WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — Although the Mountain State is not home to an NFL franchise, that does not mean there is not any action in our area. One NFL team set up shop right in our backyard.
For the second year in a row, the San Francisco 49ers traveled to The Greenbrier Resort in the middle of a road trip.
“I’m liking it so far man. It is my third time here I think, so I am becoming a regular I think,” said Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers starting Quarterback.
Garoppolo said the environment is unlike any other he has experienced.
“Out here is gorgeous, you can’t beat this,” said Garoppolo.
The 49ers started their season in Detroit, taking on the Lions. Their week two match-up takes them to Philadelphia to play the Eagles. So instead of flying back to the Bay Area, the team decided to spend the week in between games at America’s Resort.
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said it is nice to be at a familiar place while out on the road.
“We have a great facility that we don’t have to leave for all the football stuff, two practice fields, two full fields which is great, the wallpaper is rough in our rooms,” said Shanahan.
“I mean it is just a different environment. I don’t think it takes a toll at all. If anything, I think it is an advantage being able to just fully focus in on football. There’s no distraction when you are out here, there is nothing else to do but focus on football, so I think everybody is bought into the process and taking it day by day,” said Fred Warner, 49ers Middle Linebacker.
The players said in their time spent here they learned a lot about the area.
“It’s a little bit different than what we are used to back home, place to place. The bus drivers are awesome, I learn more about West Virginia every time from those guys, they are a fun time,” said Garoppolo.
The 49ers spent the week practicing and staying on the grounds as they prepared for their second straight road game. For the team, these extended trips are nothing new, but the pandemic forced the team to travel even more. Last season, Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 protocol abruptly caused the team to spend the final five weeks of their season practicing and playing in Arizona. It also sent the team to the Greenbrier.
Both rookie and veteran players stay on top of physical health, and they have to be on guard against covid as well.
“Be safe, especially out here, new territory for us and everything always trying to wear masks as much as possible, not try to go out too much,” said Garoppolo.
Beyond that, Garoppolo said it is all about staying as safe and smart as possible. He adds The Greenbrier Resort went out of its way to ensure the teams’ health and safety.