Former 49ers TE Vernon Davis Describes the Super Bowl Hangover

It's real.
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) leaves the field after being defeated by the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) leaves the field after being defeated by the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY
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Teams that lose the Super Bowl almost never win it the following year. In fact, they often regress because of something called the Super Bowl hangover.

It's real. If you don't believe me, ask anyone who ever has lost a Super Bowl. Today, I asked Vernon Davis to describe what it feels like. He was on the 49ers team that lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl in 2013. Here's what Davis said.

DAVIS: "You know that making it there is few and far between. If you know that, and you go that far, you put in all this work to lose the biggest game of your life, it's horrifying. It just doesn't make sense. When you leave that game, you wish you could rewind the hands of time and do something different. That's the feeling. Knowing that you can't change the hands of time is the biggest Debbie Downer."

ME: As an athlete, you're coached to let go of the past and focus on the next play, the next season, etc. But it seems like human nature would keep you preoccupied with the past when you lose a Super Bowl. Are there politics that come into play as well after a Super Bowl loss?

DAVIS: "Yeah, there are a lot of politics. The game is all about what have you done for me lately? If a guy isn't performing, then he's going to be out. He's done. They're constantly moving pieces around and seeing what pieces fit from a cap standpoint."

ME: And on the other side of the coin, after a Super Bowl appearance, those players have leverage to ask for better deals because their value is at an all-time high. We're seeing that with the 49ers.

DAVIS: "At some point, you're going to have to get rid of some guys you don't want to get rid of. It's no hard feelings. It's part of the business."


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.