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Emerald Bowl Basics: All you need to know

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It's my travel day, so I'll leave you with some general facts about the Emerald Bowl.

Town: San Fransisco

Why you should go: San Francisco, the fourth largest city in California and the fourteenth largest city in America as of the 2005 census, is home to the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz, as well as many other tourist attractions. Forbes magazine ranks San Francisco as the fourth best city in America for it's culture and leisure, which is always good news for tourists. And if your planning on staying awhile, Forbes also rates San Francisco as the fourth best city for singles. Also a plus.

However, it's one of the most expensive cities to live in, and if you're looking to pick up a little extra cash while you're there, setting up a lemonade stand on the street isn't going to be the best idea. San Francisco is also one of the most expensive cities to do business in, believe it or not.

Even though the town can be a bit pricey, their claim to fame is their education. Sticking with the same Forbes ratings we were using above, San Francisco is the #1 city in America in the category of "Education Attainment". They're also #5 in "Advanced degrees". Some San Fransisco area colleges include Cal Berkley, Stanford, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, and an assortment of others.

Why you should stay home:

On Christmas Day(!) a 300 pound Siberian Tiger named Tatiana escaped her enclosure, killing one man and injuring two others. San Francisco might be one of the best cities for leisure activities, but I don't want to die at the hands of a Siberian Tiger.

Nearby Sports Teams

The 49ers and Raiders are nearby, and during baseball season, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics call the Bay Area home. San Francisco sports fans have to cross the bay to see NBA action, as the Golden State Warriors are the only team in town, and they play in Oakland. There is professional lacrosse and hockey in San Jose, and as I mentioned earlier, Cal and Stanford are both nearby, as are an assortment of other college campuses. On Friday, the town will be home to the Oregon State Beavers.

Hungry?

San Francisco is one of the best cities for dining as well. Number three on the list, right behind New York and Chicago.

Stadium: AT&T Park
Serving as the home of the San Francisco Giants since they moved from Candlestick Park in 2000, AT&T Park, once called Pac Bell Park, is located in the neighborhood of San Francisco known as "South Beach". Home to many historic notable events, mostly involving Giants slugger Barry Bonds(*?), the beautiful baseball park is converted to a football facility for the Emerald Bowl each year. At Giant games, it's a common sight to see a horde of kayakerss in McCovey Cove, waiting for home runs to exit the stadium.

Emerald Bowl officials are expecting a large amount of activity in McCovey Cove on Friday, so we suggest you get their early. You never know when an Alexis Serna shank punt could land out there.


It's not that far... (We love ya, Alexis)
(From Cathy C's flickr photostream)

Internet, Internet, Internet

The San Francisco Giants installed 122 WI-FI access points throughout the stadium, making it one of the largest "internet cafes" in the world. Need to check your e-mail on your laptop during the game, or check your stocks? There you go.

Other Fan Favorites:

The Coke Bottle and the Old-Fashioned baseball glove.

Wind won't be a big factor:

Although San Francisco is known for it's strong winds, AT&T park was designed to block out as much wind as possible. The architects say that the current stadium has 1/2 the wind that Candlestick Park has. Thank you, modern engineering.

Capacity:

40,184 for football. I'm not a big fan of converting baseball stadiums into football stadiums, but what can you do. I'm also not a fan of having both teams benches on one side of the field, but again, what can you do. I imagine the reasoning behind this is that putting a team of players between the field and the low field level baseball seats would cause problems with views, and they would rather move both teams to one sideline and be able to use all the seats they can.

Television: ESPN

The Beavers will be playing on the Worldwide Leader for the third time this season. They played USC on ABC, so that may count as a third time. Depending on how you look at it, this is either our third or fourth appearance on ESPN.

If we count the USC game, the Beavers are 2-1 on ESPN networks. We embarrassed ourselves twice and emerged gloriously triumphant once, so I guess that puts us in good shape. The television crew won't include Erin Andrews this time ($%&@!), but even worse, it will be an all male crew consisting of Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, and Rob Stone.

>
I don't waste any opportunities to post pictures of Erin Andrews.

The Game:
The Beavers and Terrapins have never met before, that's about all you need to know. Mike Riley and Ralph "The Fridge" Friedgen hadn't even met until a few weeks ago. However, they have a lot in common, as do their two teams.

Emerald Bowl History:

In all five glorious years of it's existence, the Emerald (Nuts) Bowl has included several magnificent blowouts. Florida State beat UCLA by the tune of 44-27 last year, Georgia Tech lost to Utah by 28 the year before that, and Navy beat New Mexico the year before that. In 2003 (which is the year before two years before UCLA lost) (did I lose you), Boston College beat Colorado State by two touchdowns. The inaugural 2002 game is the only game in the glorious history of this bowl to be decided by less than 10 points. Virginia Tech beat Air Force 20-13 in that one.

Although the Emerald Bowl has a history of boring games, it's claim to fame is the longest drive in the history of college football. My source? Wikepedia, so don't trust it.

From the Free Encyclopedia:

In 2004, the bowl produced what later turned out to be a record-setting drive. In the third quarter, Navy, with a 31-19 lead, successfully forced New Mexico into a three-and-out, culminating in a goal-line stand. Taking over on offense, the Midshipmen then executed a drive that encompassed 26 plays, 94 yards, and 14 minutes and 26 seconds of the game clock, stretching well into the fourth quarter. The NCAA later confirmed that the drive was historic, setting records for the number of plays in a drive and time of possession in a drive.

Corporate Sponsor: Emerald Nuts

I like the way Emerald Nuts tries to create a positive image for themselves by removing the "nuts" from their name when they stick it in front of the word "bowl". It makes sports fans think of beautiful beaches in Hawaii sprawling with Diamonds and Emeralds. When in fact, this should really be called the "Emerald Nuts Bowl". How great would that be. Now, sports fans, what does that make you think of?

There's not even a nut in the bowl's logo. As a corporate executive, wouldn't you want to advertise your product?

And it's... between the pillars and inside the cables!

According to my unofficial calculations with Google Map It!, if Alexis Serna stood on the 50 yard line at AT&T Park, he would need to hit a 10,049.6 yard field goal across the town of San Francisco to get the ball to land inside the Golden Gate bridge, just like the picture above.

It could happen.

Do you still need tickets? Get Emerald Bowl Tickets at Stubhub.com.

GO BEAVERS!

--JB--