Aug 17, 2011, 4:14 PM EST
It was the end of the 49ers’ Fan Fest practice at Candlestick Park on Sunday, and new coach Jim Harbaugh thought he’d up the showmanship, recreating the drive that led up to The Catch. That’s the Joe-Montana-to-Dwight-Clark TD pass that beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship Game, sending the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. Substituting for Montana was Alex Smith.
The ball was placed at the 8-yard line (the Niners actually started at the 11 in the 1982 NFC Championship game) and the first-team offense was headed to the same end zone with three timeouts left.
The 2011 Niners failed to repeat history. Alex Smith, scrambling to his left, was sacked — two-hand-touch style — on fourth down inside the five-yard line, inspiring a crescendo of boos.
Of course in the 1982 drive, the 49ers used six running plays, including a 14-yard end-around to receiver Freddie Solomon. The 2011 49ers, concentrating on passing during Sunday’s practice, used no running plays on their drive.
“Well, we didn’t get it in the end zone, but I thought it was good drive,” Harbaugh said. “A lot of things that we learned from on it. I know I did … I probably should have run the ball when we got down there on the goal line with that much time left and two timeouts.”
Only the 49ers could get booed at Fan Fest.
Alex not Joe; Jim not Bill on practice-ending drive [San Francisco Chronicle]
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