Friday, September 25, 2009

San Francisco 89ers

I started watching football in 1989. In those heady days, George Bush (the first) reigned as president, the U.S.S.R. still existed, Thursday night on NBC was real "must-see TV," thanks to The Cosby Show and Cheers, and I was a huge Debbie Gibson fan. (Shaddap!)

And the San Francisco 49ers were the best football team on the planet, by far. And I've never really gotten over it.

Even though I only started watching football full time in '89, I can vaguely remember the Vikings' playoff games against the 49ers in the late '80s. There was the improbable victory in the '87 playoffs, which was followed by a pair of thrashings in '88 and '89. And then there was this game in 1988, from which you've almost assuredly seen this highlight. Sorry, Mike Vick, but you don't have the best run of all time by a QB against the Vikings. (In fact, you probably don't even have the second-best, but I can't find video of Vinny Testaverde's absurd 48-yard TD run against the team in this game.)

Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice, and even Steve Young are all long gone. Jeff Garcia and Ricky Watters and Terrell Owens all had their moments, but, for the better part of this decade, the 49ers have been a mediocre to bad team. Still, I still can't help but feel something special every time the Vikings play the 49ers. As a tribute, and because I wanted to play around with's Play Index, here are some notable Vikings-vs.-49ers all-time stats:

First, unless I've missed something (entirely possible), the Vikings have played the 49ers 39 times in the regular season since 1960, and the teams are, rather unusually, deadlocked at 19-19-1.

The Vikings have only had 2 100-yard rushers against the 49ers. 49er RBs have achieved the feat 9 times, but not since 1992.

The 49ers also lead the 100-yard receiver contest, 14 to 9.

300-yard passers have been very rare in the rivalry, with just 3 for San Fran and 2 for Minny.

You might be a little surprised to see which 49er is tied for the most sacks in a game against the Vikings, instead of the other way around.

Meanwhile, the all-time leader for TDs for the Vikings against the 49ers is someone I've never heard of. On the other side of the coin, I think I have heard of this guy.

And only one guy has ever had just 200 all-purpose yards against the 49ers as a Viking. C'mon Adrian (or even Percy), you can do better than that!

Finally, a little music to get you jacked up for the game! I promise, it's not Rick Astley

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