Last night’s State of the Franchise event offered several memorable moments. A packed house at the California Theatre in San Jose, Calif., was treated to a night of entertainment courtesy of the prominent faces of the San Francisco 49ers.
Here are the top highlights from the evening.
1. Order Up
President Al Guido shared that Levi’s® Stadium will have a new concessionaire moving forward. The team has pivoted from Centerplate to Levy Restaurants. Fan surveys have shown that the franchise’s gameday concessions were in need of improvement. Guido is confident that Levy’s team will remedy that issue.
“They are the best in the business,” Guido said.
2. Negotiating Tactics
John Lynch revealed that the team’s contract negotiations with Richard Sherman weren’t without trials and tribulations. At one point, the GM shared that Sherman stepped out of the room to take calls from other teams. The cornerback was ready to go on a few more visits before making his decision. That’s because apparently both sides had come to a stalemate in regards to one piece of the contract.
It was Sherman’s then fiancée, now wife Ashley who helped them get past it.
“She had an idea, and it worked,” Lynch said. “So big ups to Ashley.”
Executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe joked that although Sherman served as his own agent, he probably had to pay his wife a commission due to her help in the negotiations.
3. Good Vibes Only
There was a segment of the show in which Kyle Shanahan, Robert Saleh and Richard Hightower took the stage. At the end of the trio’s appearance, co-host Peter Schrager asked all three coaches to share why they’re excited for the 2018 season.
Shanahan and Saleh’s responses elicited a huge reaction from the crowd on hand.
“I think everyone already knows,” Shanahan said. “You guys saw our last five games. You guys have seen the people that we’ve added. I hope you guys have trust for what we say and how hard we work. We won’t hesitate. We’re going to go out and do everything we can. I don’t believe we’ll let anyone down doing that. I’m as pumped as you guys are, and I think our team is also.”
And Saleh: “I can’t add much, but what I will say is this. This is our second year in the system and our players are more comfortable in what we’re doing schematically. What you should see is a much faster and more violent product. That’s what we’re excited about.”
4. A DeFo and His Dog
Richard Sherman was keen to point out that DeForest Buckner is a dog owner. It turns out the 6-foot-8 defensive lineman wasn’t in the market for a big dog and opted to go with a cavalier poodle named Kemo. Fun fact, a quick Google search revealed that’s a crossbreed between a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, better known as a “cavoodle.” The more you know, as they say.
Anyways, DeFo defended his choice of a small dog.
“He’s a really good dog, and I love him a lot,” Buckner said of Kemo. “He’s a really loyal dog. I like him cause he doesn’t shed. I don’t need a big dog knocking everything over. I’m already big myself.”
5. So Fresh and So Clean
The main event of the show was the unveiling of the throwback alternate uniforms that the 49ers will wear in 2018. Jerry Rice was on hand – in full uniform no less – to help showcase the new threads inspired by the franchise’s 1994 Super Bowl team.