It all started pretty well, with a short line of fans waiting at California and Van Ness for the first Muni express bus of the day to Candlestick.
An hour into the ride, we were not even at the Interstate 280 connector. By this time, the boys on the bus had cracked open beers. A passenger yelled, "Back door, back door." Everyone laughed, but not as merrily as they had at the first round of jokes.
"We have to pee," said someone in the back. "Ladies, look aside, please." A beer can rolled across the floor.
Someone opened a bottle of Champagne, but the mood was no longer festive. It was suggested that we call 911 and report a hostage situation.
"I'm not going to sit in this damn thing," said a man in the back. "I'd like to be there for the kickoff."
And then it became too much. At 2:10 p.m., with the bus at a complete standstill and not yet on the off-ramp, a pair of guys pushed open the emergency window and jumped onto the freeway shoulder. They were followed by about a dozen fans who urged others to come along: "We've got to get to the stadium. No more excuses."
They walked along the shoulder, moving quicker than us by far. There were buses behind us, and a few passengers left those, too.
At this point, a CHP car came up, loudspeaker on: "You've got to stay on the bus." The patrol car pulled in front of the bus, officers got out and addressed the highway trekkers. It seemed citations weren't issued because a few minutes later, they were walking again.
Eventually, we lurched off the freeway, passing the gang that had made use of the windows to abandon our ship.
We had arrived, having covered 8 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes. To have our hearts broken by a loss.
Here's a Frisco take on the game:
The locker room afterward was predictably glum, and the quarterback summed it all up pithily. "Crappy," Smith said.
Here's the Chron's 49ers page, should you care, and a disturbing headline:
It's just a fucking game, people. Grow up.