While preparing for the 2023 season, the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t resist a pointed refrain — if injuries had not sidelined both quarterbacks (Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson) during the NFC Championship Game, they’d have been playing for a Lombardi Trophy.
This blame-shifting approach to their defeat fell flat with many, and the sentiment hasn’t improved with recent reports.
Reportedly, the 49ers’ practice facility at UNLV during Super Bowl week was met with widespread disdain from within the organization itself, with the field conditions drawing sharp criticism.
That’s also seen them draw sharp criticisms from those in the media.
“The 49ers could be a really likable team if they would just stop complaining all the time,” said NFL on CBS analyst and DraftKings Network host Ross Tucker during a Radio Row appearance on 95.7 The Game’s Steiny, Guru & Lo Neal.
“About everything,” Tucker added when pressed about what exactly it is that San Francisco complains about.
Tucker was then asked to provide some examples. And he came up with some receipts.
“First of all, all you heard from any Niner all offseason — every Niner player and fan — was the only reason they lost to the Eagles was because both quarterbacks got hurt,” said Tucker.
“My recommendation would be to not let your quarterbacks get hurt; not let the defense kill your quarterbacks. Then, and they talked about it all offseason, OK?
“And then the next thing, last week, they asked (Nick) Bosa his impression of the Chiefs’ offensive line, and he was like, ‘They hold a lot.’
“Then, they asked Jed York what he remembered from the Super Bowl four years ago. ‘I remember Nick Bosa being held on 3rd-and-15.’ They’re always whining and complaining about something.
“Now, this week, what do we have? ‘The practice field isn’t good enough.’ It’s the Super Bowl; you’re barely practicing anyway — they’re doing a walk-through. Give me a break. And today, now they have the alarm pulled.”
Tucker then proceeded to reference his tweet from earlier in the afternoon.
If they lose this will be the reason why.
“The Thursday alarm pull, that changes everything,” Tucker added.
“At least now they have their built-in excuse.”
While some view the 49ers’ concerns as legitimate gripes highlighting potential shortcomings, others — like Tucker — see them as excuses or a negative public image.
Only time will tell if the team can shake off this perception and focus solely on Sunday’s Super Bowl.