With a million parties to choose from in New Orleans, two 49ers players are stressing self control and hoping their teammates remember why they made the trip to the Big Easy.
The AFC and NFC Championship games are over which means that the Super Bowl is right around the corner. That gives every American and excuse to host parties on a Sunday in which there are enough fatty foods served to make any fast-food restaurant chain feel gross and where the majority of the guests pay more attention to million-dollar commercials than the actual game. It's a different story for the players participating in the NFL's biggest game, even though it isn't always all business. There are plenty of parties and late-night events for them too. There are, however, a few players are the 49ers roster that are stressing restraint when it comes to the non-football related aspects of the Super Bowl so they won't forget why they made the trip to the Big Easy in the first place.
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Jonathan Goodwin, the team's center, is one of those players and is one of only a few on the team to have played in a Super Bowl before. In 2009, Goodwin was on the New Orleans Saints team that defeated the Colts in the Super Bowl. According to him, there were a few players that missed the team's bus to Media Day, which brought on the wrath of Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees.
"Payton yelled at us, got on us and left," Goodwin said. "As soon as he left, Drew spoke."
Payton and quarterback Drew Brees set the tone and made sure that everyone else fell in line.
"(Payton) stressed that it's a business trip, we're there to win the game, not to enjoy the parties," Goodwin said. "We had some issues early on, and he kind of gave us a speech at media day and it got us back on track."
Another player is second-year fullback Bruce Miller. He knows that New Orleans is known for it's party atmosphere made famous by countless movies and TV shows, and players will have plenty of opportunities to have some fun outside of football. He also knows, though, that he doesn't want to be the guy who becomes the distraction and ends up destroying some of the veteran players' chances of winning their first Super Bowl rings.
"You don't want that on your shoulders, to be the one who causes a distraction or anything like that," Miller said. "Yeah, you don't want to see those guys coming."
He also knows that his chances of playing in more than one Super Bowl are slim to none. He believes the entire team is going to take the same approach as he is, which is to focus on bringing home the Lombardi Trophy, and then focus on the partying.
"The chances that you're going to be flying to another Super Bowl in your career are very small," Miller said. "I like to think that everyone is going to take the same approach and after the game we can celebrate a Super Bowl win for a long time. That's the approach we're going to take."