It is often said that age is just number. I would disagree with that statement. At 53 years of age, I have seen and experienced far more than the average person. I have seen the best life has to offer, and also endured the worst it can dish out. But you know what? Through it all, I have never changed. Sure, people have called me different things at times. I have been labeled as 3Com Park, Monster Park, and Candlestick Park as well. There is only one name, however, that I will ever be comfortable with. I am the Stick, and the stories I have to tell are stories you must hear. Listen to what this old man has to say. Listen for the entertainment. Listen for the enlightenment. Listen because this old man’s time is almost up.
I have seen the giants of every decade, both literally and figuratively. While May’s spent his days patrolling my grounds and catching every unwanted intruder that would even dare come his way, McCovey proved over and over that my walls were not unbreachable. I always prided myself in my commitment to diversity; I did, after all, play host to Marichal and Cepeda. As long as they could put up with my less than stellar living conditions, I was a very gracious host. Which is why it hurt so badly when I was abandoned for a younger man. Pac Bell Park I believe he called himself. Or was it SBC? Oh yes, that’s right; AT&T is the name. As excited as I was to witness the full greatness of Bonds and Kent, I was abandoned because of my age. In all truthfulness, I never stood a chance. He had a beautiful view of the bay and was in a prime housing area. Me? Well, compared to him, I was way outdated. You know what they say. Friends come and go.
I would have been a lot more disappointed if I didn’t have my friends in the red and gold to keep me company. And boy, were those some names. They countered May’s with Montana, McCovey with Rice, Marichal with Taylor. The list truly is endless. And the dedication these men had to me.. How many guys do you know that would amputate their pinky just to get back on the field sooner? That was Ronnie for you. It was scary how good he was, and even scarier what he would do for the game he loved.
Let me tell you about some of the characters I’ve met in my time. This guy Haley, Charles was his first name. Good player, damn good player. But if there was a crazier son-of-a-bitch then him, I don’t want to meet him. This guy would pull his dong out at any opportunity presented to him. He just didn’t care. And poor George Seifert, his old coach. Old Haley literally tried to kill him once in the locker room. This dude was crazy. Then you got your other kind of crazy, like Deion. His balls had to be the size of watermelons based on how he played. Most brash, cocky guy I’d ever seen. But you know what? He backed everything up, every time. There might not ever be anyone as good at what he does then crazy ass Deion. I’ll tell you about one more, one of my personal favorites: My man Terrell Owens. This guy literally looked like he was created to play football. The muscles, the big hands, the speed; he was like a robot! There was one dirty little secret about this dude though. Those big hands may as well have been frying pans sometimes. Steve would throw him one and it would just go right through his hands, sometimes even hitting him in the face! Steve trusted him though. Way back in 1998, against them cheese heads from Green Bay, Terrell just couldn’t catch a damn thing. He even dropped a touchdown that hit him right in the hands. You could tell everyone was frustrated. But Steve trusted in him one last time. Down 27-23, Steve throws a fireball to Owens who somehow held on, even though he got absolutely crushed by Packer defenders. We won that game and all you could see was Terrell bawling on the sidelines. This was before he went all crazy. Once Jerry left, the nice quiet guy was gone and he became one of most brash, obnoxious guys in the league. It doesn’t even matter though. I’ll always remember him as the young kid having the worst game of his life, at the worst possible time, and ultimately finding redemption.
I have often been described as a stone cold, icy fellow. It is true. I am. Not just anyone could play with me. I was proud of this distinction because of the significance it meant to those who achieved greatness here. Sadly I was never able to deliver the ultimate glory to the boys in orange and black. It really is no wonder they left. I was just too damn cold to them, too unpredictable at times. Sorry guys. A change of scenery really did help you. The red and gold, though. Together we became the greatest team, in any sport. Lots of teams have won Super Bowl rings. Only a handful have won 5 of them. And among those, only one has never, ever lost the big one. It’s an honor to say that those guys called me home. I can say without a shadow of a doubt say that I had the privilege of watching the greatest player of all time. I also saw the greatest quarterback as well. I’m a lucky, lucky man.
I hope you listened to my stories, and furthermore, enjoyed them. My time is winding down. In two years, my boys will leave and move on to a bigger, grander home. So what do they do for me? They’re going out with a bang. Super Bowl number 6 is on its way. I’m already trying to figure out where I want to put that 6th Lombardi trophy. I know, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m not scared though. If you call the stick home, you don’t lose Super Bowls. Just the way it is. Enjoy watching Kaepernick the way I enjoyed Montana. Marvel over Willis the way I once did with Lott. Praise the greatness of Aldon and Justin the way I did Rice and Deion. Follow them to their new home. One day you will have your own stories to tell.