MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Joe Staley gave two direct answers in one word and then poured out his heart.
The 35-year-old, the longest-serving 49-year-old is now a two-time Super Bowl loser and feels his chance to win the Lombardi trophy expire between 31 and 20 after the defeat against the Chiefs on Sunday.
"I'm sorry," said a pink Staley. "It is super disappointing. It is very difficult at the moment. "
And yet he took a breath and offered fans the agony of losing a Super Bowl, especially at the start of the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead.
"You have tried your whole life to become a Super Bowl champion. By the end of your career you will see how rare these opportunities are," said Staley, staring blankly. “For me, the emotions are still raw and real at the moment. I try to answer questions and I'm sorry I don't. "
Another pause: “Put yourself in my position for a second. It's tough."
The emotions that Staley felt were only aggravated by his physical pain. He left the game briefly to get stitches after his finger was "sliced".
It took Staley seven years to return to the Super Bowl after the 49ers lost to the Ravens. The offensive lineman has played for four coaches and has seen the team slip under the NFL ever since. Therefore, there is no guarantee that he will be back soon, even if he is surrounded by top-notch defense and a quarterback in its prime.
"This soccer team is built for the long haul," said Staley, "and I couldn't be more proud of the guys we have in our locker room." I think we have a lot of talent and will be back. "
Teammates gathered around Staley after hearing how the loss shook him.
"It's a shame to lose it, especially for Joe," said Jimmy Garoppolo, "with just everything he's been through."
George Kittle added: "I love Joe Staley. I've been here since day 1, it's incredible. To see how he returns to this game and how happy he is, he fought for us all season and played at an elite level. "