After the 49ers beat Washington on Sunday in a driving rainstorm that held the final score to 9-0, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan gave the game ball to his father, former Washington coach Mike Shanahan.
“That was something I planned on doing for a while,” Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Monday. “I just, the reason I told the guys is because I was just very appreciative of them. Those conditions and stuff, you can use it as an excuse, but since we won I can at least bring it up that it is tough to go out there. It was our first 10 a.m. [PT] kickoff game this year and the weather, coming into that stadium like that and ended up having six starters out. It had a lot of excuses to not go out there and play as hard as they did, but the way they played, I was just very appreciative of that. The effort that they gave allowed me to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a while.”
Mike Shanahan wasn’t at the game. Kyle said father and son communicated after the 49ers left the stadium.
“It was actually just text because I had to get on the plane and I don’t like talking in front of other people,” Kyle Shanahan said. “So I just sent a text and it was good. . . . I didn’t have to talk to him to know that he was excited, he didn’t have to talk to me to know I was excited. We knew it would feel good if we could get that done.”
Both Shanahans have coached in multiple cities. The dysfunction they jointly experienced in D.C. still lingers with them, six years later. That’s something every candidate for the coaching job there needs to keep in mind.