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Time Machine: Today's fans in early '81

Originally posted by singfan:
Originally posted by BrodieFan:
What would many of our fans have said in early 1981?

If they were into citing past statistics, things wouldn't have looked too good after many losing seasons.

Plus, not much running game, a young, un-tested QB with a suspicious arm, no pass rush, a bunch of un-tested rookies in the defensive backfield, no clear #1 receiver, a college coach with a new system who was never a HC in the pros, an undersized O-line and a couple of players with drug problems. I'm guessing many of today's fans would be ridiculing anyone who thought there was a chance for success.

Here we go again. Sing = Walsh.

Just say it already.

Put down the crack pipe, no one is saying that.
Also, before the season began, they didn't have Fred Dean. When they added him during the season, that defensive backfield started to look even better.
Originally posted by singfan:
Originally posted by BrodieFan:
What would many of our fans have said in early 1981?

If they were into citing past statistics, things wouldn't have looked too good after many losing seasons.

Plus, not much running game, a young, un-tested QB with a suspicious arm, no pass rush, a bunch of un-tested rookies in the defensive backfield, no clear #1 receiver, a college coach with a new system who was never a HC in the pros, an undersized O-line and a couple of players with drug problems. I'm guessing many of today's fans would be ridiculing anyone who thought there was a chance for success.

Here we go again. Sing = Walsh.

Just say it already.

You dropped your keychain.
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Expectations were not that high back in 1981. Steve DeBerg was the starting QB in 1980 and was replaced with Montana about midway through the season, but he didn't immediately tear up the league. Everyone was pretty happy with Ronnie Lott as the team's #1 draft pick even though Walsh's really wanted Kenny Easley (taken by Seattle with the #4 pick of the draft). So, people were hopeful, but no one really had any expectations of a Super Bowl run that year. In all honesty, expectations were lower back in 81 than they are today; after all, the 9ers had become a perennial loser. So there’s always hope and that still applies today.

You're right. Expectations were not that high. But I do remember the fans and media being pretty high on the offense. Walsh was doing things that nobody had ever seen before. Yes, the team went 6-10 the previous season, and 2-14 before that. But the 49ers were scoring on everyone back then. They would score 40 points and wind up losing because the defense gave up 45, or DeBerg threw a late pick that was returned for a score.

So, I do remember some excitement about the offense. Even in 1980, fans knew it was something special.

Yeah, I totally agree. The previous season, 1980, actually started out great for Walsh. They won their first three games and then they lost eight in a row. Things were definitely looking up offensively, but that defense was bad. Who knew that adding Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott, Carlton Williamson and Eric Wright (a retread and three rookies respectively) before the 1981 season would put the 9ers over the top. I still remember that sixth game of the 1981 season where the 9ers put a whoopin on the Cowboys to the tune of 45 to 14. That's when I started to believe, because everyone thought the Cowboys where going to beat the 9ers down like they did the year before when our team was on the bad side of a 59 to 14 humbling. That 45 to 14 game is also where Ronnie Lott really began to show his greatness. Ah, sweet, sweet memories.

I'm surprised that the '80 comeback vs the Saints hasn't been mentioned as a "turning point." Bill Walsh mentions this game specifically, as an "Ah-ha!" moment. But clearly, what unfolded in '81 was something very unexpected. A true...





"Cinderella story."


n00b history lesson:

After falling behind 35 to 7 after 2 quarters. The 49er's would comeback and shut out the Saints for the second half of the game and win in overtime 38 to 35.


My dad dragged me out of the stadium kicking and screaming late in the 4th quarter, saying, "Come on we'll listen to the rest of the game on the radio!" (That's the biggest example of why I dislike leaving early.)


Also, beating the Cowpies was only the 2nd most important story of our '81 regular season. What ranked higher? Sweeping the Rams for the first time in 16 years. Before that year we lost 23 out of 28 games to them.
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Expectations were not that high back in 1981. Steve DeBerg was the starting QB in 1980 and was replaced with Montana about midway through the season, but he didn't immediately tear up the league. Everyone was pretty happy with Ronnie Lott as the team's #1 draft pick even though Walsh's really wanted Kenny Easley (taken by Seattle with the #4 pick of the draft). So, people were hopeful, but no one really had any expectations of a Super Bowl run that year. In all honesty, expectations were lower back in 81 than they are today; after all, the 9ers had become a perennial loser. So there’s always hope and that still applies today.

