Around this time last year, the 49ers began shocking the world with their heretofore unseen winning ways. We postulated at the time that San Francisco's favorite football team might be winning because Alex Smith suddenly decided to start sporting a (San Francisco, natch) Giants hat.
Smith, a Padres fan, made the switch for unknown reasons (we think it was a Jim Harbaugh-fueled quarterback makeover). He kept wearing the hat this year and on Sunday it nearly cost him $15,000.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the NFL fined Smith 15 large for wearing a Giants at a a post-game press conference following the victory over the Lions. However, per Maiocco, Merton Hanks at the league office decided to rescind the fine and let Smith off with a warning instead.
Smith's transgression was wearing a cap that wasn't NFL-sponsored within 90 minutes of the end of the game, a violation of the NFL dress code.
"So it’s weird,” Smith said via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I could wear a Polo shirt after the game and they’re not going to fine me.”
The NFL is, in case you hadn't noticed, pretty stringent about what players can wear at certain events. Wearing a baseball cap, particularly one not made by a league-affiliated sponsor, doesn't sit well with the folks on Park Avenue.
Smith apparently found out that Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who's fond of wearing different hats at press conferences, was nearly fined as well, but also got off with a warning.
The end result? Don't expect Smith to be wearing any Giants hats during postgame pressers this year, unless the Giants want to pay the fine
"Can someone get a hold of Larry Baer for me?” Smith said.