I watched the 1998 victory over the Packers where Steve Young threw the game-winner to Terrell Owens. I watched the Wild Card win over the Giants where we came back from a huge deficit. But I have to say, that this year's squad is the 49ers team I've been most proudest of.
In 2004, the year we went 2-14, we had hit rock-bottom. We were the worst team in the league. Our franchise was in disarray. We hated our owners. Terry Donahue destroyed our team. We didn't have a head coach. No quarterback. Anemic offense. We were a shell of what we used to be.
And then when we cleaned house--new coaching staff, new front office... we brought in Alex Smith... Frank Gore... Vernon Davis... Patrick Willis... Joe Staley... Justin Smith... all those guys. It was never easy those first couple years. We lost a lot of games. Alex Smith got crapped on by his coaches, the fans, and by all of us. Frank Gore suffered some pretty bad injuries. Vernon Davis had his growing pains. We had bad coaches. It looked like we were never gonna get it right. It felt like we were going to have to clean house, start all over, and rebuild once again.
And then Harbaugh came... Alex Smith decided to give it another shot. We started to win. We beat the Seahawks in Week 1. We came from behind on the Eagles and the Lions. We beat Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. We clinched the #2 seed in the playoffs. And now we've beaten arguably the hottest team in the league.
I'm proud of our guys. They've had to deal with so much. They've been dissed on by the media, and sometimes even their own fans. It's gratifying to know that we drafted Alex Smith... Frank Gore... Vernon Davis... we watched them grow-up from fresh-faced young rookies on the laughingstock of the NFL, to one of the ELITE teams in the league.