You're right. Expectations were not that high. But I do remember the fans and media being pretty high on the offense. Walsh was doing things that nobody had ever seen before. Yes, the team went 6-10 the previous season, and 2-14 before that. But the 49ers were scoring on everyone back then. They would score 40 points and wind up losing because the defense gave up 45, or DeBerg threw a late pick that was returned for a score.

So, I do remember some excitement about the offense. Even in 1980, fans knew it was something special.

Yeah, I totally agree. The previous season, 1980, actually started out great for Walsh. They won their first three games and then they lost eight in a row. Things were definitely looking up offensively, but that defense was bad. Who knew that adding Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott, Carlton Williamson and Eric Wright (a retread and three rookies respectively) before the 1981 season would put the 9ers over the top. I still remember that sixth game of the 1981 season where the 9ers put a whoopin on the Cowboys to the tune of 45 to 14. That's when I started to believe, because everyone thought the Cowboys where going to beat the 9ers down like they did the year before when our team was on the bad side of a 59 to 14 humbling. That 45 to 14 game is also where Ronnie Lott really began to show his greatness. Ah, sweet, sweet memories.

It was after that game, and when we beat Pittsburgh, did I truly believe at that point that something special was going on in San Francisco.

My freshman year in college. My first girlfriend And the Niners won the Super Bowl.

Life was pretty darn good back then.
Originally posted by IWASATTHECATCH:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Expectations were not that high back in 1981. Steve DeBerg was the starting QB in 1980 and was replaced with Montana about midway through the season, but he didn't immediately tear up the league. Everyone was pretty happy with Ronnie Lott as the team's #1 draft pick even though Walsh's really wanted Kenny Easley (taken by Seattle with the #4 pick of the draft). So, people were hopeful, but no one really had any expectations of a Super Bowl run that year. In all honesty, expectations were lower back in 81 than they are today; after all, the 9ers had become a perennial loser. So there’s always hope and that still applies today.

You're right. Expectations were not that high. But I do remember the fans and media being pretty high on the offense. Walsh was doing things that nobody had ever seen before. Yes, the team went 6-10 the previous season, and 2-14 before that. But the 49ers were scoring on everyone back then. They would score 40 points and wind up losing because the defense gave up 45, or DeBerg threw a late pick that was returned for a score.

So, I do remember some excitement about the offense. Even in 1980, fans knew it was something special.

Yeah, I totally agree. The previous season, 1980, actually started out great for Walsh. They won their first three games and then they lost eight in a row. Things were definitely looking up offensively, but that defense was bad. Who knew that adding Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott, Carlton Williamson and Eric Wright (a retread and three rookies respectively) before the 1981 season would put the 9ers over the top. I still remember that sixth game of the 1981 season where the 9ers put a whoopin on the Cowboys to the tune of 45 to 14. That's when I started to believe, because everyone thought the Cowboys where going to beat the 9ers down like they did the year before when our team was on the bad side of a 59 to 14 humbling. That 45 to 14 game is also where Ronnie Lott really began to show his greatness. Ah, sweet, sweet memories.

I'm surprised that the '80 comeback vs the Saints hasn't been mentioned as a "turning point." Bill Walsh mentions this game specifically, as an "Ah-ha!" moment. But clearly, what unfolded in '81 was something very unexpected. A true...





"Cinderella story."


n00b history lesson:

After falling behind 35 to 7 after 2 quarters. The 49er's would comeback and shut out the Saints for the second half of the game and win in overtime 38 to 35.

My dad dragged me out of the stadium kicking and screaming late in the 4th quarter, saying, "Come on we'll listen to the rest of the game on the radio!" (That's the biggest example of why I dislike leaving early.)


Also, beating the Cowpies was only the 2nd most important story of our '81 regular season. What ranked higher? Sweeping the Rams for the first time in 16 years. Before that year we lost 23 out of 28 games to them.

I remember the Saints game specifically because it wasn't a sellout, and here I am in my bedroom, in Modesto, listening to this unbelievable comeback on radio. My brother, who was also a Niners fan at the time, may have been at work.

