In very sad news today, Dwight Clark passed away in Montana at his ranch from ALS at the age of 61. The man who brought to life one of the most iconic moments in all of sports, gone at far too young an age. His catch literally changed the course of the 49ers, as it ushered the team to their first Super Bowl appearance, and ended an awful day for the Niners as they outgained Dallas 400 to 250 but turned the ball over 6 times.
It erased the frustration of die-hard fans who suffered through the ’70-’71, and ’72 playoff losses to the Cowboys, erased the 59-14 shellacking of the Niners by Dallas the year before. And it started the reign of the Niners as the team of the ’80s.
In his 9 year career, he set many of the 49er receiving records that were soon to be smashed by Jerry Rice.
Receiving TDs: 48
Not earthshaking numbers, but a solid career that included clutch catch after clutch catch. Saw him play many games at the Stick, including Joe’s coming out party in the greatest comeback game in 1980 where Clark had 6 catches for 155 yards, including a 71 yard TD strike.
I could go on and on re: Clark’s impact on the local and national football scene, and how genuinely nice he was when I bumped into he and Joe at the Hillsdale mall a few months after SB XVI, but he will be terribly missed by 49er fans, and football fans everywhere.
This is the last time I saw him. The Farewell Candlestick flag football game.