Saturday will be another action-packed day here at the 49ers 10th Annual Celebrity Winter Fest. Center Cody Wallace and guard Tony Wragge got things started, participating in a Cardiogolf session taught by Karen Jansen.
Jansen walked the two offensive linemen, guests and Gold Rush cheerleaders through a series of warm-up movements and then broke down the golf swing step by step.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wragge said. “Karen taught me that the basic principles of the swing haven’t changed, but they need to be perfected. That’s one of the things I really need to work on as a big guy. I need to work on my flexibility, core strength and the basics. I need to focus on following through properly. I don’t always get out enough since I’m focused on football, but I always like to improve my game.”
With a golf club not much more than two feet long, Wragge did feel somewhat awkward while receiving the instruction.
“The club probably goes up to my mid-thigh so it was kind of goofy but the principles were still the same,” Wragge said. “It makes a lot of sense when you use the club, but it started to feel like kiddie golf for since I’m so big.”
There will be an ice sculpting demonstration and competition at 1:00, followed by a Chalk Talk session with the players and coached at 3:00. Stay tuned!
We just got finished with the ice carving competition where teams were asked to carve 49ers helmets. Each team of two went with their own creative touches, including everything from hollowing out the face mask as well as adding eyes and cracks from game play.
“We have fractures in the top of the helmet,” said Seth Gersch, 49ers Foundation board member. “We have a bad, bad bruise in the front of the helmet. We have a very abstract look to our helmet and we’re very pleased with the result.”
“This is the helmet after the Super Bowl game,” added James Kyson-Lee, the actor who play’s Ando from Heroes. “It’s a true work of art. It represents the journey of an athlete through the Super Bowl after an NFL season.”
While Kyson-Lee and Gersch were thrilled with their final product, linebacker Parys Haralson was left frustrated after experiencing technical difficulties when his drill bit broke.
“Our drill bit was a little short,” Haralson said. “I told [the instructor] my bit wouldn’t get deep enough because we were trying to get up in there.”
Josh Morgan also had some hardware problems after giving his carving took to the neighboring Takeo Spikes. Morgan’s team still managed to finish with a very nice looking helmet.
“I was the inspiration, but my partner did most of the work,” Morgan said. “We carved it to perfection. We were doing fine until we tried to share [with Spikes] and be good sports and they broke our tool so that put us back a little bit. We’re going to win. We have the eyes, my umber in the back and the S-F. If it wasn’t melting so bad, it would look perfect.”
The teams will have to wait until the dinner reception tonight to find out who won.
The Chalk Talk this afternoon was a huge success. Head coach Mike Singletary started the event by stating the team’s philosophy and mission heading into the 2010 season.
Then, running backs coach Tom Rathman demonstrated the four points of pressure in order to ensure ball security, the key component of Rathman’s coaching philosophy. It was evident that Rathman had given his daughter Samantha the same instruction as his players as the coach enlisted her help to go over proper ball carrying technique.
Each of the players also walked the audience through several plays in a film session similar to what the they might go through in one of their team meetings.
One of the most interesting moments came in the Q&A session that followed, when quarterback Alex Smith broke down offensive play calls, describing what each part of the call means and the many options he has to change a play after it has been called in the huddle. Having played in several different offensive systems, he described the different ways of calling plays in the digit system the team uses currently and the West Coast offense which Smith ran during his first year in the NFL.
“It was incredible,” Eileen Goodwin said after the conclusion of the Chalk Talk. “As a person who watches football but has never played, they really made it understandable. Every one of them has a terrific personality and it really came through in their answers.”
Goodwin was also the winner of the raffle for an autographed football. However, since Rathman drew her number, the coach pulled a pop quiz and made her recite the four points of pressure he taught earlier. Being put on the spot, Goodwin passed and was able to receive her reward.
“I remember when he played and I can see why he’s a great coach,” Goodwin said about Rathman. “It stuck in my head. Having his daughter come up and demonstrate made it easier for me to perform it later.”
The evening schedule is the same as Friday night. There is a reception and silent auction at 5:30 followed by dinner and a live auction at 6:30.
UPDATE: John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls closed the event with an exclusive concert for all the guests at the Celebrity Winter Fest. Here are a few photos from the final night.
Tags: Alex Smith, Celebrity Winter Fest, Cody Wallace, Josh Morgan, Parys Haralson, Tom Rathman, Tony Wragge
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