Why the Raiders Game Mattered

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Home November 2018

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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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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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