Courtesy of Ed Jay Photography
SANTA CLARA — Much of what the 49ers did in their final regular season home game focuses on their quest to finish as the number one seed in the NFC. For the second time in three weeks they won in dramatic fashion as time expired on a Robbie Gould field goal to beat the Los Angeles Rams 34-31.
But to me and I'm sure many others out there who have felt the pain and suffering of the death of a family member, one win was more symbolic to the Beathard family who received the most shocking and tragic news that 22-year old Clayton Beathard, the brother of 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard was stabbed to death outside of a bar in downtown Nashville in the early morning hours leading up to Saturday night’s game.
In addition to Clayton, another man, 21-year-old Paul Trapeni III also suffered fatal stab wounds while a third wounded man was hospitalized and later released. It brings to light the insignificance of sports which is simply a form of entertainment.
But what is redeeming from all of this is the quality of character and the camaraderie the 49ers as an organization feel for C.J., especially the 49ers players. Many of whom expressed their deepest condolences after the game.
Sports is filled with cliches. For instance, the "speech" by Crash Davis to Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham illustrates how players tell the media silly fluff quotes: 'taking games one day at a time,’ and 'give it 100 percent' and 'I'm just happy to be here' amongst other filler BS.
I'm guessing these are supposed to be handed down so we as reporters don't have anything that can be interpreted as bulletin board material to be controversial or antagonistic. The reality is that quotes like that are fed to us in the media so often, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a canned cliché I'd be a rich man.
I'm not advocating athletes are philosophers or poets because they're not paid to be. They're paid to play sports. Because of their great talents on the field, as public figures they are then given a forum off the field (like it or not) to address their fans through the media and now, social media. I appreciate that at the end of the day, these athletes are people like you and me.
Long after I got home from the football game I was still trying to cope with the news and for me, it's very difficult to comprehend. Mclinchey said it best, there isn't much more you can say except to keep the Beathard family in your thoughts and prayers.
Cherish every moment of life because this is a reminder you never know how long you have and nobody is promised tomorrow.
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Safety Jimmie Ward after the 49ers 37-20 win over the Washington Commanders on December 24, 2022.
Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk after the 49ers 37-20 win over the Washington Commanders on December 24, 2022.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw after the 49ers 37-20 win over the Washington Commanders on December 24, 2022.