SAN FRANCISCO -- Sights and sounds while making my way from Seattle to San Francisco for the Seahawks-49ers game Thursday night:
The 7:15 a.m. flight I boarded had fans for both teams aboard. This was one of those flights packed with frequent business travelers. The guy to my right said he regularly travels to Santa Clara, site of 49ers headquarters and the team's future stadium, on company business. He scheduled a meeting for San Francisco on this day, just so he could attend the game. He's a Seahawks fan. The guy to my left was also going to the game. He was also a business traveler. Good work if you can get it. There were a couple fans in full 49ers gear seated near the front of the plane. No one seemed to harass them from what I could tell.
I swung by the 49ers' team hotel, which is across the street from the Seahawks' team hotel. I arrived at the hotel right at 10 a.m. local time, which was also the scheduled start time for the NFC West chat. I broke out the laptop and took a seat in the lobby. Various 49ers players walked past. Wonder how many times 49ers guard Leonard Davis has to hear people marvel at his size, as though they were the first people to notice it? The man riding the elevator with Davis made a size-related comment as the two strangers went their separate ways upon exiting. How original.
The officiating crew for the game is also staying here. They're seated in the restaurant talking about what frequent travelers talk about: delays, unplanned itinerary changes, poor customer service at one of the legacy airlines. One expresses concern for a colleague sidelined by injury. Officials get hurt, too.
Another guy seated in the lobby looked a lot like agent Drew Rosenhaus. The T-shirt reading "Rosenhaus Sports Representation" provided confirmation. Rosenhaus has been one of the most media-accessible agents over the years. For years, he would answer his own phone and take calls from reporters he barely knew or didn't know at all. This seemed like a good chance to just let him sit there.
A man I recognized to be Jonathan Goodwin, the 49ers' starting center, came into the hotel restaurant with a big binder presumably filled with game notes. Even veteran players have to study. Goodwin faces a tough matchup against the Seahawks' stout interior defensive linemen. He's 33 years old and about to play after only three days off between games. The mental side of the game is critical for a player in his position.
We're within about six hours of kickoff. I'll be heading over to Candlestick Park to get set up from there. Hoping to drop by the tailgate32.com setup.