San Francisco is awash with blue this weekend.
Hundreds of Wolf Pack football fans have been traveling to the city by the bay for the past two days, while thousands more are expected here today to watch 13th ranked Nevada face Boston College in the Kraft Feed Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park.
At 6 p.m., the Pack will take the field against the Eagles, hoping to snap a four-game bowl losing streak that began with a heartbreaking loss against the University of Miami at Boise in 2006.
But the blue surf field and Boise's one-chilling temperatures from that game should not be a factor. In fact, Boise is no San Francisco. Fewer than 3,000 Nevada fans braved the late December weather to navigate the two-lane highway to Bronco Stadium. Lackluster attendance from Pack fans also followed the team to the New Mexico (yawn) Bowl and again to Boise two years ago and Hawaii last year when SMU spanked Nevada.
This game, though, will feel like a home game for the Pack as 27,000 Nevada fans - roughly the size of Churchill County - as Interstate 80 transforms into a conveyor belt from Reno westward. At the California Agriculture Inspection station east of Truckee, an inspector noted that many vehicles rolling through the checkpoint early Saturday morning bore Nevada license plates.
Those Pack fans are making themselves feel right at home. Fans adorned in silver and blue apparel are everywhere from Fisherman's Wharf to the bars and shops north of AT&T Park. Even the front window display at the Giants Dugout Store features Nevada and Boston College shirts and hats.
As Pack fans engage in some pre-game festivities, the players spent their time at one of the churches in Downtown San Francisco serving several hundred lunches to many homeless and needy residents. In keeping with the name of the bowl, players and coaches alike witnessed first-hand how volunteers at the Glide Memorial Church on Taylor Street prepare and serve meals.
Words such as humbling rolled from many players' mouths in describing their experience.
Offensive line coach James Spady acted like a mess hall sergeant, directing players and other coaches to their stations.
We talked about the lunch-time experience for the Wolf Pack.
"This is a life's lesson. We're so fortunate," Spady said.
The assistant coach looked around the small dining room housed in the basement.
"Look at these guys coming in here. They're thrilled to have a meal," Spady said.
And although the team is 230 miles from Reno, Spady said the Pack made some new fans at the dining hall by working hard.
That's lesson in helping their fellow man will resonate with every player . Although winning Sunday's game is priority No. 1, the long-lasting lesson from Glide Memorial Church will be one of unselfish service.