Shanahan comes clean about lost backpack at Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA — Before revealing more about his coaching philosophy, new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan shared his side of the story that stole the news cycle on the Monday before the Super Bowl.

That is, the time his backpack went missing just to turn up in the hands of San Francisco Examiner columnist Art Spander.

Despite the reporting around the debacle, losing his playbook wasn’t what worried Shanahan the most, because it’s 2017 and NFL teams store gameplans on secured iPads. The reason he was panicked was the backpack had all of the tickets for his friends and family.

“Basically it’s a $30,000 bag of cash that was missing,” he said.

So, Shanahan frantically searched to no avail. But since he was a person of interest for the assembled media, he couldn’t get far without fielding questions.

“I was getting insecure, because people are trying to talk to me, and I’m like, can’t even look them in the eye,” Shanahan said. “I got to find my backpack. They’re like, ‘This guy’s weird.’”

Finally, he found Spander’s backpack where he was sitting in left field of Minute Maid Park in Houston.

A helpful reporter had Spander’s number and convinced him to return.

“Finally he came, he was wearing the backpack,” Shanahan recalled. “But he still didn’t know it was mine. So I tried to grab it from him and he shook me off.

“Eventually he realized, and he was awesome.”

Sounds about right.

Contact Jacob C. Palmer at or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.

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