The Final 49:  Your All-Access Pass

Oct. 20, 2012

By Tom Whitestone

You've seen the footage from back in 2008 thru 2010 of Chancellor Philip Dubois and Director of Athletics Judy Rose talking about the promise and possibility of the 49ers adding football.  Board meetings.  Press conferences.

It took some time before actual football was added to the mix. Coaches. Players.  Practices.

And AJ Mead and his staff have been there for all of it and are now turning the old footage and the new football into a monthly documentary - to paint the picture of the process of building a football program.

Groundbreaking.  Helmet unveiling.  Head coach hiring.  Signing Day. 

With extensive access, Mead and his staff were able to compile video of all of it and are using it to complement their current video of practices, interviews and workouts.

The product:  "49ers Football Now: Countdown to Kickoff".

The documentary takes fans from those early discussions and will land them on the historic inaugural game, next August.  It will include profiles of players and coaches.  It will include looks inside coaches meetings and team meetings.  It will take viewers inside the offices, inside the practices and inside the huddles.

Starting a new football program is difficult and challenging - with plenty of headaches, frustrations and worries.  It is also rewarding and inspiring - with plenty of high fives, smiles and satisfaction.

Mead is bringing all of that to you, in a monthly 15-minute documentary.

Already two of the 13 episodes have been produced.  49FN was there to capture the very first team meeting - and head coach Brad Lambert's early directive to his team.  49FN walked along a mic'd up Lambert on his way to the first practice.  49FN interviewed Dubois, Rose and Football Feasibility Chair Mac Everett, who aptly stated - "It's good story - and I don't think it's been told yet."

Mead and the 49ers Media Production staff are telling it.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I do assist, minimally.  Primarily setting up interviews.  Mead works his magic to bring the segments and stories to life.

But, I don't write this for AJ's benefit.  I write this for yours.

Each episode debuts on the first day of every month, unless it falls on a weekend.  Episode 3 will hit Nov. 1.  The 49ers website promotes the new shows and archives the old.  They air monthly  at www.charlotte49ers.com, www.charlotte49ers.tv and the Charlotte 49ers Official Youtube Channel. Viewers in the Charlotte area can also see the show on Time Warner Cable Channel 22 every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 12:30pm and 7:30pm.

"This is the first time our department has attempted a video project of this size, but I think we can deliver high-end programming that our fans really want and have never seen before," Mead said.

We realize that we are in a special situation - debuting a football program.  We have a chance to bring our fans all those firsts with behind-the-scenes footage to capture the sights and sounds.  We realize that we are part of something special - and we want you to to be a part of it, as well.

So join in.  Through "49ers Football Now", watch the program come to life.  And, like us, treasure every step along the way.