dead men tell no tales...

...and drink no wine, and are therefore no good at parties

Friday, January 20, 2006


ESPN gives me the gift of The Catch

We stayed out way too late last night. Got home a little before 1am I suppose. I've been sick and stuck inside so long I just relished being out and chatting with people and everything.

Dwight Clark makes The Catch in 1982

When I got home, I plopped into bed and turned on the tube, which was still set where I had it in the morning... on ESPN. What was on, you ask? Oh not much... just a half-hour special dedicated to The Catch. Hell yes!

Interviews with basically everyone involved, including Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Randy Cross, Ronnie Lott, and Freddie Solomon, as well as crybaby whiners Danny White, Everson Walls, and other Cowgirls who were on the field that day.

I obviously don't remember watching The Catch live, though, like the Miracle On Ice two years earlier, and The Play 10 months later, I've been assured by my parents that my just-turned-3-years-old tush was planted on the couch next to them while we watched our Niners in the NFC title game that day. Nick, in utero at the time, was present but sadly missed the play.

58 seconds on the clock. Down by 6. 3rd and 3 on the Cowboys 6 yard line. Montana bootlegs to his right looking for Solomon, who's blanketed. Ed "Too Tall" Jones and cohorts are bearing down on Joe Cool, looking to sack him or knock him out of bounds, when The Greatest Quarterback Of All Time tosses a high pass to the back of the end zone, where, like magic, a leaping Dwight Clark appears out of seemingly nowhere, fingertips outstretched, and brings down the ball despite the wimping protest of a reaching Walls. Touchdown. The extra point is good, Niners lead 28-27, 51 seconds left.

Of course, the game didn't end there. There were 51 seconds left.

Cowgirls quarterback Danny White, hoping to lead his 'Girls to field goal range and the Super Bowl, completes a pass across the middle to what appears to be a wide-open receiver... until Eric Wright reaches out to horsecollar him and drop him down. Still out of field goal range, clock still ticking, the Cowgirls line up for another play.

A play on which White is pressured, hit, fumbles the ball, and with it, the dynasty of America's Team. It was the beginning of the greatness of the 49ers of the 1980s, and the end of the greatness of the Cowboys of the 1970s. A hell of a thing, it was.

There are times when people ask me why I like sports. Maybe some day I'll show them a tape of The Catch instead of trying to explain it. Now all I can hope for is that ESPN will show their tribute to The Play tonight. Sweet dreams, indeed.

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