Thursday, November 22, 2012

SF Turkey Bowl Notes

Giants Thanksgiving ReplaysGiants Thanksgiving Replays
We'll give thanks to the World Series Champion Giants by replaying their 3 series-clinching wins on Thanksgiving Day!
9am: NLDS Game 5 @ Cincinnati
1pm: NLCS Game 7 vs. St. Louis
5pm: World Series Game 4 @ Detroit

It really is a happy Thanksgivings Day.  Accompanied by the radio re-broadcast of San Francisco Giants game 7 playoff wins, the day just galloped by in amazing fashion.  The first game, which ended with the Giants 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, found me watching the annual San Francisco Turkey Bowl at Kezar Stadium. Last year's champion and this season's #2 seed Mission Bears (7-3) would go up against the #1 seed Lincoln Mustangs (10-1). 

I arrived just before the half as the Mustangs had setup another score after a long catch and run.  This was my second game this season, both in support of the Bears.  Arriving on the Bears side of the field I found myself surrounded by wandering and wounded Mission fans looking as if the sun-drenched side of the field had dried up all hope of a Bears championship repeat.

The Mustangs, with red cloaked screaming fans,hardly recognizable on the opposing shady side of the stadium, had dominated the first half with a 14-0 lead. They looked bigger, stronger and faster than my Bears, but you never could rule out the heart of a champion.

I'd see two touchdowns, one per half, called back on the Bears due to their playmaking quarterback crossing the line of scrimmage before making the touchdown throw. Those two penalties, at crucial points in the game, cost the Bears big time. 

The swarming Mustang defense, appearing to overpower the Bears offensive line in the first half, were held in check in the second half long enough for the Bears to come back and take a 21-14 lead. But a repeat of the first half's long pass play to setup a score gave the Mustangs a golden opportunity late in the game. 

Gotta give those Lincoln Mustangs credit, when opportunity presented itself, they grabbed it by the horns. The Mustangs would smash over the goal line to score on 3rd down and short, then would steamroll the Bears defensive front for a two-point conversion for the final points of the game.

As for the Bears, give them credit for playing like a champion. They overcame their own weaknesses to stand up and make those who came out to see them play very proud to be Bear fans.  But for a penalty called or not-called, they could easily have been bragging about repeating as champions.  Sure they lost, but they lost with the spirit of a champion fighting to the last tick on the clock. They never surrendered.

Congratulations Lincoln Mustangs!

Final Score
Mission Bears 21
Lincoln Mustangs 22

Note: Half-time saw a midfield tribute to former Polytech H.S. football players of old.  I sat with some of the oldsters, listening to stories of great plays and players from the 1950's-60's era.  One of the gray-haired  soldiers said he played in 1962, while another was on the 63 championship team.  One of the guys pointed out former 49ers coach George Seifert talking to a gentleman and watching the game not far from us. Seifert is a San Francisco native from the football era of these proud men.  Yep, it was a special day. 

I also saw an old friend and my former barber who coached Galileo H.S. football.  Check out his Minor League Football team, the Golden State Giants.

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