January 10, 1982. It was a Sunday, the NFL playoffs were in full swing, and my grandparents' house was buzzing, as it did every Sunday during football season. The air was thick with the smell of garlic and fresh tomato sauce, the antipasto was on the table, and the family was huddled in the living room, watching history unfold.

The skinny kid from Notre Dame (what my grandfather always called him) and his band of castoffs had gone toe-to-toe with the Dallas Cowboys, but they were trailing, 21-27. The 49ers had marched 83 yards to the Cowboys' 6-yard line. There were 58 seconds left in the game. The 49ers' Cinderella season had all come down to this: third down and three yards to go against "America's Team."

Montana took the snap, rolled out to his right, calmly looked past Ed Jones, DD Lewis and John Dutton, then threw a pass that looked like it was headed out of the back of the end zone. All of us watched, holding our collective breath. The ball was in the air for what seemed like an eternity. From out of nowhere, a pair of outstretched hands reached for it, making a textbook fingertip catch. And our living room erupted. The pure joy of that moment defies description, but I can remember it like it was yesterday. The smiles. The laughter. Football talk over freshly prepared gnocchi. The game of catch between me, my dad and my uncle that followed. And my grandfather's typically gruff summation: "maybe these bums aren't so bad after all."

Stat-heads might look back at numbers without context, and wonder why so many of us have been hit so hard by Dwight's passing. And if they do that, they'll completely miss the point. That moment wasn't about stats, box-scores or point spreads. That moment was about a WR discovered by chance, grabbing a pass that looked uncatchable, against an opponent that looked unbeatable. That moment is highlight reel material for all time. Moments like that are the reason why we watch. That moment was a gift, and Dwight Clark gave it to us.

Thank you, Dwight. We'll never forget you.