End of an era: 49ers say farewell to NaVorro Bowman

I remember writing up a recap of the 49ers drafting Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman. I was at my friend’s house and I had brought my laptop with me. At the time I was still getting my footing as a beat writer. But I felt that Bowman was a smart pick. Even though he was not a first round selection, he had a strong pedigree and had potential for growth.

Since then, Bowman was a four-time First All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowl selection and at times, was the best defender on the team. And that’s with Patrick Willis next to him.

Bowman was a great professional to work with and he always gave me respect. He was a beast of a linebacker and it’s a shame injuries prevented him from reaching his best potential.

Regardless, he was beloved by many fans and they will always cherish his pick-six at The Stick. That’s an image that will last a lifetime.

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The odd 49ers number font during the 1996 season

I was only 10 when the 1996 season rolled around. The 49ers adopted this completely new uniform design for the season. They changed the facemask from gray to red, introduced a new logo with a darker red, implemented a dropshadow number font, brought in white pants and a moved the TV numbers to the shoulders.

But what I couldn’t really figure out was the number font. Based on photos, I always assumed the 49ers kept this new number font for one season. The following tweet got me wondering. Notice how thick the number is on Steve Young’s jersey.

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#TBT with me at my first season as a 49ers reporter

I was reminded on Facebook about this photo I had taken during my first season covering the 49ers. I cannot remember if it was my first game (it probably wasn’t) but I remember that season very well.

That 2009 season was a tough one for the team but it allowed me to get a first taste of what it was like to be a reporter and doing serious work. I cherish my time covering the team in those three seasons.

I miss Candlestick Park also. I wish I could go back and watch a game there. But times have changed now. I hope the 49ers get back to their winnings ways.

Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during national anthem: Both sides are right and wrong

So here is the controversy from last night that has spilled over into Saturday.

During the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick did not stand while the rest of his team did. Kaepernick explained that he couldn’t stand for the national anthem and support a country who oppresses black people and minorities. As you can see above, the NFL has responded.

And there we have two sides of this situation. One side believes that Kaepernick has the right to voice his feelings in this way and it’s well within his constitutional rights. Others believe that it’s disrespectful to what the flag and all those who have served our country mean to the nation.

And I think both sides are right.

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Eddie DeBartolo’s Hall of Fame speech was special

This is Eddie DeBartolo’s Hall of Fame speech. This was a speech we have been waiting for a long time.

I personally love all the talk about family and that is what made Eddie D so beloved.

But it’s that final story about how Bill Walsh prepared a gift for Eddie D for his induction into the Hall of Fame. It just showed how wonderful that bond was. It was spectacular.

Watch the entire speech above.

Farewell to Examiner.com, the place where I got my career start

This breaks my heart. Examiner.com was the place I got my strong foothold in online journalism back in January 2009 covering the San Francisco 49ers. That’s three seasons covering the team and I wrote a ton of pieces and traveled to a lot of places. Here is the link to my page which is still up right now.

I understand the reason for the change and it’s part of the business. I still miss covering the team and some of my best writing was from my time with Examiner.com.

So long Exmainer.com. Thank you for giving me the platform to cover the 49ers, attend practices and games, and meet the players and coaches. The experience was life-changing.

 

The 49ers’ hiring of Chip Kelly will test Jed York’s patience like never before

When the San Francisco 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh, they had it easy. The team immediately saw success and didn’t have to entertain the idea of wondering whether or not the hire was a good one. It was a great hire. The 49ers were contenders for the Super Bowl in the first three seasons of Harbaugh’s tenure. Then in the fourth season, due to some power struggle and undermining, the team faltered to an 8-8 record and Harbaugh was gone.

Rather than thoughtfully seek a new head coach, the 49ers under CEO Jed York took the easy way out and hired Jim Tomsula and revamped the coaching staff to this collection of misfit ideas. It was a poor hire and one year later, the 49ers let Tomsula go. He couldn’t wait to get rid of Harbaugh instead of resolving the issue. He quickly then dismissed Tomsula (with news surfacing before season ended).

So the 49ers knew they had to get it right. They can’t afford to screw up once again. After interviewing the likes of Hue Jackson, Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan, the team settled for Chip Kelly.

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