According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Shanahan was scurrying to find a backpack containing the Super Bowl game plan. "I've got to find it," Bell reported Shanahan as saying.
Just when you were thinking, “Aha! Belichick!” and concocting the greatest conspiracy theory since Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan, reality intervened. Turned out Art Spander, the longtime columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, had picked up Shanahan’s backpack by mistake when he finished interviewing the soon-to-be minted 49er HC. Spander realized this only when he walked upstairs to the work room and was contacted by a colleague. The computer Spander believed to be in his bag wasn’t there because the bag wasn’t his.
Spander returned Shanahan’s backpack to NFL security, who returned it to Shanahan.
“That would have been bad,” Shanahan said in a message to USA Today.
And it would have. But I need to ask: Was it a great idea to bring a backpack containing a game plan to a public event when you know Patriots people will be in the house, too?
An hour after Shanahan had vacated his perch along the third-base line, the area was filled with New England coaches doing their media rounds.