Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/27/13
On Sunday, January 24th, at the Pontiac Silverdome the San Francisco 49ers were crowned as the NFL champion, beating the Cincinnati Bengals by the slender score of 26-21.It was the 49ers' first Super Bowl appearance. After many low years they had finally reached the pinnacle.In doing so not only did they beat their AFC colleagues to the title, but perhaps more importantly knocked the Dallas Cowboys off of their own lofty perch.Two weeks before the Super Bowl the Bay Area went ballistic as the 49ers gave the arrogant Cowboys a knock out blow.One which left the Texas team on the canvas for just over a decade. A span of years that was as rich in success for the San Francisco team, as the previous 10 years had been for the Cowboys.It truly was a power change of immense proportion.And it hinged on one play. Simply known in NFL folklore as "The Catch".The whole game had the sense of it being the real Super Bowl, the intensity was high and set the tone for what is still a heated rivalry.Joe Montana was the new guy in town and his poise and play was evident then as it was for many years after. He led his team down the field for the opening score, and even though the Cowboys bounced back quickly with 10 unanswered points, he came back again.His first touchdown of the day to Dwight Clark put the 49ers up 14-10. The Cowboys were stubborn and were not to be denied before halftime scoring again to enter the locker room with a 17-14 lead.San Francisco scored again in the third quarter, another touchdown to lead 21-17. A field goal followed by a Doug Cosbie touchdown game the Cowboys another advantage deep into the last period of play. Then the moment that is summed up by those two words. Montana marched his side 83 yards in the face of everything the fabled Dallas defense could throw at them.From six yards out the sprint right option was called and the rest is history.With 51 ticks left the Dallas Cowboys still had a chance. Down by one point they just needed a field goal. Danny White threw a completion to Drew Pearson that almost went for a touchdown, but 49ers' defensive back Eric Wright made a key tackle by dragging him down. Two plays later, Lawrence Pillars sacked White, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the 49ers.The whole complexion of the NFL changed in that closing minute. One dynasty was born, the other finished.After the game Clark reported that Ed 'Too Tall' Jones remarked to Montana "You just beat America's Team". Montana replied, "Well, you can sit at home with the rest of America and watch the Super Bowl."Without doing the Bengals too much injustice, Too Tall had just played in it.
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