Football season — the NFL kind, not the “Ted Lasso” kind — is here at last. You’ll find everything you need to know in our newest premium print edition, KICKOFF, which landed on subscribers’ driveways and iPads on Aug. 29. The 72-page magazine includes stories on everything from 49er prospects to Pac 12 quarterbacks, game schedules, power players and stadium bites. Did we mention the tubas?
Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek at just a few of those stories.
Who are the real 49ers?There’s no doubt that five years into Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco tenure, the team is talented and experienced. But do they actually have a shot at the Super Bowl? Dieter Kurtenbach says, “It’s time to put up or shut up.” Cam Inman breaks down every game on the 49ers schedule and makes his prediction about how the NFC West will be won, right here.
The quarterback evolutionFootball coaches have searched and schemed to discover what makes the perfect quarterback since the game was invented. The 49ers find themselves in the middle of the latest evolutionary phase — and at a crossroads. Football beat writer Cam Inman digs into the QB question.
What to watch in the NFL this seasonHas the Patriots’ Bill Belichick lost his magic touch? Which coach will be the first one fired? And what about Jimmy G? Football beat writer Jerry McDonald is answering 20 burning questions about what lies ahead. But that’s not all. Jerry also takes a look at the NFL from top to bottom heading into the season in his Power Rankings.
Hut, hut, bite!Levi’s Stadium is open again — for football and for food. Here’s what’s new at those concession stands, from smoky barbecue to pastrami heaven, juicy burgers and Chur-Waffles.
The college ball lowdownCollege football more your style? You’ll find a story about Stanford’s top five QBs of all time and a look at this fall’s game schedule, including the Big Game against Cal, right here. Ditto for the Cardinal’s arch rival, UC Berkeley and for San Jose State’s Spartans.
Power playersSome of the football world’s most interesting figures — from athletes to musicians and chefs — are talking about their love of the game. Among those Q&As …
- Hannah Gordon isn’t just the most powerful woman in the NFL. The 49ers chief administrative officer is the one of the most powerful people in football. Period.
- The 49ers irrepressible tight end George Kittle talks football, Nashville and Bay Area restaurants.
- Head into the booth with college football sportscaster Dave Flemming, as he talks about the allure of the stadium, head-spinning games and The Axe.
Coming Tuesday …
More than just a gameExecutive Sports Editor Bud Geracie grew up in Wisconsin during the Packers’ glory days and shares, as only Bud can, how those games, those teams — and a rooftop TV antenna — forged a lifetime bond with his dad.
Uniform appealPicking the right jersey — and number — is serious business for fans and players. This season there are more choices than ever for everyone.
Must-see gamesLooking to program that DVR (or play hooky from work)? Here’s the lowdown on every must-see NFL games this season.
8 great Bay Area sports bars: Sure, the couch was comfy for the 2020-21 football season, but it’s time to get out there with a bar full of your fellow Niners, Raiders, Cardinal, Bears or Spartans’ fans. Whether you favor pro ball or college sports, these Bay Area sports bars are eager to help you cheer, beer and wings in hand.
Plus Q&As with Waterbar chef — and football fan — Parke Ulrich dishing on tailgate strategy, garlic fries and the Taste of the NFL, and former Raiderette Catherine Miller-Lopes, who choreographs the gridiron moves of the SJSU Spartan dance team.
Coming Wednesday …
Road trip for Raider Nation?Bay Area Raiders fans spent last season watching their departed team play in an empty stadium in Las Vegas because of the pandemic. How’s Raider Nation feeling about their beloved team now? And are they heading for the desert to cheer them on?
The O-LineAll eyes are on the 49ers quarterbacks, but the team has quietly assembled the best offensive line in the game. Here’s a look at the 49ers’ big guys, who are key to their season.
49ers storylinesBelieve it or not, there’s much more for 49ers fans to keep an eye out for heading into the season than Jimmy vs. Trey. Cam Inman addresses the QB situation, of course, but also takes a look at key non-QB players, potential breakout candidates and other storylines for the upcoming season.
Plus Q&As with 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam, as the big-hatted legend talks fandom and football (and beard care), and Cal Band musician Anton Bobrov on the strutting sousaphones of UC Berkeley football games.