SF 49ers: a foundation of greatness

Posted: June 3, 2011 in 49ers, Pro Football
Tags: , , ,

The NFL Network production of America’s Game: The 1988 San Francisco 49ers is one of the greatest segments about the storied franchise that I’ve ever come across.

It  displays the true nature of how and why the San Francisco 49ers are touted as one of the signature dynasties of the modern era.  Roger Craig and Harris Barton explain that each 49er was “an extension of each other,” as they relived the signature ‘drive’ that put a stamp on Joe Montana, Bill Walsh, and the entire group as the ‘team of the ’80s’.  Roger Craig added later that it was this sentiment, each man being an extension of the other, that provided the right attitude and belief, enabling a group of men to overcome adversity and accomplish “wonderful things.”

Bill Walsh was definitely an innovator when it came to planning, installing, and executing the many details needed to be successful in football (Link here, here, and here to read more about Walsh’s contributions).  However, perhaps one of his greatest qualities as a leader among men was his ability to instill a sense of family pride in those around him.  This helped him to facilitate a deep level of respect and caring between the individuals within his organization.  There was nothing that any one of them wouldn’t do for another – they were determined to achieve team success at the highest level possible.

I thought I’d throw in this NFL Network clip from the top 100 greatest players series.  They tabbed Jerry Rice as the number one player of all time.  Jon Gruden (a quality control coach for SF from 1990-1992 and later coached Rice with the Raiders in 2001) hosts a great look back at the timeless and ageless wonder that is Jerry Rice.  The unique thing about Rice was his determination to be the best ever.  The exploits of his commitment to his craft are well known.  Endless hours of off-season training, a perfectionist mindset in all facets of preparation and execution, catching bricks from his father to develop his hands as a youth, and cementing himself as one of the greatest wide receivers ‘after the catch’ – Jerry Rice became the most dominate player to ever play his position.  And, according to NFL Network, he was the best player to ever play the game.

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