San Francisco 49ers

Old hat: Alex Smith not ready to don Royals cap

Alex Smith says the Chiefs have gotten a nice lift from their next-door neighbors.

The Chiefs' and Royals' home facilities are adjacent to each other off of I-70 in Kansas City. The baseball players often walk over to watch Chiefs practices. The Chiefs players are invited to Royals games, and Smith himself threw out the first pitch at a game in June.

“There's a pretty cool vibe around the city right now,” Smith said of the football team's Monday win over the Patriots, which was followed – a few hundred yards away – by the Royals' dramatic, extra-innings victory of the A's the next night.

Smith said he owns a Royals cap, which he's been known to wear around town. But he has yet to break it out at a post-game press conferences, something he once did with two National League teams' caps when he was with the 49ers.

Those caps – what is it about 49ers quarterbacks and their choice of headwear? – were mildly controversial.

Early in his career, Smith wore a blue Padres hat. After all, he's from La Mesa, which is outside of San Diego and was supporting his hometown team. The Padres cap was unpopular with Bay Area fans, and in 2011 he started wearing a Giants cap during his post-game interviews.

But that practice ended when the NFL nearly fined him $15,000. The hats not only boosted a rival sports league, they were made by an apparel company unaffiliated with the NFL.

“I haven't done the post-game thing quite like I did there,” Smith said.

You can't blame him.

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