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Kyle Shanahan lost the Falcons Super Bowl game plan for half an hour

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All’s well that ends well, but something sort of along these lines happened to Bill Walsh in 1996. Maybe it’s a good sign!

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The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach sometime next week, but in the meantime, the distractions might be getting to him! In one of the funnier stories of Super Bowl week, thus far, Shanahan told USA Today about how he lost his backpack during his hour-long media appearance at Super Bowl 51’s Opening Night. I mention it because his backpack contained the Falcons game plan for the game!

It turns out, newspaper columnist and Bay Area legend Art Spander was involved in the incident. Spander had put his own backpack down during Shanahan’s session, and then grabbed Shanahan’s by mistake. Shanahan and Falcons security spent 30 minutes trying to find the backpack. Spander returned because he realized it was not his and he was scared he had lost his own laptop and other items.

Cam Inman wrote about this and mentioned something kind of similar happened to Bill Walsh back in the 90s. You can read more about it in this Los Angeles Times article.

Walsh was working as a consultant for the 49ers, and while signing an autograph in Green Bay, accidentally handed over papers wit the first 16 offensive plays the 49ers were going to use that week against the Packers. The Packers fan who got the autograph tried to get them passed along to then packers coach Mike Holmgren, but never heard anything. It resulted in this classic quotation from Walsh that I had never heard before:

"Well, in all seriousness I have to publicly accuse Mike Holmgren of planting a Mata Hari among the autograph seekers. It's the slickest thing I've seen in a long time."

So I guess that puts Kyle Shanahan in good company, right?