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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The day is finally here for the beginning of the 10th Annual Celebrity Winter Fest, a great event presented by Thomson Reuters benefiting the 49ers Foundation. Guests began to check in around noon and once again, there’s gorgeous weather up here at The Resort at Squaw Creek. I’ll keep you updated on the blog throughout the conclusion of the event Sunday morning.
Former 49ers defensive lineman Dwaine Board just checked in. All guests go straight to the registration desk and then down to the Maui Jim kiosk to pick up their Maui Jim sunglasses. Josh Morgan should arrive in about and hour so I’ll have more info when he arrives. There is a reception scheduled for 6:00 tonight, followed by a S’mores roasting session out on the deck. Stay tuned!
Offensive linemen Adam Snyder and Cody Wallace just checked in at the hotel. Snyder had his hands full, pushing the stroller for his son Kael. This will be Snyder’s fourth time attending the Celebrity Winter Fest as it’s become a tradition he looks forward to.
“It’s a great group of people and we’re supporting a great foundation,” Snyder said. “Being a part of this is really special for us. My wife does a lot of work with the 49ers Academy and we enjoy being around this great group of people.”
Snyder, a native of Southern California, is also an avid surfer, but hasn’t yet seen if his skills riding the waves can translate to the slopes.
“Playing football, I’ve never had the chance to do it,” Snyder said. “I think my skills would translate well though.”
Last year, Snyder’s son was too young to play in the snow, but this year, he’s become much more adventurous.
“This is his second year up here,” Snyder said. “Now he’s walking and he might have a little more fun this year running in the snow. We brought him some shovels to play with so it should be a really nice stay up here.”
Add in great food, lots of fun activities and terrific local wines and it’s a time everyone can enjoy.
Josh Morgan just checked in, see the photo above. The evening reception is underway so I have to run in there to make the last hour, then off to roast the perfect s’more.
I just got back to my room after a highly entertaining evening. After a reception featuring excellent food, Josh Morgan and Cody Wallace got competitive by the fire pit to see who could make the best s’more. Wallace went with two helpings of chocolate on his first attempt and immediately regretted his decision while Morgan was just focused on completing the task since it was his first time making the fireside treat. The Gold Rush also assisted some of the children at the event and made a few for themselves as well. Here’s a few more photos from the evening below. Things get started again early tomorrow, so stay tuned for more updates.
Tags: 49ers Foundation, Celebrity Winter Fest, Cody Wallace, Dwaine Board, gold rush, Josh Morgan
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Apparently the man known as “Samurai” Mike during his playing career isn’t very handy with a carving knife on Thanksgiving Day.
“I carve the turkey, I mess it up pretty much.” head coach Mike Singletary said with a smile when I asked him what his typical role was on the holiday. “My wife is still gracious enough to let me do it every year.”
Singletary enjoys helping out as much as possible, just as long as he’s able to spend quality time with his family.
“The biggest part is we just have a good time. It’s my day to serve and try to get my wife to sit down somewhere. That’s what that day is all about for me.”
The 49ers will hold practice on Thursday, but will have enough time in the day to spend time with family and friends. Singletary said in his Wednesday media session that the focus will remain the same while the players at team headquarters.
“We’ll just try and get everything done that we need to get done here in terms of keeping the focus on performing well this Sunday and trying to come away with a win. And at the same time, taking that day to enjoy your family, finding the balance between the two. That’s really it. I’m going to enjoy my family and encourage everybody else to do the same.”
Wide Receiver Josh Morgan #84
-Plans for Turkey Day?
-“I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to one of these people’s houses and eating something. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m going to go to somebody’s house and eat some good food. Whoever calls me first, that’s where I’m at. Or from my position, I can pick and choose. I can go to one house and eat something, then go to another house and eat something different. I could go to about six houses and eat different meals! I know a lot of people who can cook, so I’m going where the food’s at!”
-Favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?
“My favorite food on thanksgiving is the turkey of course. I also love the stuffing and macaroni and cheese. I like all of that. I like food period.”
-Any Thanksgiving traditions?
“As a kid, we would play football all of the time on Thanksgiving. All my cousins were there. After we come in, they would wash all of us up. Then we would watch whatever football game was on. It usually was the Lions. We’d watch Barry Sanders go crazy on Thanksgiving. That was our ritual. Both Vernon Davis and I have played on Thanksgiving before. That’s when the high school football championship was in D.C. It’s called the Turkey Bowl. We won of course. I remind Vernon all of the time. He’s upset right now, because my school is in the Turkey Bowl again tomorrow and his school didn’t make it this year. He’s a little upset right now, but he’ll get over it.”
