Two games I'll never forget-
1)Niners win at Pittsburgh, November 1, 1981. No NFC team had won there in years and they still had many HOF players on that team. -
Between 1970 and 1980, the NFC had lost nine of 11 Super Bowls. Walsh often points to this particular visit to Pittsburgh as his conference's turning point.
"The Steelers had won something like 21 straight against the NFC at home," says Walsh, "and we went in there and broke the string. It was momentous. We were this young, impetuous, irresistible-force kind of football team, going in and knocking out the perennial champion of the AFC and the NFL." The NFC would go on to win 15 of the next 16 titles.
Quick side story: My father was at Three Rivers Stadium that Sunday. As he walked through the parking lot, a hoodlum came up and ripped the tickets out of his sport-coat pocket. Zoom! A short, frantic chase through the cars. Goodbye, tickets.
Security escorted Dad into the stadium offices. Coming down the hall was Steelers owner Art Rooney, puffing on a fat Churchill. "What's the problem, fellas?" he asked.
"Stolen tickets," they told him.
Rooney winced. "Is that so? Well, make sure you take care of these fellas." The scalpers in the seats got the boot. I still have those replacement tickets somewhere.
San Francisco's victory put it at 7-2, the best record in the league. Later that night, I asked my father if he thought the 49ers were the real deal.
"Nothing special," he said. "Just a lot of short passes, dinking up and down the field. Problem was, the Steelers couldn't stop it. Somebody was always open."
The Walsh attack in a nutshell. 49ers 17, Steelers 14
2)The last second win at Cincinnati 1987 on a Montana to Rice pass.-
Star QB Joe Montana had passed for over 300 yards but was also intercepted three times and the 49ers trailed throughout. When San Francisco went nowhere in three plays and had to punt with less than a minute remaining, it appeared that Cincinnati's 26-20 lead was safe. The Bengals ran the clock down to six seconds. With fourth down on their own 30 yard line, Coach Wyche elected to run the ball rather than punt or take a safety, figuring that keeping the ball on the ground would use up the remaining time. RB James Brooks began to run a sweep but was stopped immediately by 49ers DE Kevin f*gan for a five-yard loss.
The play took up just four seconds, giving San Francisco one shot with 0:02 remaining and the ball on the Bengals' 25 yard line. Montana lobbed the ball into the end zone where Rice leaped high to make the catch for a touchdown. Wersching kicked the extra point and the 49ers came away with a stunning 27-26 win.