I’ve had the pleasure of attending a handful of 49ers home games in San Francisco this season and it’s not just my team that’s gone through ups and downs over the past four months. Using a cellphone at these games has been hit or miss at best. Slouching against a car, tailgating way out deep in the parking lot there were never any problems. But as we approached the pearly gates with thousands of football fans in top form, the problems began to emerge. Things were especially bad last Monday night. A group of us got split up in the mad dash from the parking lot to the gates and we had to rely on ancient forms of communication (sight and sound) to find each other. No big deal. It’s a football game. There’s no crying in football. If you’ve ever tried to place a call or send a text message in the midst of Monday Night Madness at Candlestick you know what I’m talking about. Right when we arguably needed our phones most (tickets had to be distributed, before yours truly could enter), all of our non-working smartphones made us look pretty dumb. Luckily, we all made it inside without incident and with even more luck the 49ers beat the Cardinals with many incidents on the field.
As has been the case at previous games: dialed calls will drop off without a trace, text messages never get sent, and twitter updates will get stuck in a never-ending spin cycle to nowhere. Not everyone’s experience has been the same I’m sure. But one thing is for sure. Every time I’m up in the seats with a friend who’s frantically trying to check their fantasy score on an iPhone, I can’t help but bust up and say something like: “Don’t even bother bro, just watch the game.” All that new-fangled technology can wait, I figure. It’s almost poetically perfect. This is football. Nothing else matters. Whether it’s due to the thousands of fans trying to update their Facebook status every possession or the virtual no-mans land that is Candlestick, I’ve grown to accept and even enjoy the short reprieve from my phone a few Sundays and one Monday this year. I can’t wait to get back next year to see how things have improved. And I’m not talking about the cell signals, if you catch my drift. Go Niners!