Frustrated 49ers: Emmanuel Sanders walks off after 'dumb question'

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Emmanuel Sanders, understandably, didn’t want to talk after Super Bowl LIV.

The losing side of a Super Bowl can feel like a funeral. Players and coaches will talk because it’s part of their job. Cam Newton famously walked off after a few short answers following a defeat in Super Bowl 50.

Sanders wasn’t pleased with the first question, asking which route he ran when Jimmy Garoppolo barely missed him in the final minutes of the San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“What do you think it was?” Sanders said. “What route do you think it was? What did it look like? What route do you think it was?”

A post route.

“Yeah, it was a post route,” Sanders said.

Was it close to being completed?

“How close do you think I was?” Sanders said. “That’s a dumb question. Next question.”

Sanders answered a third question. On the fourth question, he was done.

“They played better in the fourth quarter,” Sanders said.

A little more than a minute after his news conference started he got up and left.

San Francisco 49ers' Emmanuel Sanders sits on the bench during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The 49ers’ interview room was mostly gloomy after the game, as one would expect. It’s not fun to lose a Super Bowl, as Sanders can tell you.

Joe Staley: ‘Put yourself in my shoes for a second’ 

The mood of the 49ers’ interview room after Super Bowl LIV was what someone would expect after a team lost a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter. 

49ers tackle Joe Staley had a couple short answers, including a one-word answer. Then he was asked if this loss stung more than his first Super Bowl loss, which was seven years ago. 

Staley, who has always been accommodating to the media, apologized for his mood, though he didn’t need to. 

“I’m sorry,” Staley said. “This is super disappointing. This is very hard being in this moment right now. You put your heart and soul and your whole entire life into trying to be a Super Bowl champion, and you get toward the end of your career and you realize how rare these opportunities are.

“The emotions are still raw and real for me right now. I’m trying to answer questions, and I’m sorry that I’m not ... put yourself in my shoes for a second. It is tough.” 

Anyone should understand that. 

‘Probably one of the worst feelings in the world’

There were a lot of questions about how the 49ers players felt after having a Super Bowl title so close, only to have it snatched away. 

”It sucks, you know what I mean?” Buckner said. 

Some 49ers spoke confidently about bouncing back next season. That’s not guaranteed. The Los Angeles Rams said similar things after last year’s Super Bowl and didn’t make the playoffs in the 2019 season. The heartbreak of blowing a fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl won’t go away anytime soon.

“To be so close and coming up short,” Buckner said, “it’s probably one of the worst feelings in the world.” 

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