But when he got home, I was just raving to him about this comeback and this kid named Montana.

He didn't believe it until he saw the headlights on KCRA that night.

I STILL have never seen that game! Most of the fans who lived within 100 miles of Candlemistake Park have NEVER seen that game! We know about it. Most will probably never see it.
Originally posted by billbird2111:


I remember the Saints game specifically because it wasn't a sellout, and here I am in my bedroom, in Modesto, listening to this unbelievable comeback on radio. My brother, who was also a Niners fan at the time, may have been at work.

But when he got home, I was just raving to him about this comeback and this kid named Montana.

He didn't believe it until he saw the headlights on KCRA that night.

I STILL have never seen that game! Most of the fans who lived within 100 miles of Candlemistake Park have NEVER seen that game! We know about it. Most will probably never see it.

I forgot it wasn't on tv locally. Sorry.
Originally posted by NickSh49:
Wouldn't have said much in '81.

Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Originally posted by billbird2111:
Originally posted by fzrdave:
Expectations were not that high back in 1981. Steve DeBerg was the starting QB in 1980 and was replaced with Montana about midway through the season, but he didn't immediately tear up the league. Everyone was pretty happy with Ronnie Lott as the team's #1 draft pick even though Walsh's really wanted Kenny Easley (taken by Seattle with the #4 pick of the draft). So, people were hopeful, but no one really had any expectations of a Super Bowl run that year. In all honesty, expectations were lower back in 81 than they are today; after all, the 9ers had become a perennial loser. So there’s always hope and that still applies today.

You're right. Expectations were not that high. But I do remember the fans and media being pretty high on the offense. Walsh was doing things that nobody had ever seen before. Yes, the team went 6-10 the previous season, and 2-14 before that. But the 49ers were scoring on everyone back then. They would score 40 points and wind up losing because the defense gave up 45, or DeBerg threw a late pick that was returned for a score.

So, I do remember some excitement about the offense. Even in 1980, fans knew it was something special.

Yeah, I totally agree. The previous season, 1980, actually started out great for Walsh. They won their first three games and then they lost eight in a row. Things were definitely looking up offensively, but that defense was bad. Who knew that adding Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott, Carlton Williamson and Eric Wright (a retread and three rookies respectively) before the 1981 season would put the 9ers over the top. I still remember that sixth game of the 1981 season where the 9ers put a whoopin on the Cowboys to the tune of 45 to 14. That's when I started to believe, because everyone thought the Cowboys where going to beat the 9ers down like they did the year before when our team was on the bad side of a 59 to 14 humbling. That 45 to 14 game is also where Ronnie Lott really began to show his greatness. Ah, sweet, sweet memories.

It was after that game, and when we beat Pittsburgh, did I truly believe at that point that something special was going on in San Francisco.

My freshman year in college. My first girlfriend And the Niners won the Super Bowl.

Life was pretty darn good back then.

I was a freshman in college back then too.

As far as the second 80' Saints game goes, I don't really remember it being that big of a deal at the time. Sure, it was an eye opener, but the Saints were really, really bad that year with a 1 and 15 record. It just sort of seemed like a game that you could easily dismiss with "yeah, but it was against the Saints and the 9ers defense still looks bad." On the other hand, it definitely showed the potential that the 9ers offense had. But the 81' game against the Cowboys was absolutely shocking. No one expected the 9ers to win that game much less putting a smack-down on the Cowboys. And like I said, that's the game that Ronnie Lott came into his own with two interceptions with one going for a touchdown. I think that game really gave the 9ers a lot of momentum which they used to go 9 and 1 in the remaining games and then on to their first Super Bowl win. As such, I have always looked at that game as the day when the Walsh 49ers dynasty began.
Originally posted by oldman9er:
The 49ers have ZERO chance of winning many games this year. Our coaches are a joke... QBs are a joke... we have fallen as low as a team can fall. That's why I spend all of my time here... trying to explain to people that getting your hopes up is for suckers... and all positive thought should be pushed away, so that we can protect ourselves from pain and anguish.

sincerely,

walshfan/sabrason

Fixed.

-9fA
Originally posted by NickSh49:
Wouldn't have said much in '81.


hahaha