Why the Raiders Game Mattered

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Leading up to the game, I heard it called the “Toilet Bowl”  and the “Someone’s got to Win Bowl.”  I admit, I got a little demoralized before the game, expecting to watch terrible football with a bunch of silver and black fans with painted faces screaming profanity and being belligerent.  I was so wrong on both counts.  The game was epic!  First of all, Nick Mullens, our 3rdstring QB shined. Of course, we had an advantage that the Raiders didn’t have tape to study.  But he came out strong, showing the hard work he had put in during practice had paid off.  Did you know he literally got verified on Twitter during the game?  Hilarious.  Then we had Raheem Mostert, who is a LOTE supporter, always happy to sign items for us at the 49ers Academy Cocktails and Couture.  He’s a running back – had three huge plays, including a 53 yard run and a touchdown.  Yay!! These two players, once underdogs, had a great game, which reconnected many of us to the team.

I can’t say much for the Raiders, especially their defense (ugh!), but I have high praise for their fans. I think fans of both sides were feeling a bit disenfranchised from our teams before the game.  My husband and I did some tailgate hopping and were frequently welcomed with “Good luck Bay Area” by Raiders fans.  We spread that through the parking lot and to the fans visiting our beautiful stadium.  All were courteous and kind.  Considering both of our records this season, I think we were there for the love of football and not the rivalry.

So, in conclusion, we saw the 49ers dominate, winning 34-3, we cheered for players that we don’t usually hear on the loud speaker who played great and we didn’t lament about our star QB or star RB going out early in the season.  I believe the Raiders were a good comparator to help us define what bad football looks like.  With respect to the Raider nation, your team didn’t look good.  But for that I thank you, because I left that game with new hope for our beloved 49ers.

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Meet Trent Taylor, one of our most talented players. Trent is a wide receiver, who was drafted by the Niners in the 5thround of the 2017 draft.  Trent’s high school and college years were spent in Louisiana where he played football at Evangel Christian Academy and Louisiana Tech, respectively.  Being coached by LOTE supporter, Katie Sowers, Trent has shown he not only has speed and good hands, but has developed agility and grit on the field.  He plays both offense and special teams, but we notice his time playing on special teams has greatly reduced this season compared to the 2017 season.  We suspect this is to protect him from injury, because if you’ve seen his highlight reel of punt returns, you know he’s a beast.

Trent shows his fun side, starring in videos called “Quality Time with Trent and George” (George is George Kittle, Trent’s best friend on the team), a 1-on-1 (although George is there too) with Joe Fann playing Carpool Karaoke, and, of course, doing the Keke challenge.  I found his interpretation to be inspirational, but others on Reddit found it to be “Toomuchsauce”.  Obviously not Niners fans.

Ladies of the Empire got to experience Trent’s fun side at our 2017 LOTE mixer!  By far, he’s one of our most favorite guests.  Arriving with a broken rib, again he’s a beast, Trent entertained his table talking about his love for hockey’s Nashville Predators and golf. We hear he plays poker as a hobby. Maybe someday we’ll see him on ESPN crushing the final table of the World Series of Poker.

His professional career began with the Niners and we hope he spends his entire career with us.  He’s in year 2 of a 4 year contract.  My prediction is that he’ll take us to some Super Bowls where we’ll celebrate our victories and then, a few years later, we all take a trip to Canton, Ohio to see him be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Mark your calendars ladies, Canton 2030 for Trent Taylor, HOF!

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Who has inspired you the most on your path to the NFL and who has inspired you the most in life?

My mentor Bob Sperling taught me how to be a man and how to handle my business at a crucial age, when I was living in Chicago. He helped keep me out of trouble. So he definitely inspires me.

What is your proudest accomplishment on the field and off the field?

My proudest accomplishment so far has to be earning a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. I’m very excited to have a chance to extend my career in a great place.

What was one of the greatest adversities or barriers you had to overcome to get where you are now?

Moving to Chicago from Jamaica was one of the biggest transitions in my life. I definitely experienced some culture shock! It was very hard to adjust to the American school system and my neighborhood in Chicago. I’m glad that I found football, which set me on the path to go to a great school and start a great career.
In your opinion, who is the greatest NFL player of all time? Why? Which play stands out vividly in your memory?
I didn’t watch football as a child, unless you’re talking about soccer! However, I did watch the Bears when I was in high school, and I think Robbie Gould is one of the greats. I’ll never forget his game-winning field goal for the 49ers last season at Soldier Field — it was pretty special to be a part of that.
Off the field, you and Rachel serve the community and have formed your own non-profit Foundation. Could you tell us the name of your organization and describe your mission and vision.
Shortly after I got drafted, I started the Laken Tomlinson Foundation with a goal of increasing access to mental health care services for families in Detroit.

Why is supporting mental health important to you?

