THE FINAL 49:
During the final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013, we will take a moment each week to look at various aspects of the football program.
Added Benefits; Future Earnings
Dec. 15, 2012
By Tom Whitestone
There are plenty of reasons that folks bought FSL's. The obvious lure of football. A desire to help the university and athletic program grow. A chance to get in on the ground floor of history. Some felt like they had waited so long. Some craved seeing a linebacker in action. Some just like tailgating.
"I can't imagine not being present for every first," one fan wrote.
"You only get a handful of perfect days each year and I don't want to miss a one."
"The idea of tailgating with friends and family."
Many, called their decision to purchase, to quote more than one owner, "a no-brainer".
But running through some comments received from FSL owners, another deeper theme came forward.
"In my household, we are growing little Niners fans."
"It is going to be a great activity for our family on Saturdays."
"Anticipating the fun and experience with fellow alumni and fans."
You notice how few actually mention the football action. To many fans, 49ers football will be a lot more than a touchdown scored. It will be a handshake between old friends, it will be a son bouncing on Dad's shoulders, it will be friends laughing and cheering and having the time of their lives.
"We bought FSLs for the entire family. It will be a great family experience."
"We are alums and we look forward to being re-united with old friends."
This football thing is about so much more than a sport. It's about creating bonds within a family, among friends, with fellow alums.
A football game day includes tailgating - where friends and fans will gather - swap stories, relive good old days and grow closer.
A game day will include the game itself - where a parent will marvel at the joy of their child, where friends will share outbursts and where complete strangers will exchange high fives.
And a game day will include postgame - where wide-eyed fans will talk about what they just saw, share a hug and make plans for the next game.
Head coach Brad Lambert summed it up pretty well. This draw of football includes the sights and sounds of the game, and the sights and sounds around the game. Together it makes for a great day to be enjoyed today and treasured tomorrow.
"There's a lot of memories out on football fields," Lambert said. "I stand out there and think about long after I'm gone there's still going to be a lot people having a lot of great memories out on this field."
Somehow, this football thing is not strictly about the here and now - which we all admit will be wonderful. It's also about the then and there.
Another FSL owner's motivation hit the nail on the head.
"To start another tradition for our kids and grandkids that we can leave to them to enjoy for years to come."
The football will be fun. No doubt about it. But the memories and traditions that can be passed from parent to child, from generation to generation. All the stories that will be told and passed on down the line - all the moments shared - those are added benefits that come at no extra charge, but with remarkable yields.
Welcome to the Charlotte 49ers Athletic Foundation!