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Why Is the 49ers vs. Giants Game so Huge?

Your football-illiterate editor wants her readers to enlighten her.

"It's a Cinderella story," my husband says, when I ask him to explain the hype over Sunday's game between the San Francisco 49ers and the NY Giants.

"In the past few years, the team struggled with coaches, players and their quarterback was booed when he stepped onto the field because he was struggling," he continues.

"I see," I reply, thanking him for another sports lesson that I still don't quite get.

What's the big deal about football?

I admit it. I'm football-illiterate. For years, my husband, who's a crazy soccer fan and a worshipper of la Copa Mundial—the World Cup of soccer—has been trying to help me understand not just fútbol, soccer in English, but American football, baseball and hockey.

"They [Niners] led their group of teams and now they've beaten the New Orleans Saints to play for the NFC Championship," he continues.

He tells me about the AFC ... "The what?" I ask.

"The American Football Conference ... you know, the teams on the other side of the country," he offers.

"But now, .... the Giants are coming to San Francisco and whoever wins there will go on to play in the Super Bowl!"

Wow, I know what the Super Bowl is. I used to write about domestic violence incidents increasing during this national matchup back in my days at The Daily Herald, only to be told by football fans that it was all a lie.

My fubolero adds: "For San Francisco, it's the prestige. There was the era of Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice ... It was a team to reckon with, but in the past 10 years, they've been out and haven't performed well at all."

This year, however, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh has totally changed and revitalized the team, he finishes. "It's a total turnaround. The quarterback has been playing his best game ever."

I see, I get a little bit of why the game at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Candlestick Park is so important to football fans.

My husband also tells me that the cheapest ticket you could find for a "nose-bleed" section at the stadium is going for between $300 and $400.

"It's going to be historic. It's a home game. It's a very positive story."

And then he looks at me and says: "For people who don't know football, it's an opportunity to learn what's going on."

But I tell him that the last time I tried to watch a game, it turned into a four-hour affair. Who has time for that? I can barely sit through a soccer match on Telemundo that ends up being a two-hour 0-0 tie!

Also, aren't the Giants from San Francisco?

Then to end our conversation, I ask, "What is a fumble?"

He responds: "A fumble is if you miss watching the game this Sunday. That's a fumble."

Sheila Sanchez January 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Wow, so cool. No wonder you want to go to the movies! Come on over to my house! Mario will be fixated in front of the TV!
Kim Ratcliff January 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Haha. Thanks for the invite but I'll pass!
MichaelJ January 21, 2012 at 03:38 AM
If you think this is exciting, wait until the Niners win on Sunday!!! Don't tell me you ladies are going to pass up on the chance to watch the Niners in the SuperBowl?? No decent theater in town will be open when the Niners play in the SuperBowl.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 21, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Sheila this is HUGE! Back in the day I was married to a New Yorker. And the New York GIANTS came out to San Francisco to play the 49ER's. As we were Tail Gating before the Game. A Officer told our Group that everyone was going to be arrested accept for me because I was wearing a 49ER Hat! HA! Now I'm Split in the Middle..."GO N Y GIANTS" FOR MY GOD-SON, BRANDON MICHAEL ORTIZ! And "GO S F 49 ERS" For My Pals Here! LOL! Should be quite a GAME!
Sheila Sanchez January 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Better go get my 49er shirt today! Tail gating sounds fun. Where are you watching the game tomorrow? I'm hoping Los Gatos Niners fans will send me a couple of viewing party photos and videos. If you're in town, please shoot some for me and email them to sheila.sanchez@patch.com.

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