So my nine year-old asked me the other day, ‘Dad, when did you start watching football?’  I didn’t have to think too long because the first game that I watched was the first time I’d ever seen my favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers?  It’s ironic that at nine years old my son would ask me that because I was also nine at the time and the game I’m talking about, my first, included what’s been hailed as ‘the catch.’

It was January, 1982 and I had family visiting. Everyone was playing outside except my thirteen year old cousin who was inside getting game updates for my uncle.  Every now and then she’d yell something out the window like, ‘Niners ball, second and ten.’  I of course had no idea what she was talking about.  In the final quarter of the game everyone got a little excited and we all went inside to watch.  The 49ers were battling ‘America’s team,’ the Dallas Cowboys.  This may be where my disdain for the Cowboys began as well, rivalry and all.

Then it happened.  The man who I’ve personally dubbed the greatest quarterback ever, Joe Montana, made an unbelievable connection with Dwight Clark in the end zone and the Niners won sending them to the Superbowl.  You can see it in the video below.

It’s not much to think about now, but as a nine year old, with all that excitement in the house, the bug bit me.  Even through the bad years I was a Niners fan, I just was quiet about it.  It’s easy to jump aboard the Patriot bandwagon and I have to say Tom Brady has probably surpassed Montana as the greatest quarterback.  If not, he’s awful close.  But for me football will always mean Montana and Rice.  Jerry Rice, the greatest NFL ‘player’ of all time.

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