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Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Brisbane
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Football games with all the bells and whistles...

We will be in the States during most of December and part of January. We are travelling with our 4 kids - 2 boys and 2 girls aged from 7 to 15. We'd like to go to a football game of some kind, but would love the full experience of cheerleaders / marching girls / bands etc. I have found 2 games that fit in with our itinery - a college game at Eaglebank Bowl, Washington DC or a 49ers game at Candlestick Park (hope I have that right!) in San Francisco. As we don't know the game or follow the teams, it's more the experience and environment we are after. Which game would you recommend?? Will the Washington dc game be just too cold for us Aussies??

San Francisco
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1. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Pro games (like the 49ers at Candlestick) do not have marching bands. They do have cheerleaders but they are bit more "sexed up" than you'll find at a college game. I'd vote for the college experience. I imagine the tickets would also be quite a but less expensive. (Also the 49ers are playing so poorly it's hard for me to recommend anyone waste their money on tickets.)

DC in December isn't too bad but January can be rather dreary. But it will be colder than San Francisco.

Football games take about 3 full hours to play. I don't know your kids but I remember when I got dragged to Stanford games as a kid -- I was ready to leave at half time and bored silly by the time the game ended.

San Francisco Bay...
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2. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Since you are not team followers it would not matter if you went to the 49er football game at Candlestick Park. The experience is wonderful. RamblinSal is right about marching bands at pro games, but the 49ers always have some sort of musical performance during halftime. They also have a drum corp called the "Niner Noise" which is very entertaining and they play throughout the game. If you go to a college game or pro football game try to get tickets on the first or second level. If you get up in the rafters its usually where the people who get drunk sit and use a lot of foul language.

Panama City Beach...
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3. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

No mention of a Raiders game in nearby Oakland?? Hahaha!

I'm sure young kids would love that experience...what a circus!

In all seriousness, I'd say go to the 49ers game at Candlestick. It's a *little* more calm, and probably safer, and you'll still get the real American football experience (and you can probably find some deals on tickets since the team is so bad this year) If you want an honest college football experience, come down to the Southeast (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisisana), or go to Ohio or Michigan. (Yes, as a UF grad, I'm biased)

San Francisco CA
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4. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Mum - I vote for the Military Bowl (formerly Eagle Bank). College footbal has <<all>> you wanted. People stray highly emotionally attached to their college teams and go out of their way to support them. Last year that bowl featured UCLA and Temple, this year's teams will depend on the season outcome. You have the bands, the cheerleaders, students and alumni, and lots of energy, and no beer. By the way

GO STANFORD!! ROSE BOWL??

Edited: 09 November 2010, 18:39
San Francisco CA
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5. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

let's try <<People stay...>>

san francisco
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6. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Both experiences are worthy, and different.

49er game: pro football is the biggest thing going in America, so it will be a high production value experience, overfull with bells and whistles, plenty of distractions for people who have no idea what is happening on the field.

College game: much more of a "middle America" feel. More feel-good. Fewer fights and no drunken idiots (be forewarned: maybe no beer).

49er game: Veeeery expensive. For a family of four, including food, be prepared to shell out a few hundred dollars.

College game: nice and cheap. The fact that you are going to a "bowl" game (sort of a post-season sub-championship) will be interesting from a football standpoint, because the teams will both truly want to win, but if you're more in for the experience know that a bowl game usually involves teams from out of town and so no local 'buzz' or rooting interest (as an aussie you should know we 'root' for our teams (I lived in oz so I get the humor)), which could impoverish the experience if what you really want is atmosphere.

If you can handle shelling out the cash, go to the 49er game.

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

Am I missing something?

I thought the college football games were all over by Thanksgiving.

Professional football games will not give you the experience you are wanting, with the marching bands and the 'real' cheerleaders, and the card tricks, etc.

If the Washington DC game is indeed a college game, I would definitely choose it over the 49'ers or the Raiders, or whomever.

There are a lot of college "bowl" games, after the regular season, during your stay in the US, where winning teams in their divisions play against each other. I am guessing that the Washington DC game is one of those.

If so, definitely choose it, and yes it will be cold, but it will be worth it. Bundle up.

I tried to google the "bowl" games, but came up with a bunch of nonsense. You might try it to see if you will be anywhere that one of these is played.

There used to be one in San Francisco benefitting the Shriner's Children's Hospital, but I think it is defunct.

Good luck. Seriously, I think your children would be totally bored at a professional football game, but try it if you want.

Panama City Beach...
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8. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

This is a no-brainer:

From The Eaglebank Bowl website: "This year’s EagleBank Bowl is set for 4:30 pm on Tuesday, December 29, at RFK Stadium. The game will match Army against a team from the ACC. If Army is not bowl-eligible, a team from Conference USA will be selected as the ACC opponent."

First off, it will be so dark, damp and bitter cold in DC that time of year, sitting outside for 3 hours will be the last thing you'll want to do.

Secondly, this will be a pointless game featuring a second (maybe third or fourth) rate ACC team verses Army. Or better yet an unknown team from Conf. USA. Who??? Exactly. (The bowl games most people pay attention to are all after New Years Eve)

Their own fans won't even care to make the trip to celebrate, so there's no way anyone else will. It will be cold, quiet and uneventful. Go to the 49ers game. The weather will be better and there will be more excitement because real fans will be there to cheer on their team. There wont be a marching band, but there will certainly be enough going on in that stadium to entertain you.

Corona del Mar, CA
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9. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

I would not go the 49er's game, pro football is very different from college and not nearly as fun.

Since you are going to be in the US for that long, I would find a way to get to San Diego for either the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec 23. It will probably be the US Naval Academy vs San Diego State or the Holiday Bowl on Dec 30 that will probably be the University of Arizona vs Texas A&M.

Besides the football game San Diego has the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Legoland and lots of other family friendly attractions.

San Francisco will have a bowl game on January 9 if you are still here, at ATT Park that might be Oregon State vs the University of Nevada or University of Hawaii.

Yucaipa, California
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10. Re: Football games with all the bells and whistles...

I agree with Scott and like that he gave you choices for college match ups here in CA. From your description I would say you want a college game experience.

I was going to suggest you fly to LA or Burbank so you can go to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day, but the tickets for the game are really expenise at about $150 a pop. Talk about bells and whistles, along with the game there is the famous and fabulous Rose Parade, with beautiful floats and marching bands as well as cheerleaders from the two opposing teams in the parade. You can either buy tickets for bleacher seats or "camp out" in the street on New Year's Eve.

www.tournamentofroses.com/rosebowlgame/

Edited: 10 November 2010, 05:56