Saturday, September 14, 2013

Clark Begins NFL Reception Record

On Sept. 14, 1980, San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark begins National Football League (NFL) streak of 105 consecutive games with at least one reception.

This streak would be passed by a former teammate of Clark, Jerry Rice, who would go on to have 274 games with at least one reception.

Clark played his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1987. Clark played college football at Clemson University before being drafted by the 49ers with the first pick in the tenth round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

With the 49ers, Clark played on two Super Bowl championship teams. He caught the winning touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Joe Montana in the NFC Championship Game in January 1982 against the Dallas Cowboys.  The play, immortalized as "The Catch," propelled the 49ers to their first Super Bowl championship.

Over his career Clark racked up some amazing awards being named a Pro-Bowl selection twice in 1981 and 1982. Being named an All-Pro selection twice, in 1981 and 1982. Winning two Super Bowls, XVI (16) and XIX (19).

In 1981 Clark would be named UPI Second Team All-Conference.

In 1982 Clark would also be named a UPI First Team All-Conference, Associated Press First Team All-NFL, Pro Football Writers First Team All-NFL, Newspaper Enterprise Association First Team All-NFL, Pro Football Weekly First Team All-NFL, Sports Illustrated First Team All-NFL. He would also be awarded The Len Eshmont Award, and was named Sports Illustrated NFL Player of the Year.

That year Clark led the league in receptions, with 60, during a strike shortened season.

Clark would be apart of the 49ers front office for their next three Super Bowl wins XXIII (23), XXIV (24) and XXIX (29).

Over the course of his career Clark compiled 506 receptions for 6,750 yards with 48 touchdowns. He also rushed six times over his career for 50 yards with a long of 18 yards, coming in 1981. Over the course of his career he averaged 3.8 receptions per game, an average of 13.3 yards per reception with an average of 50.4 yards receiving per game. His longest career reception came in 1984 when he hauled in an 80 yard pass from Joe Montana.

Clark’s highest single season reception total came in 1981 with 85 receptions, although he did not lead the league in receptions that year. His highest single season total for touchdowns came in 1985 with 10, although he did not lead the league that year. His highest single season total for receiving yards came in 1981 with 1,105 yards, although he did not lead the league in receiving yards that year.

In 1988 the San Francisco 49ers retired Clark’s no. 87 jersey, and he was inducted into Clemson’s Hall of Fame.

After retiring from the NFL Clark served as the general manager of the 49ers in 1998 and in the same capacity with the Cleveland Browns from 1998 to 2002. As well as starring in the lead role in the 1994 direct-to-video comedy Kindergarten Ninja. Clark has also appeared in the video game, All-Pro Football 2K8.

In 2011 Clark joined Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as an analyst for 49ers Postgame Live.