Do You Remember Where You Were Thirty Years Ago Today? Gil Brandt Sure As Hell Does.
There's a book on the subject: The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and the Game That Changed the NFL. I refuse to read it. Or even link to it. Five years ago, Chris Berman recalled the moment for ESPN. Won't watch that either. Al Michaels narrated this piece about how it was one of the Top Sports Moments of the 1980s. Yeah, sure, if you're a San Francisco 49'ers fan. But if not, The Catch -- Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the waning moments of the NFC title game on January 10, 1982 -- still stings.
So, yeah. Today's the 30th anniversary of Red Right Tight Sprint Right Option -- not the happiest of memories for one Gil Brandt, then the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys. He's an analyst for the National Football League's web and TV operations now, and the league asked him to recall that awful day at Candlestick Park. He obliged, but you can tell: He'd rather just pretend the whole thing never happened:
Of course, when I think about "The Catch," I think just as much about the "what if" scenario that occurred after it -- how close the Cowboys came to making "The Catch" irrelevant. With 51 seconds left, we got the ball back and White hit Drew Pearson for a big gain - and if defensive back Eric Wright didn't get a piece of Pearson's uniform from behind to stop him, Pearson would have been gone. The next play was a crossing route to tight end Doug Donnelly [sic], who was open. Now, Donnelly had shoulder surgery when he was at Ohio State, and they did such a good job tightening it up that he couldn't stretch out all the way. For that reason, the pass was just off his fingertips. The next play was a sack and fumble, recovered by the Niners. Game over.
Read the whole thing here. If you can.
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