Bill Walsh

1984 49ers, Super Bowl XIX: “the greatest team I’ve ever seen, anywhere”

Normally we look more at things that just happened, will happen or could happen on this site, but I happened to find a hidden internet gem focusing on something that occurred 27 years ago. So I figured we’d take a small step back from NFL Draft talk and shine the spotlight on perhaps the best team of all time, the 1984 San Francisco 49ers. The following 10-minute clip includes footage and interviews I’ve never seen before. Since the video has less than 5,000 views, I’m guessing most of you haven’t seen it either.

It’s a KGO 7 News report from January 20, 1985, right after the 49ers beat the Miami Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium.  It comes from a YouTube account called 80sCommercialVault (if you’re an 80s kid and you want to kill about 4 hours, just check out this person’s collection of commercials from that period, all taped from Bay Area stations). The news coverage includes several great shots of the action from the sideline and a bunch of interviews which include quotes like:

Bill Walsh: “I think we played the best possible game we could. That would have to be our best football game since I’ve been with the San Francisco 49ers.”

Randy Cross: “It’s more gratifying than 1981 … One, we had the best record in the history of the NFL. Two, we had to listen to that B.S. all year long about how we weren’t playing anybody good and maybe we weren’t that good a team. Well, this is probably the best team this league had to offer to play us on this given day and I don’t think it was close.

Dwight Clark: “That’s the greatest team I’ve ever seen, anywhere … these guys have class, and no cocky guys on this team. Nobody talks about themselves, we’re just not that kind of team. We just go out and beat people.”

It’s pretty clear the Niners felt like they were disrespected in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Wendell Tyler mentioned how the 49ers beat the point spread, which actually had San Francisco as a 3.5-point favorite. Everyone thought Dan Marino was the king heading into that game. Back then nobody had any inkling that Super Bowl XIX was the closest Marino would get to winning a title. What a shame, what a shame…

There’s a ton more, including…

— A very, um, relaxed Eddie Debartolo talking after the game (3:40 in). “The main thing is I don’t like to lose. That’s it.”

— Eric Wright had a great interception, with an even better reaction from Dwight Hicks.

— This wasn’t mentioned in the video, but did you know the 49ers sacked the Chicago Bears 9 times in the NFC Championship Game?

— Footage of Marino (not looking too happy, I might add) in the airport heading to the Pro Bowl the next day, along with Joe Montana, Keena Turner, Randy Cross and Keith Fahnhorst. It was noted by sports anchor John Buren that Marino and Montana were seated on opposite ends of the airplane!

— An update on Doug Flutie heading to the USFL.

— A report on sports gambling, with Vegas cashing in because so many people bet on the Dolphins.

— Peter Jennings reporting that 10 of the 49ers were unable to take part in the Super Bowl parade (including Super Bowl MVP Montana) because they were at the Pro Bowl. God, that sounds stupid now.

— A report on Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, which was taking place at the same time.

— A closing montage of Super Bowl highlights with the classic “49ers, 49ers, 49ers-49ers-49ers” song playing in the background.


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