A 49ers Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on everything we have and are thankful for.


To most sports fans, Thanksgiving also means turning on the television and watching football. Growing up in a sports-centric family, I can certainly relate to both.


With the holiday upon us and San Francisco on a two-game win streak, what better time to reflect on what we are thankful for regarding the 49ers?


I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to be there for the time San Francisco was the football version of Camelot.


My first trip to Candlestick Park came in 1980 to watch the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers trailed New Orleans 35-7 at halftime, however a second-year quarterback named Joe Montana would lead them to a 38-35 overtime victory. This comeback win set the stage for what was to come.


I practically grew up at “The Stick”. From 1985-2003, my brother and I sat in lower reserve section 2 underneath the overhang of the second deck and witnessed one of the greatest runs in NFL history.


Jerry Rice breaking the NFL record for touchdowns in front of us in the South endzone. Steve Young scoring the final touchdown of the 1995 NFC Championship game against Dallas. Jerry Rice taking a short pass from Joe Montana 72-yards for a touchdown early in a 1989 NFC Divisional playoff game followed later in the same game by a 58-yard touchdown by Ronnie Lott on an interception return.


This week the 49ers face Minnesota, a terrific opponent considering the battles these teams had from 1987-1990.


After Minnesota upset a heavily favored 49ers team in the divisional round of the 1987 playoffs, San Francisco would take care of business in the 1988 regular season rematch thanks to the amazing run from Steve Young through the Vikings defense. The 49ers would then blow Minnesota out in the divisional round of the playoffs in January and follow that up with another blow out in the same round during the next postseason.


I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to cover the team that I grew up following. There is not a day that goes by in which I don’t remember how fortunate I am.


Finally, I am thankful for all of you who take the time to follow the 49ers blog here at the Press Democrat on a regular basis. I appreciate every one of you.


Enough about me. Let’s hear one thing about the 49ers that you are thankful for.

This article has 11 Comments

  1. I’m thankful to you, Jack, for filling the void and bringing some stability to the site.

    Now on another note, I’m thankful Dee Ford may actually see some game time this Sunday. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!

  2. Dang. You were actually at the 1980 Saints game? Several 49er players and coaches point to that game as the game they started to believe they could be good. Great memory. I didn’t live at Candlestick during those years but I was certainly there a lot.

    I’m thankful for Kyle Shanahan being the coach. He’s had some justified criticism and he could very well be overrated but after all the years of Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Chip Kelly, and Jim Tomsula it’s nice to have some stability. And I’m also thankful you are writing this blog. I read a few others as well but I find your analysis and game breakdowns to be entertaining & insightful.

    Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Hi Jack,

    Once I found you at the Press Democrat I have been a regular follower. You speak with conviction and knowledge. In other venues your reporting often has to be indirect or circumscribed. At the PD you are giving some of the best and most objective reporting on the 49ers. I am thankful that you are there.

  4. When I was young I remember seeing Montanna take the team down the field in the Super Bowl against the Bengals and hit John Taylor for the winning TD. Been hooked ever since!

    Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!

  5. I am thankful that the Niners have, by and large, engaged decent persons as players and coaches. Many NFL teams are beset with personnel who are dishonest or misogynist, and I am thankful that has not been the case with the Niners.

    And as others have said, I am thankful for the quality you bring to this blog, Jack. You are insightful, clear, and (occasionally) provocative. Thanks.

  6. I too am grateful for the golden years. I remember thinking ” I think they should give this Montana kid a shot, he looks good” (Biggest understatement ever!), watching “The Catch” live, “The Drive against Cinci to win the Super Bowl,I couldn’t get into Stanford for the S.B. against Miami but watched it in a bar in downtown S.F. – Wild!
    I’m also grateful for our current resurrection after the dark times post Harbaugh. On a side note do you all remember the year we went 6-5, got walloped by Philly, then went on to WIN the Super Bowl?? HMMM…DejaVu?

  7. By the way Jack, Great Job!Love the analysis Keep it up!
    Tell Grant to chill sometimes, he’s such a kid, Good takes,but a few too many absolutes

  8. Thanks Jack for making this blog about football and the 49ers again and not about you. Your predecessor (and I know you guys are buddies) was/is always interested in making it about his opinion and his perceived superior knowledge on how to run a team. You do a great job of sticking to the facts as we know them instead of harping on one mistake a player makes.
    Keep up the good work!
    BTW your personal angle today was a nice touch!

  9. I’m very happy for you jack! and I’m thankful that you control this blog now. Your one of us! Personally…i don’t visit much during the season ( grants doom and gloom approach was tough on me, I’m an optimistic person) but i do check in a few times a week now that i know its in your hands…..the offseason is a different story however. This blog used to be my link to the niners (and 49er fans) during the dry stretch…..you’ll be seeing more of me then:)

  10. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Thank you for the kind words. Big game coming up on Sunday. Looking forward to these next seven weeks.

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