Flashback to the Future?

January 15th, 2012

I’ve talked a lot over the past year plus about Chicago sports –  Hockey, Football, Basketball and Baseball.  But I also have a San Fransisco connection.

Montana and Young on the Sideline

Montana and Young on the Sideline

I was born out there while my parents were at Stanford, and we went back when I was in 1st grade for a year.  My defensive football heroes were undoubtedly back in Chicago but a young impressionable kid could easily get caught up in the excitement of Joe Montana and Bill Walsh‘s offense.

So, I followed Montana and the 49ers.  Montana, Rice, Lott, Craig, Clark, Taylor, Young and company kept me with a winning team through the 80’s and into the 90’s even when the Bears stumbled.  It wasn’t easy, the 49ers dominated the Bears for much of the 80’s and 90’s, especially in the playoffs.  But you don’t choose your teams, you just roll with the punches.

The 49ers today are on an upswing.  I thought their hiring of Singletary a couple years ago would return them at least to the playoffs.  That didn’t work out too well, but they replaced Mike with Jim Harbaugh, another ex-Bear.  And they made the playoffs this season, his first.

Alex Smith was the #1 overall pick in the 2005 draft and has had a rocky start to his career.  He has been booed, benched and re-instated, and this season has been performing very well.  Yesterday, in the second round of the playoffs Smith brought back memories of both Montana and Young in the 49ers big win over the Saints.

Young was known as a running QB, and Smith had a big running TD late in the 4th quarter.  Montana was known for amazing last second touchdown passes, and Smith had a last second TD to close out the game last night.  Some people are already starting to call it “The Catch 2” but I think people will only remember this game if the 49ers can string together a couple more wins.

In any case, a fantastic game with a fantastic finish.

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