|The Final 49: The Green and White|
THE FINAL 49:
We take a moment during each of the Final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013 to look at various aspects of the Charlotte 49ers football program.
The Green and White
June 2, 2013
By Tom Whitestone
Saturday night was all about the unis.
Four players, decked out in four combinations of the 49ers full uniforms, modeled the unis for the first time at the Athletic Foundation's annual Great Gold Rush Auction.
It is a gala event the regularly attracts 500+ and it's been going on for 30 years. It is the most important single-day fundraiser hosted by the 49ers Athletic Foundation, with proceeds going to the 49ers student-athlete scholarhsip fund.
This Saturday, attendees got an extra bonus to what is always a special evening.
They got to see the unveiling of the 49ers historic 2013 football uniforms. The uniforms for this fall's inaugural season had never been seen before. The 49ers unveiled them during the auction, with Lambert introducing the various combinations to stage.
With TV cameras shooting the action and photographers circling the stage, the four players emerged from behind a silhouette screen to the ovation of the auction attendees. They waved. They posed.
And then they took it a step farther.
Because while it's one thing to see a player outfitted in a uniform up on a stage, it's quite another to experience it.
Helping Niner Nation become a part of the action, the four players stepped down off the stage, posed for the cameras, and then made their way through the sea of attendees.
Many had already come to the front to take pictures. Others watched from a distance, only to see the players coming to them.
Camera phones were waving like bidder paddles.
One family asked a player to pose with its newborn baby. Others quickly rushed up beside the players to get photos taken. Images quickly popped up on twitter and facebook.
"Just one more," the fans said as the players were being called away to meet with the media. "Just one more."
So the players stopped, and took just one more photo, shook just one more hand and let just one more fan get up close to the 49ers first football uniforms for the first time.
Talk about an exclusive -- head coach Brad Lambert had not even seen his players in their uniforms prior to bringing them out on stage.
Saturday night was all about the unis. But, like many of the other steps along the way, it was also about letting Niner Nation share in the experience.
Thousands of fans will remember coming out to campus for the groundbreaking ceremony of stadium construction. Thousands of fans will remember heading onto the stadium turf to get player autographs following the program's first Spring Game in April. And hundreds more fans will remember being their Saturday night for the very first sighting of the Charlotte 49ers football uniforms.
This fall, the 49ers will make history when they debut their brand spanking new football team. And while they'll be making history this fall, they're certainly not waiting that long to start making memories.