I was a bit nervous today as my friends and I rode the BART into San Francisco. My Tampa Bay Buccaneers were favored in today’s game, but how would they respond to that pressure? Which Niner team would take the field today? My team’s playoff hopes are much more precarious than the Niners. Even with a loss today, the 49ers would still be closer to the playoffs with a 3-7 record than my Bucs at 7-3. It is unfair, but that is how things are.
It did not take long to figure out that the Buccaneers were the better prepared team today. Niner fan! Running Back Frank Gore was limited today. A Bucs run defense that gives up miles of yards was there to be ran all over. The Niner coaching staff did little to change up their plan of attack. I saw a frustrated Frank Gore on the sideline. Nothing they ran against the Bucs amounted to much. One of the few passes Troy Smith threw was intercepted and returned to the five yard line. The chorus of boos from the crowd signaled the end of the Honeymoon Troy had with the fans. One Niner fan sitting next to us commented that this was the worst team he has seen in a while. Wow! There is talent on the team, so maybe the coaches are not getting the most out of what you got.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were good today. They limited their mistakes, and their offense took advantage of their scoring opportunities. It was the Tampa Bay defense that turned in their best performance of the season so far. By stuffing the Niner rushing offense, and getting to the quarterback, the defense held San Francisco to less than 200 yards of total offense for the game. The closest the Niner offense got to the end zone was the Tampa Bay 33 yard line, where they punted. It was a dominating display by the Bucs, who won at Candlestick for the first time since 1980. The win was a shutout, and the Niners were last shutout at home back in 1977 by the Atlanta Falcons 7-0.
I was so happy today. My Bucs are now 7-3, and still a long shot for the playoffs. The Niners fall to 3-7, but can still win the abhorrent NFC West and make the playoffs.
I was beaming through dinner tonight at the brewery. My team won!!!
I sat with Pops and Mr. Pat at Fenton’s Ice Cream shop this evening. We each tackled ice cream treats, and I realized that this may be the last time we take this kind of trip. These two guys have become like my brothers. I share a special relationship with my real brothers in Southern California. Fredo, Esteban and I rarely see each other, and often we go long periods of time without contact. However, when I do see them it is as if we saw each other yesterday. We understand that distance and busy lives happen, and we do not let it affect our relationships. I love my brothers very much, and they know I cherish any chance I get to visit them. Well Pat and Pops have busy lives, as do I. We have Monday Night Football, and an occasional Costco trip. However, we do not get to spend so much time together anymore, and we don’t really keep up on each others’ lives. So these trips have always been an opportunity to catch up, and just hang out and have fun. However, pressure from loved ones will change the dynamic of what we have. Next year there is a good chance more people will be with us. Things will never be the same. We will not have each others’ undivided attention, and other obligations may dictate out schedule. So I write this while I think about all of the trips we have taken, and how much fun it has been to cut loose in a city where people do not know who we are. I am glad I got to show a side of myself to my friends that they do not see very often up in Humboldt. I am happy I got this time to do this, and it was fun while it lasted.
Our last day is tomorrow, and I plan on enjoying every moment. When it is gone, it will be gone forever.