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Big League Stew

Brian Wilson’s bearded airplane hits the skies

David Brown
Big League Stew

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"Air Israel: Please clear the runway!"

Not since the heyday of Haight-Ashbury and Jefferson Airplane has a San Francisco-themed aircraft been this trippy. The Splash blog at the San Francisco Chronicle says the Virgin America plane decorated with a San Francisco Giants logo and a Brian Wilson beard on the nose is like flying "the bearded skies." The turbulence will be delicious.

It's actually kind of freaking me out (and not in a Summer of Love way), mostly because it reminds me of the "Air Israel" plane from "Airplane!" (minus the yarmulke cap device). I'm also imagining Wilson wearing his George Lopez Sea Captain's outfit into the cockpit so he can fly us all home in style. And no acid needed to be dropped for such kooky visions.

It's plenty cute, but this is all related to a sponsor partnership between the G-men and Sir Richard Branson's favourite airline, which has worked out a contest that probably will break Twitter when the time comes to play. I'm wondering, though, in what other ways might the Giants airplane make passengers feel like they're at AT&T Park for a ballgame?

1. Matt Cain, celebrating his new contract extension, plates the landing gear in solid gold.

2. The guitar stylings of left-hander Barry Zito will be the in-flight entertainment.

3. Relax and listen to Zito on a headphone-pillow combination made to resemble a Panda Sandoval hat. In the unlikely event of a water landing, it can be used as a flotation device.

4. Flight attendants will pass out free snacks, beverages and rally thongs.

5. Reflecting the Brandon Belt conundrum, manager Bruce Bochy stubbornly will insist on using a washed-up veteran pilot instead of a younger, more talented guy who has been wasting away in the pilot minor leagues.

6. The soothing tones of broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow guide the flight via air-traffic control at San Francisco International.

7. Lavatories will be located in the aisles to remind everyone of the on-field bullpens at AT&T.

8. Upon every landing, Tim Lincecum will pump his fist and scream his favorite obscenity.

9. There's never a full flight because there's always a bunch of guys on the disabled list.

10. All flights seem half as long now that Buster Posey is back, whoo-hoo!

Make sure you're ready for opening day!
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