Pulling the plug on the “deliberate blackout” rumors


As pointed out earlier in the day, cynics and rumor mongers (we employ neither here) have been speculating that the Monday night blackout at Candlestick Park was influenced by a desire to delay the game long enough to let Ben Roethlisberger’s painkilling injection wear off and/or to demonstrate that Candlestick Park isn’t fit to host a prime-time Monday night game, making the coming move of the team to Santa Clara more palatable to folks who object to it.

49ers spokesman Bob Lange has dismissed those rumors on behalf of the team.

While it’s fun to speculate about possible cloak-and-dagger scenarios, in this case the evidence is pretty clear that a transformer exploded, and the notion that anyone would deliberately blow up a transformer in order to advance some other agenda is even more far-fetched than anything we’d be inclined to believe.  Such an effort would require the kind of multi-person conspiracy that could, if anyone blabs, get folks prosecuted.

Moreover, while some in league circles believe that, regardless of the cause, the incident builds support for the team’s move from San Francisco to Santa Clara, keep in mind that the new stadium is essentially a done deal, with $850 million in financing recently procured.  While a degree of discontent surely exists among fans who prefer to continue to come to Candlestick Park, blowing up a transformer entails far greater risks than, say, a well-crafted P.R. campaign.

So, alas, there’s really nothing juicy about this one.

23 responses to “Pulling the plug on the “deliberate blackout” rumors

  1. Unimpressed by the Niners? Its ok. Im a Niner fan and I too think they are good and not great as well. A lot of work to do in the off-season on offense. That being said the posts on this website before and after the game were laughable. Before– it was the Niners had no chance, Alex Smith is still your QB, welcome to the AFC North, and it doesn’t matter if Ben or Batch QB’s. After– it was the refs, the lights, and the injuries. Don’t get it twisted…the Niners were missing Patrick Willis and 3 out of their top 4 wide receivers (Ginn for half the game & he returns punts) Pittsburgh, our game is not sexy but does running the football first, a serviceable passing game, and a great defense and special teams sound familiar? Oh yeah, that’s how the Steelers won 5 out of their 6 Super Bowls.

    Lastly, to all the Steeler fans that made the trip to The Stick…. Thank you! Thanks for packing our restaurants downtown, staying at our hotels, visiting our tourist sites, filling our bars, and boosting our wallets. You brought millions into our local economy to see your team………..lose. You call this “Steelers Nation”, copying from your rival…the Raiders. We think you’re a bunch of suckers. In four years we will not reciprocate because…. well…its Pittsburgh. Have a safe trip home and best of luck the rest of the season.

  2. @ citynative

    I agree. The 9ers do need to improve on O and I think it’s all coming up soon playoff hopefully. What they did to the Steelers D was pretty impressive not to mention what they did to their O. They’re 1 big play away from being a great team and that play will come in the playoff. You wrote a pretty bad a$$ comment btw. Classy way to talk down on those Steeler fans

  3. I’m a Steeler fan and I was at the game last night. I enjoyed talking to a lot of the Niner fans during the game and while tailgating. Citynative doesn’t seem to be representative of the nice folks I met yesterday.

  4. A blown transformer is grounds for a new Stadium?
    That logic is why the Nation is on the verge of economic collapse.

  5. @sportsinhd

    Sorry man…that came off harsher than I wanted. My bad. My point was to respond to a good number of Steelers fans after the Ravens game, before last night, and after last night. All fan bases have good and bad….we all know that. Thanks for coming to our yard. We will pay the electrical bill next time.

  6. Wait, a blog with the primary web feature of a “rumor mill” is claiming to not be “rumor mongers”?

    Who cares if the story is even true or not, the juxtaposition of those two “facts” is flat hilarious.

  7. Lastly, to all the Steeler fans that made the trip to The Stick…. Thank you! Thanks for packing our restaurants downtown, staying at our hotels, visiting our tourist sites, filling our bars, and boosting our wallets. You brought millions into our local economy to see your team………..lose.


    Too bad it’s not enough to KEEP YOUR TEAM FROM LEAVING. LOL!

  8. @nickster2k

    Oh you mean like the New York Giants and New York Jets who play in New Jersey? The Dallas Cowboys who play in Arlington, TX? What about the Washington Redskins who play in Landover, Maryland? Buffalo Bills playing in Orchard Park, NY?

    No all teams play in the city on the team name though. It’s because those cities(like Santa Clara) fall under the San Francisco area according to the NFL zoning map where they could go there and still be the “San Francisco 49ers”.

  9. Bad luck with the blackout on the big stage but the team proved they belong as one of the top three in the conference.

  10. wow the drooling idiot logic uhhhh duhhh nothing bad or underhanded ever happens because it takes more than uhh one peoples and one of dem wood shirley blab uhhhh duhhhhhhh

  11. citynative says:
    Dec 20, 2011 6:38 PM

    “…Lastly, to all the Steeler fans that made the trip to The Stick…”

    Been listening to those commentators saying how well Steeler Nation travels, huh? I’m sure a few do but as one who traveled to Arizona this year and San Diego in the past and looked to meet others from back east — I never found any. Many, if not most, of Steeler Nation which invades the local stadium are indeed, locals – who simply love the Steelers. Many have a connection to Pittsburgh, generally a parent or grandparent from there, but some are bandwagon hoppers too. So before you yell at them trying to sound cute – “Go back to where yinz come from” — most probably live right around the corner from you.

  12. Why am I not surprised that San Fransissyco can’t get anything right? Can’t get the power turned on, can’t keep their team from moving, can’t get anyone to work- terrible place!

  13. True, the idea that someone would intentionally blow up a transformer to cause a couple of power outages is far-fetched. But you’re telling me that there’s not a single San Francisco city employee (and Niners fan) who wouldn’t jack with the stadium’s power source if A) he thought it would help his team inch closer to a playoff bye and B) he was handed an envelope full of cash a week before Christmas?

    Far-fetched? Yes.
    Impossible? Hardly.

    Whoa! Just looked up at the television in time to see a couple of lesbians embrace! Too bad it’s women’s basketball highlights on ESPN.

  14. @citynative
    wow way to put down a group that helped energize your local economy. and i will agree some steelers fans are obnoxious but not all of them are grade a a-holes. we were without some people also and our 2cnd best linebacker also. now the 9ers are a good and i said GOOD team they are not great yet and they are winning a weak division right now. but just because your having a good year doesn’t mean you will be unbeatable in 3yrs. remember that arizona went to the super bowl a few years ago and are struggling. so when you win consistantly then you can step up to the big boy table. you won A game, not the playoffs. and yes your team did beat the steelers in a good executed gameplan but there were some horrible calls by the blind guys acting like officials.

  15. There’s a simple reason why I don’t believe in the conspiracy theories around the outages… living in the area, I swear I hear once or twice a year about an *explosion* at a subterranean PG&E power station in SF that they can’t explain. We’re talking blowing-manhole-covers-off stuff. Mind you, these are also the same clueless goofs whose gas transmission line blew up in San Bruno last year (the “G” in PG&E). So do I believe PG&E can’t keep power running reliably to the ‘Stick? Hell, I’m surprised I have lights, sometimes.

  16. Between this and rothless’ foot, the real story of the 49ers clobbering the defending AFC champs in all three phases is a bit lost.

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