49ers offensive linemen play Sharks superfans in Game 7

Joe Staley says he's long-time Sharks supporter

SAN JOSE, CA – May 8: Members of the San Francisco 49ers cheer as they prepare to open the locker room door for the San Jose Sharks before Game 7 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SAN JOSE – Joe Staley wanted it documented: He didn’t just hop on the San Jose Sharks bandwagon that sledded toward the Western Conference final.

“I’ve been a long-time Sharks fan,” Staley, the 49ers’ left tackle, said before Wednesday night’s Game 7 win against Colorado.

Staley, a 13th-year veteran, is leading a slew of 49ers now moonlighting as unabashed Sharks groupies. At least 16 players attended Game 7.

For his first time ever, Staley got the honor of opening the Sharks’ dressing room doors, and he brought company.

Also on hand were his fellow starting linemen: right tackle Mike McGlinchey, right guard Mike Person, center Weston Richburg and left guard Laken Tomlinson, the latter two of whom showed no visible signs of last season’s knee injuries.

All five linemen wore personalized, teal Sharks sweaters. And all of them congregated and celebrated in the hall outside the Sharks dressing room after the 3-2 win.

Three hours earlier, Staley opened the left door, McGlinchey swung open the right side and out came the Sharks, including captain Joe Pavelski, who’d been out the past two weeks with a head injury.

“That was cool! I’m juiced up and ready to play!” Staley shouted.

Added McGlinchey: “Awesome. That was exhilarating.”

Watching Game 7 unfold from a suite were teammates George Kittle, DeForest Buckner, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Kyle Juszczyk, Kyle Nelson, Ronald Blair and Raheem Mostert.

Four veteran backup lineman — Daniel Brunskill, Christian DiLauro, Ben Garland and Wesley Johnson — came along for the Game 7 door-opening ceremony.

Don’t worry, rookies weren’t left out of the fun, it’s just that they won’t rejoin the 49ers until next week as the offseason program resumes.

During Wednesday’s first intermission, the Sharks linemen got interviewed in their suite for the videoboard that hangs over center ice. Once Staley was done hyping up the crowd, linemen poured beer over McGlinchey.

It’s not as if the 49ers haven’t supported the Sharks in past playoff games. Doormen last season included coach Kyle Shanahan (Sharks won) and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Sharks lost), and general manager John Lynch did the honors in a Game 2, opening-round loss to Vegas.

When the Sharks rallied to defeat the Golden Knights in Game 7 two weeks ago, several 49ers were in the stands – and Kittle superstitiously remained in a seat in the club hallway amid the epic comeback.

blog comments powered by Disqus