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San Francisco 49ers Tailgating

Of the four NFL playoff venues this weekend, only one will have decent weather. While fans in Green Bay, Baltimore and Foxboro, MA will encounter freezing temperatures and possibly some snow, San Francisco 49ers fans are looking forward to partying under 65-degree, mostly-sunny skies on Saturday. If you’re heading out to the Bay Area to partake in some tailgating before the 49ers and New Orleans Saints play for a berth in next week’s NFC Championship, here are three things to look for:

Once upon a time, the 49ers and Saints were both in the same division, playing twice a year in the NFC West. This series was quite lopsided in those days as San Francisco beat the Saints 18 out of 22 meetings from 1988 to 1998. But since the divisions re-aligned before the 2002 season, with the Saints moving to the NFC South, the tables have been turned in this series. New Orleans has won each of the past six games against San Francisco by a combined score of 186 to 113, which averages out to a margin of 12.2 points per game.

Many strict tailgating policies have been implemented at Candlestick Park due to all the violence in a preseason game between the Raiders and 49ers back on Aug. 20. The game was ugly enough on the field (a 17-3 San Francisco win), but turned much more gruesome away from the gridiron with some unruly “fans” turning to violence. Three people were taken to the hospital after two men were found shot in the parking lot and another man was beaten unconscious in a stadium bathroom, all believed to be separate incidents. Now tailgating must stop once the game begins, which includes any postgame tailgating. As an incentive to get people in their seats before the 1:35 p.m. kickoff, stadium concessions are giving a 50% discount for all food and non-alcoholic beverages from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Who’s got it better than us? The  answer is, “Nobody.” 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh learned this from his father Jack who used to say it with his school-boy chums in the early 1950’s. Son Jim has taken the quote to inspire his team, and San Francisco fans are now using it more than “Where’s the Beef?” in the early ‘80’s. Tee shirts and other memorabilia has followed suit and San Francisco-born rapper Bailey has created a song by the same name that can be seen here on You Tube.com.

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