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Media horde descends on 49ers

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.

SANTA CLARA -- Guy said, sure, a horde of media in Santa Clara for the Niners before they go to New Orleans. Super Bowl horde. Big deal.

Nothing like what they had in Philly in 2005, guy said, the Eagles going to the big one. That’s East Coast, baby. Guys could drive to Philly for the day from Boston, New York, you name it. Didn’t even need a hotel room. Had the heavy hitters coming to Philly — New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post.

West Coast too far for that action, a plane ride for sure. Reporters will catch up with the Niners in the Big Easy. Guy was onto something.

Still, and the guy agreed with this, the joint is jumping in Santa Clara. Niners haven’t seen anything like this since they played the Chargers in 1995, reporters all over the Santa Clara complex. Photographers. Radio and TV guys. Cameras. Some never even been there before. Don’t know how to pronounce Kaepernick.

Take what happened just the other day. Greg Roman Day. Offensive coordinator spoke to the media in that plastic see-through tent over by the practice field. Most of them stood, those reporters. That’s how crowded it was. People lining the plastic walls and spilling out the back into the rain like stragglers in a marathon. All those people in that small place. Smell of rain and sod and bodies.

Guy said media approached a hundred. Big number for the Niners.

In the regular season, 49ers get maybe 20 to 25 hard-core everyday reporters on Monday and Tuesday, the two big days of the week. After that, it dwindles. Kind of intimate in its way. Not as many newspapers as there used to be.

Nothing intimate right now. Lots of shoving and positioning, like for Colin Kaepernick in the locker room, reporters hustling for position, posting up, contact sport being in the media in Santa Clara.

Yahoo Sports was there and ESPN and USA Today and the local bunch. People milling about. Not enough room in the media trailer for half of them.

Niners a big story around America. Like they used to be when they were THE San Francisco 49ers, the best organization in pro sports. History repeating itself. Or about to if the 49ers beat the Ravens. A feeling something important might happen.

Such activity in Santa Clara anticipating a thing like that. And all the time you hear the bang bang of the big equipment and the hum of the drills and other stuff and guys in hard hats yelling and talking and working. They’re building the new stadium right there, 10 yards from the front door of the headquarters — not more than a first down between the stadium and the building. And nearby all those reporters scurrying around and around. And the skeleton of the new stadium looming over everyone.

The skeleton is the future and what’s happening now is the present. And someday the skeleton will be a whole flesh-and-blood body and it will be the present. Something deep about that.

CBS all over the place. Access you wouldn’t believe. CBS Army descended on the place Wednesday to do the stuff you see on television during the game. Portrait shots. Serious shots. Sit-down interviews.

Marino with Kaepernick.

Cowher with Vernon.

Justin and Aldon together — share the name, share the fame.

Patrick.

Five guys. Four features. CBS working hard. Twenty people on site.

NFL Network there, too. Grabbing players all over the place. Guy figured 28 Niners got interviewed. Maybe more.

Big story these Niners.

Niners knocking themselves out to cooperate. While the reporters scurry, the Niners have set up three television sets for the national people. It’s like the Niners’ complex is one big TV studio. Hello, Johnny.

You want an example?

The maintenance shop. Almost looks like an airplane hangar. That large. They keep all the lawn mowers in the shop and sod and other football field stuff. Well, forget that. They cleared out the sucker. Now it’s a set for the interviews and for whatever else TV folks do.

They have an old weight room near the locker room. Old weight room is a TV set this week. There’s a third set I lost track of. TV sets all over the place. And the players studying and practicing and interviewing. Big celebrities. TV stars. Kaepernick could have his own show.

Something we haven’t seen in almost two decades. It’s all about the hurry and worry of going to the Super Bowl. It’s about the hustle of being important, of being in demand, of being the center of everything, of having arrived, and being on top, almost.

And the big machines go bang bang and the whole place hums.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.

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