It's not often you hear an NFL coach openly complain about an NFL rule, but that's exactly what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did during a recent radio interview in San Francisco.
Apparently, Shanahan isn't happy with the fact that the league is allowed to limit what a coach can wear on the sideline. During an interview with KNBR, the 49ers coach, who is known for wearing a flat-brimmed hat during games, was asked which hat he was going to wear this season and that's when we learned that the hat thing is kind of a sensitive subject right now for Shanahan.
"I have such beef with [the league] right now," Shanahan said. "It's a tough issue going on. They won't let me pick out my own one. They won't let me wear any one that's from a different year, so I can't wear an older one."
Shanahan hasn't always worn a hat on the sideline, but that changed in 2019 when he actually worked with New Era to design a hat. As a matter of fact, the hat was called the "Scarlet Shanahan Square Trucker Snapback Adjustable Hat."
Okay faithful, when this account reaches 499 followers I will pick a random follower to send their very own of the Kyle Shanahan special! If you want the red trucker hat you’ve seen coach rock all year, hit that follow button and share with your friends! pic.twitter.com/NDlTOgs264— Rate Kyle’s Hats 🧢 (@RateKylesHats) December 15, 2019
The red hat, which was sometimes mocked by non-49ers fans, became an instant hit in San Francisco and that's mostly because the 49ers went to the Super Bowl during the first season where he wore it.
Under league rules, Shanahan isn't allowed to wear a hat from a previous year, which means he can't wear his old hat. Instead, he has to wear one that was designed this year, and from the sound of it, he's definitely not thrilled with that.
"I've got to wear the new ones that they give this year and unfortunately, there's none I like wearing," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, we can figure it out or wait until Salute to Service."
After listening to Shanahan rant about the league's clothing rule, the hosts asked a follow-up question and that's when the 49ers coach realized that he should probably stop complaining or it might cost him.
"I don't want to go too hard and get fined or anything, but trust me, I'm upset about it," Shanahan said.
Amazingly, this isn't the first time a 49ers coach has had an issue with the league about sideline apparel. Back in 2005, former 49ers coach Mike Nolan wanted to wear a suit on the sideline to honor his dad, Dick Nolan, who had coached the 49ers from 1968 to 1975. At first, the NFL said no way, but eventually, the league softened its stance and Nolan was allowed to wear a suit for each 49ers home game in 2007 (He also wore the suit for two games in 2006).
Shahahan is probably hoping the league will soften its stance on the hat issue and let him wear something that was made in 2019 instead of something that was made in 2022.