49ers Super Bowl Collapse Might Have Saved Countless Lives

Dan Mennella
April 14, 2020 - 1:34 pm

The 49ers were one quarter away from capturing the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LIV -- and doing so could have cost untold Californians their lives, according to a report.

The Niners' collapse denied them their sixth Super Bowl title and, with it, an opportunity to host a parade, which could have exposed thousands of people to the coronavirus at a time when the contagion was beginning to spread undetected in the Bay Area, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives,” said University of California San Francisco Department of Medicine chairman Dr. Bob Wachter, according to the Journal.

“It would not have taken much spread in early February for the thing to have gotten way out of hand,” Wachter added. “That would’ve been enough to light the fire.”

Of course, the Chiefs pulled out a fourth-quarter rally for the ages in the big game, setting the stage for the parade to be held instead in Kansas City -- which has seen relatively fewer cases.

The NFL has forged ahead with its usual offseason calendar under the unusual circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With preseason games and the regular season still several months off in the distance, the league hasn't yet had to confront the prospect of changing its schedule.

The NFL Draft, scheduled for April 23-25, will be "fully virtual" for the first time so as to observe social distancing measures.

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