49ers

Candlestick struck by two blackouts

617268.jpg

Candlestick struck by two blackouts

SAN FRANCISCO -- A pair of power outages struck Candlestick Park Monday night, causing delays for the 49ers and Steelers in their high-profile, nationally televised game.

The first snafu occurred 20 minutes before the scheduled 5:40 p.m. kickoff; the second hit at approximately 6:42 p.m. local time. In each case the stadium was thrown into total darkness.

According to Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Joe Molica, the stadium was the only customer in the area that lost power. He said the cause of the breakdowns was unknown. Later, the 49ers speculated that "offsite transformer problems" may have been the cause.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, asked after the 20-3 win about the scene in the locker room at the time of the first power failure, deadpanned "it was dark," prompting laughter from members of the media.

Following the pregame failure, the stadium returned to darkness with 12:13 remaining in the second quarter and the 49ers holding a 6-0 lead on a pair of David Akers field goals -- each following interceptions of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

RELATED: Blackout at Candlestick -- what they're saying on Twitter

During the delay, suspended Steelers linebacker James Harrison published the following message on his Twitter account of @jharrison9292:

"If I cant play then can't nobody play... Lights out!"

San Francisco team president Jed York published this tweet:

"Electric atmosphere tonight."

Players for both teams remained on the field and active, attempting to stay loose. The game resumed at approximately 6:59 p.m. During the delay, a fan ran on the field before being gang-tackled by security.

The initial power outage happened prior to the start of the highly anticipated inter-conference game and resulted in a 20-minute delay of kickoff. Power was cut at 5:19 p.m. and restored at 5:28.

Game announcer Mike Tirico termed it "an embarrassing night for the 49ers and the city of San Francisco" after the second occurrence.

The 49ers issued this statement late in the first quarter:
We have all resources working to find out what happened. As more information becomes available, we will issue an update. The game was delayed for 20 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. PT.

The team issued another statement at 7:51 p.m.:Right now, we believe the power outage occurred because of a blown transformer. We have all our available personnel working to confirm that. There are more questions than answers; we have asked PG & E to assure us and the NFL that this will not reoccur. We will continue to update you as we learn more.

Both teams were off the field for the first failure, in the locker rooms at the south end of the stadium. Through it all, a color guard stationed on the field as part of the National Anthem remained unflinchingly in place near the 50-yard-line.

Emergency lights brought back some visibility before power to the stadium was fully restored.

It's not the first time that Monday Night Football has dealt with delays due to power, nor the first time the Steelers were involved.

Other recent instances were last season in Week 1 (Ravens vs. Jets) with power failure as the culprit and Week 5 in 2010 (Vikings vs. Jets), due to lightning.

In 2007 the Week 12 contest between the Dolphins and Steelers was interrupted by lightning.

The most memorable interruption of a game at the venerable stadium came in October 1989, when the Lome Prieta earthquake struck moments before Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's.

That led to a 10-day interruption of the Fall Classic, in part to allow engineers to check the stadium's overall structural integrity.

Candlestick Park opened in 1960. The 49ers have played there since 1971.

Can John Lynch, John Elway make a deal?

elwaylynch2.jpg
AP

Can John Lynch, John Elway make a deal?

SANTA CLARA – The general managers are good friends. And, this week, they are getting a unique, unfiltered chance to evaluate players who might be available on each other’s team.

John Lynch, the 49ers’ first-year general manager, and Denver Broncos GM John Elway have spoken this week about needs and which players might be available on the trade market.

The 49ers have good depth on their defensive line, where a player such as Quinton Dial might have a difficult time making the 53-man roster due to the change to a 4-3 scheme. They could use some help at offensive guard.

“It’s kind of that time of year, where people are calling and saying, ‘Hey, you’re strong here, we’re strong here. Let’s just kind of keep these things in mind.’ And, this is a great opportunity to do that,” Lynch said.

The 49ers and Broncos went through a two-hour, fully padded joint practice behind Levi’s Stadium on Wednesday. The teams will go through another practice together Thursday with helmets and shells. It is an opportunity for both general managers to see which bubble players on the other team could make a difference with his own team.

“We did have some of those discussions,” Lynch said. “The greatest thing is lots of times you’re throwing on (film of) a preseason game. We get a chance for three days to look at some people we might be interested in. So you’re always doing that. I think they’re doing that as well and it’s another productive thing out of this week.”

The 49ers engaged in trade talks involving tight end Vance McDonald during the draft. Any team that trades for McDonald would owe him a guaranteed $2.1 million for the upcoming season. He is signed through 2021.

McDonald, however, has worked his way into strong consideration for a spot on the 53-man roster with an impressive training camp.

“I think what I’ve been thoroughly impressed, as has Kyle [Shanahan] and everybody around here, how Vance has responded to that,” Lynch said. “I thought last week against Kansas City was a great example. Even though it didn’t show up on the stat sheet, it’s as good as I’ve seen him block, and he did it consistently and he competed extremely hard.”

McDonald, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell face stiff challenges to hold onto their roster spots with the additions of newcomers Logan Paulsen and rookies George Kittle and Cole Hikutini.

49ers designate two linebackers waived/injured

newsom-us.jpg
USATSI

49ers designate two linebackers waived/injured

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are expected to replenish their linebacker to help the team get through upcoming practices and their final three exhibition games.

The 49ers on Wednesday created two roster spots to sign replacements, as the team designated linebackers Donavin Newsom and Jayson DiManche as waived/injured.

General manager John Lynch said the designation was a formality for Newsom, who will revert back to the 49ers after clearing waivers. Newsom will remain under contract to the 49ers after going on injured reserve.

“He’s doing better each day,” Lynch said. “We’re going to put him on injured reserve. It will come across the wire procedurally as a waived-injured, but he’s going to be on injured reserve. And talking with our doctors, he got great care up here at Stanford. It’s the best thing for the kid. Give him time to really get right. So, (I) had a good talk with him this morning.”

Newsom, an undrafted rookie from Colorado, sustained a serious concussion on Aug. 8 and was taken by ambulance off the practice field to Stanford Hospital. He spent two nights in the hospital as a precaution.

DiManche was signed last week and participated in seven plays on defense and 15 on special teams before sustaining a hamstring injury in the 49ers’ exhibition opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Newly signed linebacker Sean Porter sustained a quadriceps injury in the game against the Chiefs and has also not been available to practice.