The NFL Really Wants The Raiders To Play In The 49ers' Santa Clara Stadium

Photo Illustration/Rob Nagle
Something doesn't feel right
Like ice cream cones or fish tacos, Raiders fans just don't travel well.

A rash of violence following the Raiders-49ers game at Candlestick Park in August 2011 -- a preseason game, people -- led the NFL to essentially ban the annual trans-bay tilt between the two teams.

The Bay Area's two pro football teams will meet this year, a December regular season matchup at aging and dilapidated Coliseum, not at the 49ers' brand-new $1.3 billion football palace in Santa Clara.

That's an odd choice, but the NFL is boss. And the NFL is hinting even more strongly that the Raiders will indeed play in Santa Clara someday -- but as the home team.

See Also: Donald Rumsfeld Calls Oakland Raiders 'Evil'

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49ers Express: Stockton to Santa Clara Train Caters to Football Fans -- But No Booze Allowed

University of Michigan
All aboard!
In Europe, where the terms "football" and "rail travel" have different connotations than they do here, rail travelers to distant football games might opt to hop the "football special." 

This was a train specially set aside for fans of the road team. And, if the game was lousy, getting there really would be half the fun. Football specials could be parties on wheels (but not for the people stuck cleaning them afterward). 

Now, it seems, the Bay Area will have a football special of its own. Fans of the 49ers living in the Stockton area can now buy tickets for a homegrown football special on the Altamont Corridor Express line

The Niners' debut season in Santa Clara figures to be competitive. And that's good. Because you won't have the opportunity to drown your sorrows on the long ride back to San Joaquin County following a dreary loss. The very first item on the FAQ section -- perhaps this is the most frequently asked of the frequently asked questions -- is "Is alcohol allowed on the train?" 

It is not. 

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49ers' New Levi's Stadium to Offer Vegan Food

Categories: 49ers, Food

Flickr stu_spivack
Tofu torta

Leave it to the San Francisco 49ers to bring tofu eaters and football fans together in one room.

Levi's Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, will offer 14 vegan options and 26 vegetarian items at every game. There will be at least one vegan option at every concession stand, according to Centerplate, the stadium's food vendor.

Thus, One Green Planet, an online green food guide, has now dubbed Levi's Stadium The Most Vegan-Friendly Stadium in the Country.

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49ers-Seahawks Game "Rigged," Claims Much-Viewed Video

Categories: 49ers
That was an obvious hold. How deep does this go?
If YouTube had existed during the era of the Zapruder film, it's likely the American people never would have fulfilled the grand scheme of dearly departed President Kennedy of landing a man on the moon. 

They'd have been wasting too much time on YouTube. 

Well, we've got YouTube now. And we can piss away jaw-dropping amounts of time hatching conspiracy theories about matters far less consequential than assassinating a Commander-In-Chief. 

Nearly 170,000 people -- and counting -- have viewed this turgid, 15-minute video claiming the outcome of the 49ers-Seahawks NFC Championship Game was preordained, and is the latest in a series of "rigged" National Football League contests.  

In summary, wholly unsubstantiated claims that the NFL has been fixing games since the early 2000s are backed up with 15 minutes worth of arrows and freeze-frames of the game. These establish nothing more than the Niners being the recipients of some pretty rough calls, which induced coach Jim Harbaugh to leap around like Baryshnikov on a heated floor. 

The presence of the Illuminati remains undocumented. 

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Seattle Seahawks Flag to Torment Bay Area 49ers Fans

Categories: 49ers, Labor
Coming to a port near you...
Faithful SF Weekly readers may recall a series of stories about a humiliating football-related wager engineered by San Francisco and Seattle's longshoremen, and tied to the fates of their respective football teams.

Well, their team won.

And, since the Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl, too, now San Francisco's longshoremen are obligated to unfurl a massive, 25-foot Seattle "12th Man" flag from atop a 125-foot crane at the Port of Oakland (since the Port of San Francisco long ago ceased to be a functioning cargo center, Oakland will end up bearing the brunt of a San Francentric bet).

Melvin Mackay, the president of the San Francisco ILWU, said he'll hoist the flag as soon as his Pacific Northwest colleagues get him one to hoist. His Seattle counterpart, Cameron Williams, didn't return Sunday night calls -- but, considering the last time a Seattle professional sports franchise won a league title was in 1979, he may have been otherwise occupied. So it's unclear when -- and how -- the 12th Man flag will arrive in Bay Area territory. But, as certainly as jokes about #EsuranceSave30 will be stale by week's end, that flag will arrive -- and fly for a full week.

It has been so ordained. 

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49ers Play Poorly, Lose. And There Was Much Lamenting.

Categories: 49ers
Thumbnail image for jimtaylor-1960-49ers.jpg
During Sunday's NFC Championship Game, Muni took the preemptive measure of pulling cable cars, trolleys, and electric buses off the street in anticipation of riotous Niners fans celebrating a trip to the Super Bowl via destruction of municipal property. 