Center Cody Wallace #59
“It’s cool. It’s happened a few times in the past. We’ve always been off for school, so I haven’t gotten to fully enjoy it.”
-What are your plans?
“Practice, then head over to my girlfriend’s house and spend time with the family. Then I get to meet all of them and hang out.”
-What do you do to help out?
“I don’t think they should let me be near the food when it’s getting prepared. I’ll wait until it’s all done.”
-What’s your favorite food?
“Just the turkey and the dressing. That’s the big thing every year and my favorite thing to eat.”
Cornerback Dre’ Bly #31
-What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?
“There are going to be a lot of guys in the “hot box” (sauna) on Friday and might be doing some extra cardio to try and burn off some of that extra fat that they gained from Thursday night.”
-What are your memories of playing on Thanksgiving while playing in Detroit?
“Normally on that Wednesday you want to eat as light as you possibly can going into a game. You don’t want to go into a game full. But after that game, it was on.”
- Favorite food on Thanksgiving?
“Everything. I always have my in-laws come in to town and help my wife cook. I pig out. I would probably say sweet potato pie. That’s my downfall. Banana pudding too.”
Tackle Barry Sims #65
-What’s the team’s mindset on Thursday?
“The plan is to get our work done obviously, that’s the most important thing. After that, we’ll get a chance to spend some time with our families and be thankful for what we have.”
-What are you thankful for?
“I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have to play football in the National Football League. To be healthy, there is a lot to be thankful for and too many things to mention. Those are the top of the list right there. I’m thankful that my wife is doing the cooking. But in our house, each person contributes in their own way. We’ve got certain people who run to the grocery store. We have helpers to help. Everybody’s going to contribute. It’s not just her cooking. But, she cooks a mean ‘bird and we’ve got a big one this year.”
-Do you carve the turkey?
“I’m not a carver. I have carved in the past, but I’m not very good at it. It’s not that fun for me. I worry about cutting my fingers off and I worry about sweating into the food. My role is to bring humor to the situation. I like to come in from a long day and tell everybody that I’ve been working while they’ve been doing nothing. We have fun and enjoy being together as a family. I enjoy having a nice sit down meal. There are only a couple times in the year when we can do that.”
Guard Chilo Rachal #62
“Just to spend time with my family; my son, my mother, and my father and to be appreciative for everything I’m thankful for.”
-What are you thankful for?
“My son. The opportunity to have this job that I love doing the most. Having time to spend with my family.”
-What’s your role on Thanksgiving?
“I’m the person who has to bring in the grocery bags from the car and into the house. I also take all of the trash out. I’ve got to be the handy man since I’m the big man.”
-How much food does an offensive lineman like yourself actually eat on Thanksgiving?
“I do some damage now. It depends on how I approach it. I start with a little bit, then come back with another little bit. Then I go full force, throttle in, goggles on and everything. I knock it down.”
Kicker Joe Nedney #6
-How do NFL players typically spend Thanksgiving?
“I’ve never spent Thanksgiving on the football field. I haven’t done that yet and it was kind of one of those little goals. My in-laws do an amazing, big, family spread. There’s the table that’s really long and one person’s on one side yelling for the salt and pepper and all that. All you see are hands and spoons and forks and all of that. There’s a lot of action, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. That’s Thanksgiving in my family now. It was given to me from my wife’s family. It’s a pretty amazing deal. My mother in-law takes any stragglers off the road; anybody who has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner and brings them to her house and cooks an amazing meal. It’s a lot of fun and there’s about four generations of people who are at the meal.”
-What is Joe Nedney doing to help out on Thanksgiving?
“There is a head of the table that the Patriarch sits at and I’m at the butt of the table. My job is to basically keep wine in people’s glasses. Sometimes I’ll go and do some dishes after. I’ll make sure if anybody needs any color commentary during the football games that are going on, I’ll provide some insight because kickers are so knowledgeable about that stuff. That’s my day. Eat a lot of food. Unbuckle the top button. You kind of fall unconscious for a while, and that’s it.”
-What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
“I love a well cooked Turkey obviously. I’m a big stuffing fan. One of the staples in my families Thanksgiving is ravioli. Ever since I’ve been married we’ve eaten ravioli’s for dinner and it’s become a holiday staple in the family. My daughter, whatever’s on the plate, she’s going to eat. My son sticks to the rolls and anything with cheese in it, then he’s happy.”
Tags: Barry Sims, Chilo Rachal, Cody Wallace, Dre' Bly, Joe Nedney, Josh Morgan, Vernon Davis
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