Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Years Ago Today

The single greatest moment in the history of the San Francisco 49ers, and my all-time favorite moment in sports. And if you know me, you know that is saying something.

I remember the day very well. I was a senior at Cal, and was back at school to begin the Winter Quarter, which would begin the following day. The night before, our dorm had a huge party, and let's just say that I got a little carried away with the alcohol. Back in those days, alcohol was all over the dorms, even though few of us living in them were over 21. Officially sanctioned parties included alcohol on a regular basis, and each floor also received an allowance each quarter to use as they saw fit. By now, you can probably guess what my floor used its allowance for.

In any event, the main drink that night was Cold Duck. I kid you not. And for the sin of drinking Cold Duck and thinking it was cool, I was rewarded with what was almost certainly the most blinding hangover I've had in my life.

And yet, I was up in the TV room on the 7th floor by 10 the next morning, in time to watch San Diego play Cincinnati in the AFC Championship - a game that is pretty famous on its own, since it was played in sub-arctic temperatures. I knew I must have gotten a little out of hand the night before, when a guy that I didn't even know that well said to me, "wow, I didn't expect to see you in here this early."

But there I was, and there I would stay for the entire day - watching one of the most famous games in modern NFL history. It was the game that jump-started a dynasty, and turned the 49ers from long-time also-rans into one of the great championship units in all of sports.

The entire drive is worth watching, if only to remind you a) what a key role Lenvil Elliot played in it; b) that the game was covered not by Summerall and Madden but by Vin Scully and Hank Stram (reportedly, Scully was so upset at not being named the lead announcer for the Super Bowl two weeks later that he immediately severed ties with CBS), and c) what ridiculous clothes people were wearing in 1982.

Enjoy. It never gets old.


le0pard13 said...

So true. As a native Angeleno, long-time Ram fan, it'll be no surprise to you that I had little love for the frickin' 49ers. But, on this day... in this game... on this drive, I actually cheered THE CATCH. Something pretty special, alright.

Jeff Vaca said...

There were some great 49ers-Rams games in the 80s, that's for sure. I remember one in particular where both Eric Dickerson and Roger Craig ran for about 200 yards and each team went up and down the field all day. Of course, we won. ;-)