So, if you're desperately seeking a silver lining to yesterday's tooth-grinding, sphincter-tightening, 23-17 loss to Seattle, there's this: It appears Muni vehicles are no jankier today than they were yesterday due to the actions of idiot football fans or not. 

Well, there's that. 

And yet, watching Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman fulminate like a professional wrestler could induce even the most civic-minded do-gooder to glance about for a municipal vehicle to deface. As can helplessly witnessing the 49ers gratuitously piss away opportunity after opportunity and buckle at the very moment they needed to stand firm. 

Despite three fourth-quarter turnovers, San Francisco was in a position to win this game. Despite transcendently mediocre play, the title was there for the taking. Knowing that makes it ache all the more. But it's not a complex situation: When you play poorly, you tend to lose

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49ers-Seahawks: Longshoremen Make Waterfront Bet

Categories: 49ers, Labor
If things go poorly for the 49ers come Sunday, this pro-Seattle flag may end up fluttering over the Bay Area
Playoff football goes with humiliating bets almost as well as it goes with overindulgence in nachos and beer. In fact, the more nachos and beer you consume, the more likely you are to place a humiliating bet. 

Some bets are so ingeniously humiliating, however, they germinate on their own -- sans nachos, sans beer. Members of the San Francisco and Seattle branches of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have devised a wager that the losers will rue for the rest of their days. 

If not longer. 

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49ers-Seahawks: They Hate Us. They Really, Really Hate Us.

Categories: 49ers
Joe Eskenazi
Who's got it better than us?
There was plenty of car-door slamming in the Mission last night. As the sun rises on this, The Morning After, the barrage of honking horns and high-pitched shrieking appears to be settling to its workaday level.

If San Francisco prevails next week in Seattle, however, your investment in earplugs might prove prescient. The moments following 49ers playoff victories serve as a reminder that, while other teams do capture our hearts in the best of times, this really is the Niners' city. We are always searching for the slightest pretense to stream into the streets and celebrate the team that brought the first and most success to our city -- and whose halcyon years are treasured childhood memories for so many of the jersey-clad folks raising flags and flagons. 

The forthcoming Battle of Seattle will provide backers of the respective teams with everything they could possibly desire: A once-and-for-all matchup between two squads that seem to legitimately despise one other. Even the coaches have a contentious history ("What's your deal?")

For San Francisco fans -- who, like so many San Franciscans, seem to exist in a bubble apart from the nation writ large -- it may come as a shock that enthusiasm for the NFC Championship Game in these parts is matched by enmity in nearly all other parts.

To those out-of-towners agonizing over a San Francisco-Seattle Conference Championship matchup, let us direct you to the word off wisdom -- just one was sufficient -- uttered by erstwhile Niners coach Steve Mariucci: 

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49ers Fans Celebrate, Stay Away from Emergency Room

Categories: 49ers, Health
Thumbnail image for 49ers van.jpg
This vehicle, and its passengers, managed to stay healthy
Phil Dawson's kick sailed a few inches to the right of Davon House's outstretched arms and a few inches to the left of the right upright.

Ballgame. Niners win. The howls reverberated off the corrugated iron ceiling of the bar and the red-and-gold clad revelers took it outside. Libations were imbibed. Nicotine was ignited. Horns honked and flags waved. It was a party, all right.

But it wasn't the sort of party that landed participants in the Intensive-Care Unit -- one of those memorable nights that no one can remember. Rachael Kagan, spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital, reports that no pre-, during-, or post-game football celebrants ended up in the Emergency Room.

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49ers-Packers: Wild-Card Matchup May Be Colder than "The Ice Bowl"

Categories: 49ers
Niners-Packers Sunday Tilt May Be Coldest Game of All-Time

It is, without exaggeration, a poignant and rose-tinted bit of nostalgia from every American boy's childhood: grainy footage of beleaguered men, grimacing behind the voluminous clouds of steam billowing through their two-bar helmets and into the air above.

Always, always in slow motion. And the voice. The Voice of God.

The booming baritone of NFL Films narrator John Facenda, a man who spoke in all-capital letters, is one of the most- and worst-imitated voices of all-time. And no phrase of his utterance has ever been imitated more -- and more badly -- than THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAMBEAU FIELD.

That phrase has grown so ubiquitous, it's easy to assume that, like frozen tundra, it was always with us. But no: It's a relatively youthful artifact of 1967. On Dec. 31 of that year, the Dallas Cowboys met the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game, played atop -- wait for it -- THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAMBEAU FIELD.

That game -- or at least the description of the field -- has been immortalized. It is, forever after, "The Ice Bowl," and with wind-chill pushing the temperature from negative-13 to negative-48, it is acknowledged as the coldest NFL game yet played.

But all that may change. Sunday's Wild-Card matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers at THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAMBEAU FIELD may be colder still.

How cold?

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