Half of us climbed aboard an antique fire truck to watch the game. Shortly before the half ended, the 49ers scored and the other Nuggets came flying around the field on the cable car, waving and ringing bells. With a few minutes left on the clock we hustled to the sidelines and were lost in a sea of pompon girls. Someone came along and told us to precede the llamas onto the field.
"At least we don't have to follow them," said a Nugget. Raffles, the chimp, dressed in a 49ers uniform, was banging his helmet on the ground (someone suggested they substitute him for Quarterback Steve Spurrier) and the water buffalo appeared to be asleep.
The helmet cart crept through the crowd of waiting performers, carrying an injured Gene Washington. He smiled, shrugged at his own misfortune and was swallowed up in a blob of pompons.
The show went off perfectly. Lou Rawls came riding in on the elephant, much to the amazement of fans who had been listening to the Series on their radios, the pompon girls danced their hearts out and a 6-year-old twirler in cotton-candy pink dropped her baton only a couple of times.
The Niner Nuggets were introduced and we sang our two songs, smiling like Miss Americas. Perhaps I imagined it, but I swear I didn't hear a single pair of hands clapping when we finished.
It was all over. We had sung and danced in front of 52,881 people. Just another Sunday in the life of a Nugget.
All the hours on the freeway, the jerks on the golf course, the cleaning bills, the tryouts—all of it for a five-minute bit in Candlestick Park.
"Who knows why they do it?" Lou Spadia says. For some it is a springboard to modeling, acting or singing. For others, the chance to be somebody besides a secretary five days a week. For one, it had something to do with that band playing When You're Smiling.