There were probably a few 49ers, current and former, who raised their hands at how Super Bowl LVII ended, including former Niner Michael Crabtree.
There’s a meme out there that features actor James Franco about to be hanged in the 2018 film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Franco turns to his left with a rope around his neck and asks, “first time?”
Perhaps you’ve seen the movie or the meme.
Anyway, that meme is probably something the San Francisco 49ers would like to share with the Super Bowl-losing Philadelphia Eagles, who walked away from last Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs with plenty of questions and frustrations about how the game ended.
For those who didn’t watch the game, Philly cornerback James Bradberry was flagged for defensive holding against KC wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster on a ball that was overthrown by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
That was on a 3rd-and-8 call, and the new set of downs allowed Kansas City to burn down the clock and kick what ended up being a game-winning field goal to seal the deal 38-35.
You be the judge, though:
Later on, Bradberry told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson that the penalty was legit and warranted, although he hoped the officials “would let it ride.”
They didn’t. And controversy will ensue.
Granted, there are plenty of Niners players and fans who are relishing the moment, even if it means another Kansas City Super Bowl win. Especially after so many of the calls in the NFC Championship game two weeks before going against San Francisco and in favor of Philadelphia.
But, what if you learned a former 49ers player also wanted to shout out, “first time?” from the top rafters?
Former 49ers WR Michael Crabtree responds to Super Bowl penalty with his own infamous moment
Perhaps former Niners wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s tenure with the team ended on a sour note, and he won’t go down as one of San Francisco’s most-beloved players of all time.
However, it took him a mere four characters on Twitter to point out a similar incident 10 years ago in which both he and the 49ers were involved:
Yes, 2013. Super Bowl XLVII when the Niners lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
In that instance, Crabtree was visibly held by Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith in the end zone, yet no flag emerged. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s pass ended up being incomplete and just out of the reach of Crabtree, who couldn’t quite get to the ball’s splash point because of Smith’s hold.
Again, you can be the judge by watching the slow-mo replay here. However, with Smith clearly pulling Crabtree’s jersey, one can only wonder how either Super Bowl’s outcome would have been if there was consistency.
There wasn’t. And Crabtree just reminded us of it.