They knew the questions were coming. How are 50+ athletic, popular guys with loads of free time going to resist going out and getting smashed in New Orleans? The 49ers reportedly don’t have a curfew until tomorrow (Tuesday) night, but after seeing this place for the first time today I can tell you — this is a city that likes its libations.
“Just staying in a hotel,” Alex Boone said in response to one of the many none-of-your-business questions six 49ers players and Jim Harbaugh faced during today’s media session.
“Coach said it before, we’re here on a business trip. Randy said it, we’re here on business. We’re not here to party, we’re not here to have fun. We’re here to work and when you’re done you can do whatever you want.”
That’s right. RANDY. Mr. Moss spoke to the team before they left Santa Clara, and in a crazy turn of events looks far more likely to remain with the 49ers in 2013 than Alex Smith (imagine predicting that before the season).
“He made some great comments. To have a guy like him on this team is huge,” said Boone.
My plane touched down around 2 pm today, then I raced to the place I’m staying and tossed my suitcase in the bedroom before walking downtown and getting my credential. I’m still kind of shocked they had one for me. Then I hopped on a shuttle to the 49ers media sessions, where I was only a couple minutes late for Jim Harbaugh’s press conference.
It was weird. There were a ton of people in there, but most of the reporters stood to the side (probably thinking they’d have a better chance of getting the mic, which didn’t turn out to be the case). So there were several empty chairs right in front, where I saw Harbaugh talk about his Sharpie
necklace whistle accessory up close.
This ain’t Santa Clara
There were two questions that were asked A LOT in some form or another.
1. How has Alex Smith dealt with his demotion?
2. What are your feelings on Barack Obama saying he wouldn’t let his hypothetical son play football?
After Smith made those candid comments to Peter King, that question should come as a surprise to no one. But all the 49ers are going to do is speak in glowing terms about their former starter at QB. Harbaugh talked about how Smith coaches Colin Kaepernick more than he does these days, which either means Smith is the best person ever or Harbaugh is the best delegator ever (or both).
As for the second question, I know the game (the media one, I mean), but what are guys at the top of their profession going to say when asked if their game is too violent? “You know, I agree wholeheartedly with the President. I’ve been thinking about quitting football for quite some time, and this finally pushed me over the edge.
“You know what, it is a violent game but too violent? Guys are big and explosive,” said Bruce Miller. “I think they are taking more caution and taking player safety into account more.”
“I love our President, and I don’t mean to disrespect him. But I wouldn’t mind if my kids played football,” Boone said. “It’s physical, it’s fun. And once you play it you understand so much more about life and being in a group around guys, you build a brotherhood, you learn to rely on each other. There’s so much you can learn from this game. It is a physical game, but it’s a fun game and if he doesn’t want his kid playing it then … sorry dude.”
Did I say earlier that Boone was one of the stars today? I asked him about who the nastiest offensive lineman on the team is (taking himself out of the equation). His answer probably won’t surprise you if you’ve been paying attention to this team at all over the last couple years.
He also has a funny response to Mark Purdy’s question on the most interesting thing he has seen in New Orleans.