The San Francisco 49ers “State of the Franchise” event revealed several bits of interesting information on Wednesday night. Some of it was breaking news as it pertains to the 2017 season and other parts were just interesting anecdotes from the franchise’s most prominent faces.
Here are the 13 most notable things we learned from the show.
1. Fine Dining
Team president Al Guido announced that enhanced concession offerings are coming in 2017. Off the Grid food trucks will now be located in Levi’s® Stadium parking lots to add more local flavor to people’s pregame routine. A few additional local venders will be in-stadium as well.
Guido also shared that the 49ers will have stadium-wide giveaways for all eight regular season home games. More details to come on the specifics of those giveaways.
3. Gameday Experience
The 49ers announced the gameday themes for all 10 home games in 2017. Those themes include Tom Rathman Hall of Fame Day (Week 1), Dwight Clark Day (Week 7), Salute to Service (Week 10) and First Responders Day (Week 12).
4. Paying Homage
Possibly the biggest news of the night was that the 49ers are bringing back the Ring of Honor to recognize those who were instrumental in the franchise’s five Super Bowl titles. That will be the centerpiece of renovations to Levi’s® Stadium that will be done by the beginning of the 2017 season.
5. Super Bowl Bids?
One fan asked a question about whether or not the franchise plans to submit a bid for any future Super Bowls. Guido shared that the team will know by October whether or not they plan to put in bids for Super Bowl 57 and 58. The 49ers and the Bay Area as a whole got rave reviews after successfully hosting Super Bowl 50.
6. Ties to History
Another fan asked why John Lynch has made it a point of emphasis to connect with all of the franchise’s legendary players. The general manager reached out to the likes of Steve Young, Joe Montana and others to make sure they knew they were encouraged to stop by whenever they wanted.
“They built this iconic organization that we all have the opportunity to be a part of,” Lynch said.
Lynch also mentioned that he enjoys walking past the team’s five Lombardi Trophies as a reminder of what the club has accomplished and the standard that everyone is held to.
7. A Nickname for the GM
When Kyle Shanahan was asked what has surprised him about Lynch, he provided a funny quip about his partner.
“I didn’t know he was Captain America in real life,” Shanahan joked. “It’s true.”
8. Commanding Respect
Lynch, who took Shanahan’s jab well, answered the same question with a bit more serious tone.
The general manager explained that he’s been impressed with how players have responded to Shanahan. San Francisco’s new head coach has managed to build a culture of accountability and consistent effort without removing the element of fun. Apparently when coaches deem that the offense and defense tied at practice, a game of ping pong serves as the tiebreaker.
What does Shanahan expect of his players?
He wants to get the most out of people on a consistent basis. There’s no “turning it up” in Shanahan’s book because there is only one speed that is accepted. He reiterated that the 49ers will leave no stone left unturned in order to find the right guys.
10. Digging Drake
Shanahan said when he got the job that he enjoys listening to Drake. One fan asked for his three favorite tracks.
“What album are we talking?” Shanahan said, smiling.
Ultimately, “One Dance”, “Started from the Bottom” and “Free Smoke” were the coach’s choices.
11. Creating Culture
Robert Saleh may have been the star of the night. The defensive coordinator delivered two quotable sound bites.
First on his philosophy as a coach: “All gas, no brake and extreme violence.”
Second on how he wants people to view his defense: “If they’re thinking about our violence on Wednesday, I feel we’re ahead of the game.”
12. Respect Your Elders
Reuben Foster continues to be a crowd favorite. Here’s what he said about his biggest surprise in the NFL thus far.
“The biggest surprise for me is how big NaVorro Bowman’s arms are,” Foster joked, earning laughs from everyone in attendance. “His arms are like my legs. It’s crazy.”
13. “The Joe and Bow Show”
Joe Staley and NaVorro Bowman closed the night in style. The leaders of the offense and defense, respectively, joked back-and-forth with each other at the end of the show. Bowman informed the audience that Staley won the team’s offseason workout challenge implemented by strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright.
The complimentary words put Staley on edge.
“Where is this going? You’re never nice to me,” Staley said.
The two were the perfect finale to an informative and fun event. There’s plenty more coming from the “State of the Franchise” so stay tuned for more.