Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Fans cheer 49ers as they depart for NFC Championship Game vs. Rams

Jan 28, 2022 at 9:10 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers departed on Friday evening just as they typically do for road games. Two weeks ago, it was a flight to Texas to play the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Then, last week, it was a trek to the frozen tundra to face the top-seeded Green Bay Packers. This time, however, the trip isn't that far.

The 49ers don't even have to leave their home state. Instead, they are traveling south to the Los Angeles area to face the Rams in the NFC Championship Game, and fans were on hand for the send-off.

NBC Sports Bay Area caught the scene (h/t to Taylor Wirth).

You can hear the "Beat L.A." chants break out as the busses full of players and coaches pass.

Why leave on Friday for such a short trip?

"It just feels like we normally leave on Fridays because it seems like we've had so many road trips recently," head coach Kyle Shanahan shared. "But a number of players hit me up Sunday—right after the Rams won—they hit me up Sunday and asked if we could go on Friday, and I was pumped they asked because I like going on Fridays more now. You get more time to focus and get right to the game. And so that's what we're doing."

The 49ers departed on buses later than they normally would, just to make sure nothing much changed from previous weeks on the road.

"We're still going to try to land there like we would like we're going to the East Coast, which usually around like 10:30, 11, so right when we get there we go to bed," Shanahan added.

One of the players who reached out to Shanahan to persuade him to leave on Friday rather than Saturday was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

"Yeah, it was a group of us who were all interested in that," Garoppolo said after Friday's practice. "It's kind of been our routine on most away trips this season. So I think it just gets guys locked in.

"I've got a pretty good routine as far as studying and things like that. And just when we leave on Friday, it allows you to stay more locked into the gameplan and eliminates distractions."

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