Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vulture's amazing Thanksgiving adventure

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a minute knows that the Vulture loves him some 49ers. The 49ers have been my team since I was 12...not to put too fine a point on it, but that's a LOOOOOOOONG time ago.

The past few years have been cruel ones for 49ers fans. Okay, make that the past 8 years. But this year is different. This year the Niners are good. REALLY, REALLY good.

I was looking forward to watching the 49ers-Ravens game on Thanksgiving because (a) the Ravens are a dominant team, (b) good teams get better by facing other good teams, (c) there are TONS of Ravens fans in Frederick, what with it being equidistant from Baltimore and Washington. You know, bragging rights and all that.

So imagine my shock, bordering on catatonia, when my brother-in-law, a Ravens season ticket holder since the team came to B'more in 1996, surprised me with an invite to go to the game with him while we were at his home for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone in the family knew he was going to surprise me with the ticket, meaning that (a) they're very, very good at keeping secrets, and (b) I can't trust a one of them. [/kidding]

You have to understand how huge this was for me. I hadn't seen the 49ers play in a regular season game in-stadium since the early 70's. During the team's glory years, when I still lived in Sacramento and could have, in theory, gone to the 'Stick and seen the team, a combination of (a) every game was a sellout, and (b) I was poor, conspired to make that impossible. Needless to say, I was CISED to see my boys in person in a year when the team is actually really, really good again.

It's hard to describe the atmosphere. Unless you've been to a game at M&T Bank Stadium, you can't imagine the electricity of that place. Ravens fans are as rabid as any in the NFL, and they're rabid without being assholes like the fans in Philly.

The 49ers lost the game, 16-6, but it was tied 6-6 at the start of the 4th quarter. Two factors contributed to the loss. The short week left little time to prepare to face one of the premier defenses in the NFL. And an injury to starting guard Adam Snyder meant that human turd Chilo Rachal had to play. Rachal's penalty for chop block (technically assessed against Frank Gore, but Gore engaged first before turd-boy fell on the Raven player) negated a 79-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Ted Ginn. And Haloti Ngata played turd-boy like a fiddle. The offensive line was overwhelmed -- especially once the Ravens took their final lead -- and surrendered 9 sacks.

It was so great to see my boys in person, even in defeat. We went toe-to-toe with one of the NFL's best teams on one of the craziest home fields in the NFL on a short week. And I got to see for myself, in person, just how good that 49ers defense is.

To see pictures of my excellent adventure, hit this link. Note: the picture at the top of this post is a screen capture from the NFL network telecast of the game. That's right, the Vulture was on the telly, scowling as one would expect from a Vulture.