By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
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By Rachel Swan
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By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Last week, the city and the San Francisco 49ers announced that Candlestick Park would be renamed Monster Park, following an agreement on a four-year, $6 million naming-rights deal with Monster Cable Products Inc., a Brisbane firm with 750 employees best known for its premium-priced speaker wires. The latest in a series of corporate name changes for San Francisco's stadiums -- the 44-year-old Candlestick was called 3Com Park from 1995 to 2001, and the Giants' SBC Park was called Pacific Bell Park from its opening in 2000 until this year -- has proved especially controversial. Joining outraged sports fans and residents who don't want to see more corporate logos on the city's facades, four supervisors, led by Board President Matt Gonzalez, have sponsored a ballot measure for November that would ban any name but Candlestick for the aging, windblown stadium. But Mayor Gavin Newsom says the city badly needs its half of the $6 million, split with the 49ers, to balance next year's budget and prevent deeper service cuts. Are you, too, an apologist for Monster Park? Take our quiz and find out!
1) When you first heard that the hallowed 'Stick would now be called Monster Park, in honor of a company called Monster Cable Products Inc., what was your reaction?
A) A stadium-naming contract for $6 million? Wow, the city got a really bad deal -- kind of like that time at Good Guys when I got snookered into buying those ridiculous, overpriced audio cables.
B) You mean Monster.com, right?
C) Forget all those departed coaches and players -- this is the deal that'll turn the 49ers' fortunes around.
2) Newsom's predecessor, Willie Brown, tried twice to reach a naming-rights agreement for Candlestick, but a contentious Board of Supervisors voted his attempts down, fearing a public backlash against corporate name tags. What do you think the current deal says about the state of San Francisco?
A) Man, things were so much more fun when Willie was around.
B) Wait, I still don't understand. Can this Monster company help me find a job?
C) This is 2004, folks. Sports stadiums aren't sacred. And if you're going to sell out to a corporation, you might as well sell out to the largest employer in Brisbane.
3) Monster beat out several high-profile companies interested in buying the name of Candlestick Park, including Oracle, Wells Fargo Bank, and Virgin USA. Would you have preferred the city strike a deal with one of those firms?
A) Nah. Those are all companies I've heard of.
B) Wells Fargo Bank Park ... you know, in hindsight, 3Com had kind of a nice ring to it.
C) "Virgin Park?" Isn't that what they call USF's campus?
4) Although the Consumer Electronics Association projects Monster's sales at $2 billion next year, the increasingly visible company rose from humble beginnings: Monster's owner and founder, San Franciscan Noel Lee, started his firm in 1978 in a Richmond District garage. Which of the following facts about Lee do you find most astonishing?
A) He doesn't like to be called chief executive, preferring the term "Head Monster."
B) After earning an engineering degree in college, he followed his dream and played drums in a band called Asian Wood.
C) Both "A" and "B" are 100 percent, absolutely true.
5) Which of San Francisco's landmark public structures would you least like to see branded with a corporate moniker?
A) The Golden Gate Bridge.
C) The Transamerica Pyramid.
6) Which of these quotes from the company's press release announcing the stadium deal do you find the most confounding?
A) 49ers Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Peart: "Monster represents what San Francisco and the 49ers is all about."
B) Head Monster Noel Lee: "We think that the fans will get a kick out of the name Monster Park because it's cool."
C) Once again, the Head Monster: "Monster Park is living the American Dream." (Bonus point for emphasizing that not even a hard-core apologist can fathom this statement.)
7) For decades, San Francisco fans and athletes have had a unique love-hate relationship with the blustery, unforgiving Candlestick Park, which is a key platform of the ballot measure to preserve its original name. In your mind, what's the best way to honor the ever-more-run-down facility?
A) Blow it up. And I'm a season-ticket holder.
B) Gee, I dunno. Is there a cable company called Freezing My Ass Off?
C) Final game of the season, halftime show, three words: "Asian Wood reunion."
How to score:
Score zero points for every "A" answer, one point for every "B," and two points for every "C."
0-6 points: Congratulations, you're fighting to preserve the integrity of San Francisco. Against Gavin Newsom.
7-10 points: Oh, God. "Network Associates Coliseum" is actually more hip than "Monster Park."
11-14 points: Of course this means Bill Walsh is coming back to coach the team. And we hear Brisbane is beautiful this time of year.