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Friday, November 21, 2008

Unfinished Business - The San Francisco Gold Rush 

Posted by David Allen Tyau at 8:08 PM ET

Two years ago this November, I was in the parking lot of Candlestick Park. The Minnesota Vikings were in town to play the San Francisco 49ers and I was there to photograph the Gold Rush, something that I had eagerly anticipated for months. It was a beautiful day, a picture postcard day. 10:38 A.M. and my wife gets the call. It was her mother on the phone, letting us know that her father had suffered a heart attack. We immediately leave Candlestick and make the long, angst filled drive home. Sadly, my father in law would succumb to his illness a week later.


So, when I pulled into the parking lot of Candlestick Park this past Sunday, I had mixed emotions and some unfinished business to attend to. Just as it was two years prior, it was a beautiful day with blue skies, lots of sunshine, and warm weather. It was a perfect day for football.


The Niners were playing the Rams, a team that I had once called my own before Georgia Frontiere ran the team into the ground as a pretext for moving them to St. Louis. Yeah, so I was rooting hard for the 49ers. You heard that right, a Los Angelino rooting for a team from San Francisco. And God must have heard my prayers because the 49ers thoroughly whipped the Rams, 35 – 16.


But enough of my grudge against the Rams, we are here to read about cheerleaders and in this case, the Gold Rush. Now, before I start the parade of Gold Rush cheerleaders, I must recognize our San Francisco correspondent Rex and our roving correspondent Midwest Dave for providing me with the scoop on where and when to photograph the Gold Rush. They suggested that I head out to the Bud Light Gold Mine two hours before kickoff to photograph the Gold Rush up close and personal.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


Now it seemed to me that the guys in the Gold Mine were a little reluctant to meet the girls. There were a few moments where the Gold Rush would be standing there just waiting to sign an autograph or pose for a photo and the guys would just stand there as if talking to a beautiful girl was intimidating. Okay, maybe it is, but come on, guys. You got these beautiful and talented girls right in front of you…show them some love, for god’s sake. These girls are hot and are here to perform for you. Sheesh, I’ve seen more passion at an anti-Prop 8 rally…coincidentally precisely the day before.


Okay I’ll get off my soap box. Here are a few shots of Maki, Jasmin, Kristen, and Cassandra performing at the Gold Mine.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


After two spirited dance routines, the Gold Rush signed mini posters for the fans bold enough to ask.


49ers Gold Rush


They also graciously posed for photographs. I took advantage of the opportunity and snapped these photos of Meridith and Cassandra, loyal blog reader Desiree, Maki, Jasmin, Kristen, Jackie and Deanna.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


And the Gold Rush Ambassadors were on hand to greet fans as they entered the Gold Mine. Here are a couple of shots of Ambassador Jacqueline and Ambassador Corrin.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


When I began planning this trip, I chose seats in the South end zone because I thought that would allow me to photograph the Gold Rush like I am accustomed to when covering the Charger Girls, my normal gig. You know, sun at my back, illuminating the girls in all their splendor with bright, golden sunlight. Unfortunately, for me, I did not account for the low lying November sun and after the first few minutes, the end zone was in shade. Bad, bad news. However, the good news was that after a touchdown, the Gold Rush danced on top of the dugout roof right in front of me. And the 49ers scored several touchdowns against the hapless Rams. So, I was able to get some decent photos using my flash.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


Still, I was able to snap a few shots of the Gold Rush before the endzone faded into shade. Here are a few photos of Amy, Asha, Cassie, and Morgan in the type of light that I prefer.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


Two years ago, I covered the 49ers Draft Day Party for this blog and one Gold Rush cheerleader that caught my eye was Amber. Blonde and beautiful, Amber is rather striking in the uniform.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


Another Gold Rush that I remembered from that Draft Day Party was redhead Amy. She’s still sexy and she’s still an attention getter.


49ers Gold Rush


Of course back in 2006, the Gold Rush was sporting different uniforms, a white top with a maroon pleather vest and skirt that was somewhat unflattering. This year, the Gold Rush adopted new, sexier Angela King designed uniforms. If you have read my past Charger Girl articles, you know that I like a more flirty skirt. In my opinion, it’s more feminine than a stiff A-line skirt. It’s certainly more interesting, conveying a greater sense of movement. So, if there are any Dance Team Directors out there…guys love the flirty skirt.


49ers Gold Rush


Also, the Gold Rush wear these white, 3” chunky heeled go-go boots that perfectly compliment the new uniforms. I asked Jasmin and Kristen what it’s like to performing those high heeled boots and Kristen said that it’s very physically demanded and her feet hurt after dancing all day in those boots. Now for those that may not know, Candlestick Park is said to be below the water table and being next to the bay, it has been reported that the field can get a bit soggy when the tide is high. Not exactly the best conditions to dance. So, the Gold Rush have my respect and admiration for enduring such conditions for us, the fans.


49ers Gold Rush


Let’s conclude our cavalcade of Gold Rush cheerleaders with a few photos of Angel, Lauren, Jennifer, and Rachel in action.


49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush

49ers Gold Rush


San Francisco is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. A beautiful city that is diverse ethnically, culturally, spiritually and politically. Okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch. The 49ers have the most diverse cheerleading squad in the NFL, truly representing the cosmopolitan nature of the city. But, no matter how diverse the Gold Rush cheerleaders may be, they have one thing in common… uncommon beauty.


No, I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, but I did get to finish some business that was long overdue.

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