"Tryouts!" Marian Stephenson grimaced. "I had to come back three times before I was selected. They made me sing Nothing Could Be Finer Than to Be a 49er God Bless America
America the Beautiful. And having to dance in front of all those men!"
"I don't know how I had the nerve to go through with it," Diane Tucker said.
Thursday night rehearsals were tense as Marcia taught us the dance steps we would do to one of our songs. She ran us through the routine 10 times, struggling to retain her composure in the face of a group of people who were in a silly, irresponsible mood.
Berg explained what halftime would be about (he was still negotiating with Oakland for Rawls) and mentioned that there were a lot of absentees and maybe they would have to think about taking away some tickets. We finished with a song called 49er Power ("From the kickoff to the gun. you'll have a lot of fun; and you'll flip 'cause we're hip").
The next morning four of us beat the sun in rising. Destination: the Round Hill Golf and Country Club, 40 miles away, for a golf tournament. Unlike the off-season tournaments, no 49er player would be participating in this one. The Nuggets' appearance at Round Hill was just goodwill for the team and good exposure for ourselves and the 49er helmet cart. Throughout the year, a Nugget might attend 12 to 20 tournaments.
Today all we had to do was smile and wish everyone good luck and pass out beer from the helmet cart as golfers got thirsty. For an hour the four of us—Diane Tucker; Pat Dennis, who has been almost everything from a model to a blackjack dealer at Lake Tahoe; and Barbara Perzigian, at 21 the youngest Nugget, who wants to be a sportscaster—sat in the sun and talked. The morning dew had not yet dried on the greens when the first tab tops were pulled.
"What's this?" an alpaca-attired entrant said, eyeing us. "Looks like an Alameda Rodeo." We all laughed politely.
"Yecch! Who are you? What is this?" A golfer with his railroad hat turned around backward and a can of beer in hand assaulted us. "Yecch! Forty-niners. Yecch! I'm from L.A. Go, Rams." To dispel any doubts we might have as to where his pigskin priorities lay, he began making very authentic gagging sounds, choking out " 49ers" in between. It was 9:45 a.m.
"If you keep making those noises," I said, "I am going to throw up on your nice white shoes."
Fortunately, his partners called him and he moved off, gagging as he went.