From classroom to Super Bowl, Chemistry teacher does it all

Zack Rosenblatt, Page Editor

Chemistry teacher Jamie Beacom and football fans from all over the country will descend on Santa Clara, Feb. 7 for the 50th Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium. Beacom will be on the sidelines moving the chains for the biggest sporting event of the year.

Beacom, who has worked moving the chains for the 49ers for 27 years, will finally get to live out his dream of working in a Super Bowl. He will work alongside seven other friends who have all worked on the “chain crew” together for all 27 years of Beacom’s experience.

Beacom originally started work on the 49ers chain crew as a substitute for chain crew members that were sick or on vacation during a game. At one preseason game in 1988, Beacom was called in to substitute. Before the game, the referees mentioned that  new NFL rules called for another person to work on the chains.

“While we were in the locker room before the game, the referees came in and announced that there is a new rule change and they would need to be an extra guy permanently on the chains,” Beacom said. “They asked me if I wanted to do it full time and I said ‘OK.’”

In addition to working at the Super Bowl this year, Beacom has had experience working on the chain crew at other high stakes football games. To keep games secure and make sure the chain crew is familiar with the stadium, all games at Levi’s Stadium and old Candlestick park have used Beacom’s chain crew.  This has given Beacom opportunities to work at college football games, such as the Pac-12 Championship Game as well as NFL games.

“[Our chain crew has] done it for so long. They don’t want to bring in new crews because they don’t want to have to train new people how to do it,” Beacom said. “Plus, for obvious security reasons, they do not want outside people on the field.”

There are eight chain crew jobs to do at the Super Bowl. The group of eight are split into a group of five and a group of three. Five people will work on the “official” side of the chains. Beacom’s Super Bowl job is to be the “down box” operator on the auxiliary side. He will signal to the team benches and the players on the field what down it is before every play. He does this by sliding a number in a glass box to the current down. This glass box is held up on a pole for spectators and players to see as reference.

For many students, the Super Bowl is one of their favorite events. From creative and funny commercials, to the halftime show, to the actual football being played, this championship game attracts younger audiences. This makes students enjoy having a teacher that is not only into the “Super Bowl hype” but will be on the field during the game.

“It’s pretty cool that he gets to get into the Super Bowl for free and how he gets to watch it for free on the field,” sophomore Kyle Tarzon said.  “I am going to be looking out for him on TV so hopefully I will be able to see him in action.”