Super Bowl defeats suffered by the 49ers and Falcons under Shanahan's leadership

The 49ers want to revenge their 2020 Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII. However, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan must also confront his role in Atlanta's 2017 Super Bowl LI disaster against the New England Patriots.

Shanahan told Peter King of NBC Sports' "Football Morning in America" column which of his two Super Bowl losses hurt more.

No,” Shanahan said King when asked if the Falcons' defeat haunts him. “It hurts. Not fatal. You know what occurred. Understand you can manage it. Accept it. The term ‘haunted’ is inappropriate. Actually, it strengthens you. However, if you told me before that game that you would lose a 28-3 lead, I would say, ‘Do I ever come out of my room again?’

Realize this is athletics. Twenty different plays may have altered the game. I realize Tom Brady, the other quarterback, accomplished the most incredible thing I've ever seen. He operated during the second half. The Kansas City game was hardest for me. As you age and gain expertise, you tend to strive to manage everything. You understand you can't. You also know you can manage it. You realize how much you enjoy it.”

Shanahan found redemption in the two sad losses, a challenging chore for a coach who wants to win as much as everyone else. Shanahan replied to King, who mentioned Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly and how he enjoyed playing football even after losing four consecutive Super Bowls, by discussing what football taught him.

“I couldn’t agree [with Kelly] more,” Shanahan told King. “How close you get to people during a playoff or Super Bowl run gets you choked up. All the shared sacrifice will be remembered forever. Losing and feeling heartbroken shows you how to respond and handle pressure next time. Wow, you realize, "I am this." I can. You get to experience something you love, more significant than virtually everything else.

That's what I learned about football growing up, but it strengthens with age. Football builds character.” Shanahan started his career in San Francisco with a 0-9 start and ended with a 6-10 record in 2017.

By 2024, Shanahan is preparing the 49ers for his second Super Bowl as coach. Shanahan said his life and football knowledge “gets stronger” with age. Shanahan must muster everything to lead the 49ers to their sixth Super Bowl win in team history against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Las Vegas on Feb. 11