NFC championship game that ended their three peat attempt. Some of the best times I ever spent with my father were Sundays at Candlestick. He is gone now and soon Candlestick will be too. I'm sorry to see it go because of all of the great memories but it's time for something new. Thanks for all of the great memories!
By: Jeanette RamosDate: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 12:31 PMComment: I have been a fan since I was 10 and now at 50 still a fan an have only been able to watch the games on TV. I'm sorry to see the Stick close forever. I have always wished for to be able to a game now I don't know if that will ever happen I am disabled. I represent team at all times. I'll see you Monday nite go my mighty 9rs I'm sending all my love to you all even the coaches. Your forever fan til death. From Jeanette Ramos Clovis Ca.
By: StewartDate: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 9:47 AMComment: I've been to a couple games and they have all been memorable in their own way. 2011 vs. the Steelers on MNF when the power went out twice. Frank Gore going for over 200 yards against the Seahawks in 2006. Jerry Rice's retirement ceremony at halftime in 2006 and him catching one more TD from Steve Young. I got to see Owens grab the popcorn vs. the Packers on a cold wet December game too. Lots of memories, but looking forward to a new chapter at Levi's stadium. I think we will finally have a stadium to be proud of that will provide true home field advantage.
By: MarshallDate: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 10:50 PMComment: Surly if the 'Niners win out to 12-4 they'll host at least a divisional game, no? And if the Seachickens lose their divisional....
By: TracyDate: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 9:40 PMComment: We play Monday Night Football 12/23 Wonderful but heartbreaking night it will be indeed, being a fan for 35 years spending my teenage and young adult years at "The Stick". Have been mourning this loss since the new stadium was approved :-/ GO NINERS !!!!!! THANK YOU CANDLESTICK !!!!!!