I graduated from Duke with majors in Psychology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and my wife is a clinical psychology graduate student. As you might expect, we think a lot about mental health and related issues. Unfortunately, between difficulties with insurance and availability of providers, it can be hard for people in the community to access the care they need. I hope to one day make a difference in this area.
How can LOTE members support your non-profit Foundation?
Look out for us in the future! Hopefully through LOTE we can make connections that help get us closer to our goal.
Name one thing that makes you roll on the floor with laughter.
My dogs always make me laugh. I have two golden retrievers, Douglas and Daisy, and they are both total goofs. Douglas is so sweet but never has any idea what’s going on, and Daisy will absolutely wipe out in pursuit of food. They’re pretty great!
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If you’ve been a 49er fan for any length of time, you’ve heard the story of “The Catch”,  the play that helped the 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC title game of 1982 and ultimately led to the team’s first Super Bowl victory. The player responsible for the catch was Dwight Clark. It is the stuff of legends, a football play that changed the momentum of a game, and went down in history as one of the most famous plays of all times.

We lost Dwight this June, to ALS, a disease he has been battling for years.  The 49ers are honoring this legendary player in a number of ways this season. The most visible is a new statue that was unveiled on Oct 21st at Leviʻs Stadium.  Located near Gate A, it features both Dwight Clark and Joe Montana, frozen in time just as the catch is made.  The statue weighs 350 pounds, and the figures of Dwight and Joe are placed 23 yards apart – the exact distance the two players were at during the famous play.

Next Time you are at Levi’s Stadium, take a moment to wander over and take a look at this epic play frozen in time.

Additionally, for the game against the Rams, Dwightʻs jersey number (87) was painted in the grass of the north end zone.  It was placed approximately at the spot Dwight was at when he made “The Catch”.


Dwight Clarkʻs charity of choice was the Golden Heart Fund, which is focused on providing financial, medical, or emotional support to ex-49ers. They help former players adapt to a life after football.  On November 18th, the Golden Heart Run is taking place at Leviʻs Stadium, to help raise money for the fund.

Here’s a chance to join with other 49er fans to do a 4.9K or a half-marathon in and around Leviʻs Stadium !  There is a kid’s fun run too !  If you’ve every wanted to be down on the field, here is your chance, as the race ends on the 49 yard line, inside the Stadium.  Who knows, you may end up running next to a 49er Alumni!  For tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/49ers-golden-heart-run-tickets-47432397578

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“Dear Cat,

I want to thank you so much for giving me 49er tickets. My dad and I had so much fun! This was my first football game! And for our team to win was just the best. Also the seats we had were perfect, and we were able to see the whole field. The weather was also perfect. I had so much fun. This was a great way for me and my dad to hang out. My dad would also love to thank you for giving us this opportunity to go. He had lots of fun. That day was honestly one of my favorite days this summer, and I want to thank you again for that!

Sincerely,

Lauren Aguilar”

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In his rookie year, 2017, DB Adrian Colbert played in 14 games, racking up impressive stats; 32 tackles, 2 FFs, 1 FR and 5 PDs, while adding 6 special teams tackles.  Fans quickly took notice when #38 (turned in his rookie number for #27 this year) stepped onto the field anticipating a great defensive play.  Contributing to the excitement generated during the latter part of last season, fans cannot wait to see what he accomplishes on the field this year.

Why LOTE loves him

Not only is Colbert an amazing athlete, he also naturally aligns with LOTE’s mission to make a positive impact through education, support, and hard work on underserved communities and for those of any gender overcoming adversity.  He personally overcame adversity and has a long history of paying it forward through dedicating his time and resources to the community.  When he was 9, he suffered a life-threatening injury after being hit by a car.  Upon his recovery, his family moved to a new city that did not feel like home.  He found comfort with the Clarke family who loved and supported him alongside his family, encouraging him to continue to work hard and become the elite athlete he is today.  Colbert attended the Ladies of the Empire annual mixer last year.  He was so fun, approachable and engaging. He left a lasting impression with everyone who attended.  While at the mixer, Colbert donated to our fundraising efforts and encouraged others to do the same throughout the evening.  When Colbert was interviewed by the 49ers he stated “My cause is Social Equality…I want to help make a positive change the world and find a solution to the issues I dealt with growing up.”

Colbert is an amazing person with a huge charitable heart and incredible skills on the field which is why we love him being a part of the 49ers family and we look forward to cheering for #27 for many seasons to come.

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LOTE Watch Party

It’s our favorite time of the year….football season!! Join us at noon, on September 9th, at the official LOTE Kickoff Watch Party.  We have secured an incredible location for you to cheer on the Niners in a private room at Campo Di Bocce Fremont, for FREE.  The Watch Party is open to all and the venue is kid friendly. You will not want to miss this exciting opportunity to mingle with your LOTE family and cheer on our Niners. Campo Di Bocce is located at 4020 Technology Pl, Fremont, CA. 94538.  See you on the 9th.

