Can you believe it? Exactly 20 years ago today, The Catch II happened. This remains as one of the greatest playoff moments in San Francisco 49ers history. To me, it is one of the most impossible and unexpected moments in team history.
And for good reason. This 49ers team had been dominating since the 1980s and well into the 90s. But the team’s nemesis since their 1994 Super Bowl win was the Green Bay Packers. They had Brett Favre at the helm winning MVP awards. The Niners just couldn’t beat them. And with a late touchdown to Antonio Freeman, this game seemed to be another loss to the Packers.
I also remember Terrell Owens, the hero of this game. He struggled throughout the game, dropping passes. That stood out to me. But also in the back of my mind I knew that the team was nearing the end of their amazing run. Steve Young and Jerry Rice were getting up there in age. They were still good, but I just had a hard time seeing this team sustain dominance for much longer. And with the Packers being the better team (having gone to consecutive Super Bowls, winning one of them) it just felt that this might have been the last hurrah.
The closest I had to ever interacting with Dwight Clark was back in 2008 during a phone interview. I don’t even recall what we talked about. I am pretty sure it was about football. After the interview, he was so gracious for me taking the time to talk with him and that he was really happy to have taken the time to speak with me. (Unfortunately records of this interview no longer exist on the Internet.)
There was this one time I was at an event in San Francisco a couple years later to celebrate the anniversary of “The Catch” and I was in person to jot down some quotes from Dwight. That’s pretty much the only time I have ever been in the same room with him.
January 10, 2012 – An event celebrating the 49ers’ Super Bowl success and the 30th anniversary of “The Catch.” This was the best photo I took of the event.
My life would have been extremely different if weren’t for Dwight Clark.
Let me explain.
The wait is over. After successfully avoiding leaks, the San Francisco 49ers have unveiled a new alternate uniform from the upcoming season. It is inspired by their ever popular 1994 uniforms which they wore during their last Super Bowl title season. Those specific uniforms were a throwback to their 1955 set.
These uniforms are not exactly 100 percent accurate to those uniforms as it will feature white socks (to go with the no longer mandated Color Rush initiative). But apparently the players can opt to wear red socks if they please.
Everything else remains the same, although with the way jerseys are cut these days, the sleeve stripes are moved up significantly. There are no TV numbers and the team will wear the same helmets they wore in 1994.
The addition of white pants is a welcomed look that some 49ers fans have clamored for. It’s a look that the team has not worn since the 1997 season. Now they have the all-white look from 1994 back in their rotation.
Thanks to Niners Nation, it looks like the 49ers are making a uniform change for next season. It appears that there will be a new alt.
Now with the black unis not hitting their five-year shelf life that is required, it makes me wonder if that is being eliminated. Perhaps with Color Rush being no longer a requirement, that the black uniforms will go with it. But the black uniforms were created before Color Rush so maybe we don’t get to rid of it at all.
The infamous turkey incident will forever be embedded in the minds of 49ers fans.
I remember when I first met Richard Sherman. It was the local pro day and Sherman, a cornerback from Stanford who might get drafted in the mid rounds, was putting on a show. He and Shane Vereen were the two that impressed me the most. Sherman was a wide receiver who converted to cornerback. He wore this really bright red cleats that day, reminding me of Dorothy trying to get back home.
That image made me wonder if Sherman could wear more red in his NFL career. With Jim Harbaugh as the 49ers head coach and having coached Sherman, it seemed like it was inevitable. I wrote down in my recap for the story I was writing that the team that drafts Sherman would get a steal.
He went to Seattle and they benefited tremendously from him.
This post was inspired by a thread on SportsLogos.net.
In 1996, the San Francisco 49ers introduced a new uniform set partially inspired by their 1994 throwbacks. These new uniform featured a new logo, drop shadows and white pants.
One of the major changes was the addition of black to the helmet stripe. The 49ers removed the red-white-red helmet stripe and introduced a black-red-black stripe pattern to match the new white pants.
I remember writing up a recap of the 49ers drafting Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman. I was at my friend’s house and I had brought my laptop with me. At the time I was still getting my footing as a beat writer. But I felt that Bowman was a smart pick. Even though he was not a first round selection, he had a strong pedigree and had potential for growth.
Since then, Bowman was a four-time First All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowl selection and at times, was the best defender on the team. And that’s with Patrick Willis next to him.
Bowman was a great professional to work with and he always gave me respect. He was a beast of a linebacker and it’s a shame injuries prevented him from reaching his best potential.
Regardless, he was beloved by many fans and they will always cherish his pick-six at The Stick. That’s an image that will last a lifetime.