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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This time of year, we typically focus on being thankful for our friends and family. Equally as important, we need to take time to care for ourselves.  Although we had some rain, the wildfires in Northern and Southern California degraded our air quality severely.  The Golden Heart Fund 4.9k and half marathon at Levis Stadium was cancelled due to the heavy smoke.

The effects on our skin and lungs can be drastic.  Our breathing became shallow during that time, out of instinct.  Please take time out of your day to breathe deeply, allowing your lymph to move.  Shallow breathing stagnates our lymph which can lead to other health problems.  For your skin, please read this article on how to care for yourself after breathing in and being exposed to all that congested air: A HOLISTIC GUIDE TO YOUR HEALTH AFTER THE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

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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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“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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“Dear Ms. Tate,

Thank you so much for the 49er tickets. My dad and I had so much fun! We were the first ones in line to go into the stadium, that is how stoked we were to go see the Niners win!!

Once we got into the stadium, we went to the museum and it was amazing! My favorite part of the museum as the life size statues of the players that made it to the Hall of Fame. We probably took like 100 pictures!

During the game, Breida #22 ran 65 yards to make a touch down – that was shocking! The final score was 30 to 27, and we won! Thanks again for giving me and my dad the tickets for the 49ers game. We will never forget this game.

Sincerely,

Julian Oropeza”

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Stacy Kimble has been a football fan her entire life, specifically the 49ers.  She cannot remember a time when she was not a diehard Niners fan as she grew up in a house of fans.  Stacy’s all-time favorite players are Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. When asked why, Stacy said “They are the GOATs, I miss seeing them play…they were quite the pair.” We also talked about her prediction for the Niners this year and her response was “We will win our conference for sure and might even go to the Super Bowl.  We have a GREAT team this year.  Jimmy G has the potential to be another Joe Montana.”  We then talked about LOTE specifically and why she chose to join, Stacy said, “It means a lot to me.  It means being a part of something greater than me.  I like everything that LOTE represents because it aligns with my love of football, my personal values and gives me the opportunity to give back in many ways.”  Stacy works two jobs and dedicates her free time to volunteering.  She is a huge supporter of the NFL Alumni and you will see her volunteering in their events throughout the year as well as supporting many other organizations, including LOTE.  Stacy and her wife Tammy married this year on Valentine’s Day, but have been together for 25 years.  They share their home with their cat “Babygirl”.  Thank you for being a part of the LOTE family.  Go Niners!!!

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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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Dear Mrs. Pinkney,

Thank you for giving us free tickets to the Niners game. It was a really fun and cool experience because it was a high scoring game. Remember Pierre Garçon’s sideline catch and the fumble on the punt return? Those were my favorite plays. It would’ve been a better night if they won but I still had a great time. I’m glad that I had the experience to watch a Niner game up close.  This was my first time going to a NFL game. I really am thankful that you gave us these tickets.

Very grateful,

Aidan Udofia

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