Friday, January 10, 2014

San Francisco 49ers' Clark Makes "The Catch"


On Jan. 10, 1982, Dwight Clark of the San Francisco 49ers made the play now referred to as "The Catch" in the NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys.

With less than five minutes to go in the game and the 49ers trailing 27-21, Joe Montana led a strong drive to put the 49ers in position. He found Clark on a short touchdown pass and Clark hauled in the catch with 50 seconds left. After the extra point, the 49ers took a 28-27 lead.

Dwight Clark was a hand picked player for Bill Walsh during his tenure as the 49ers head coach. Bill Walsh drafted Dwight Clark as the first pick of the 10th round of the 1979 NFL draft.

Clark embarked on a stellar career for 49ers in which he had 506 catches for 6750 yards and 48 touchdowns, along with 50 rushing yards. He led the NFL in receptions (60) during the strike-shortened 1982 season, and made the Pro Bowl twice in 1981 and 1982 in his nine NFL seasons.

After Walsh drafted Clark, he made Clark and quarterback Joe Montana practice a certain 20-yard rollout "Hail Mary" pass into the end zone at the end of every practice. Walsh wanted to make sure that they could complete that certain pass in the red zone.

That play that Montana and Clark practiced ended up being “The Catch,” smart thinking by Clark to practice that play, which put them in the 1982 Super Bowl.

After nine successful seasons with San Francisco 49ers, Dwight Clark retired after 1987 NFL season.

Clark was a member of two Super Bowl-winning teams in 1982 and 1985.

To honor Clark's contribution to 49ers, the club retired his number 87.

After retirement, he has served as a team executive for the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns 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.

Clark joined Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in 2011 as a 49ers analyst for "49ers Postgame Live."