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Media is stuck at 'Stick

Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers

Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. (Jan. 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Greetings, Giants fans! Best here.

Just want to make that clear so when you react to this post by rolling your eyes about whiny sportswriters you don't blame TRock.

Anyway, congratulations on the big victory Sunday and good luck in the title game!

The Giants' playoff run is a great story, and on that basis alone journalists should be happy to be along for the ride.

But if only . . . the Saints had won Saturday's shootout, our lives would have been far easier.

See, even compared to an older stadium such as Lambeau Field, Candlestick Park is by far the most antiquated facility in the NFL when it comes to its press box and postgame media access.

(One of my most vivid memories of the Giants' infamous playoff loss there in January of 2003 was standing in the long press box elevator line with John Mara, watching the steam rising from his ears. Figuratively speaking, I mean.)

I know you don't care about our misery, and you shouldn't. But the situation at Candlestick is so dire even your coach was put out by it during the Giants' Nov. 13 visit.

While reporters stepped over seats to get to the field and eventually the locker room area, trying desperately to avoid the waves of humanity headed in the opposite direction up the aisles, Tom Coughlin stood in the interview room across the stadium cooling his heels waiting for someone to talk to.

It wouldn't have been a big deal after a victory, but after a loss, it was a tad awkward.

Even after the first wave of reporters arrived, p.r. honco Pat Hanlon asked Coughlin to wait a few more minutes for the second group to make its way.

So there several of us were, standing silently 10 feet away from the head coach, everyone sort of staring blankly like strangers on an elevator, not quite sure what to say or whether to make eye contact.

Oh, well. Good thing there won't be many reporters on hand for the game this weekend.

Best thing the Giants can do to avoid putting their coach in that position again:

Win in a blowout so the stands clear out early, opening a path for us to get downstairs and hear his pearls of wisdom, including his thoughts on returning to the Super Bowl.

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