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On August 9th, the 49ers preseason officially kicked off with a nail bitter against the Dallas Cowboys, we pulled out the win with a final score of 24-21.  The Tailgating Family really knows how to bring the season in with style.  Our very own LOTE member, Dana Simas (aka The Tailgating Queen) and her husband Paul (aka Silver Fox) partnered with Tara Stinson (aka The Shot Princess) and her husband Kevin (aka Chef Hubby) to create one of the most welcoming and fun tailgating parties at Levi’s stadium.  When you show up, you are immediately a part of their tailgate family, no matter what team you root for.  They believe you can still unite simply over the love of football and mutual respect for one another.  Their epic tailgating party continues to grow as more and more people want to share in the festivities, munch on some delicious food grilled up by Kevin, enjoy an amazing drink made by Paul on the Daiquiri Whacker (you have to see this thing!), or take down one of Tara’s famous mystery shots.  Many LOTE members are regulars at this tailgate party located in Green Lot, Pole 3.  If you are in town for a game, stop by and join the party!

How do you celebrate game day?  On September 16th, post your photos to Facebook and/or Instagram with #gamedayLOTE for a chance to win a Ladies of the Empire t-shirt.

 

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Arlene has been a San Francisco 49ers fan since 1981. Her friend had season tickets back then and she attended many games at the Stick. Later, she became a season ticket holder herself. Her passion for the Niners is evident in her love and knowledge of the history of the players, the plays, the rivalries and the coaches. In 2014, the 49ers opened the museum at Levi’s stadium and Arlene was there to welcome fans and visitors as the doors opened for the first time. If you have the good fortune to run into Arlene while she is working at the 49ers museum, you would be impressed with her ability to run down Jerry Rice’s stats, as she points to footballs suspended overhead, representing his touchdown receptions. Her face lights up when she’s talking about the G.O.A.T., her favorite player, Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time. She even journeyed to Canton, Ohio in 2010 for the Hall of Fame induction of Jerry Rice.

Her enthusiasm for educating museum-goers with facts is natural for Arlene, an Elementary School Teacher for the past 31 years. Currently she teaches 5thgraders math and social studies and her kids definitely know she is a Niner fan by the memorabilia on her desk, and of course her stories. When asked about her favorite play, she did not hesitate, “it was NaVorro Bowman’s interception return for an 89-yard touchdown against Arizona, the last game at Candlestick in 2013.” Arlene has such a love for our Niners!When asked what being a member of Ladies of the Empire means to her, she quickly responded, “die hard Niner fans who always cheer on our team, help out our community, and it’s a sisterhood.” Good women doing great things and loving football. What could be better?

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As a 49ers season ticket holder, I receive requests to complete a survey on my experience after every single 49er event (No joke, literally after every single game). They want to know things like how my tailgate experience went, how my food tasted, did I like the halftime entertainment, how was my interaction with staff, how was parking, my restroom business (ok, maybe not that), but you get my point.  Frankly, it feels like every time I think about the 49ers or Levi’s stadium, they want to know how my experience went.  There is such a thing as ‘survey fatigue’, and I’m pretty sure I have it.  Don’t get me wrong, I do realize that this feedback is important. I know there’s a great group of hardworking individuals who crunch and analyze the data, and I truly appreciate them for their efforts and how serious they take our answers; but after every event?

When another survey came in about two months ago, I opened it thinking “no more!” It’s the off-season, and as a fan I needed a break.  But this time, it wasn’t just a survey. There was also an invitation to a focus group, which intrigued me.  I looked at it more as an opportunity to meet with other season ticket holders to promote Ladies of the Empire.  So I signed up, took off half a day from work, and prepared my list of praises and areas for improvements.  The focus group turned out great; however, it felt as if many people had more complaints than praises.  The facilitators took it with stride and, as a thank you, took down our jersey sizes with the promise of giving us each a Jimmy G jersey!

About a month later, we received our thank you jerseys along with an invite to tour the staff’s offices and parts of the stadium I’d never seen before, including the team locker room (shout out to Moon who leads the survey team)! And while I cannot confirm or deny that I saw a very neat and tidy Jimmy G locker (keyword is ‘tidy’ ladies), it was definitely an unforgettable experience! But unfortunately cameras weren’t allowed… *sigh.

But that wasn’t all! They then invited us to a Draft Day 2 party at the Bourbon and Steak Pub! I thought to myself: “All you can eat and drink on a Friday night? I’m in!” So of course I went! And just as I was eating some of the most delicious Caesar salad and beef loin, I looked over my shoulder to see one of the largest men ever. It was our first round draft pick, Mike McGlinchey!  He was there to say hi and meet us. Unbelievable!

So, needless to say, I’ve changed my tune on surveys.  I’m in! Send me a survey, and I’ll gladly take it.  Hope you do too. =)

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