Thursday, December 19, 2013
Chris Berman reflects on Candlestick
By ESPN.com staff
ESPN's Chris Berman joined the Front & Center podcast to discuss his memories of Candlestick Park, which will host its 36th and final "Monday Night Football" game (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). The San Francisco 49ers, who have played at the stadium since 1971, will host the Atlanta Falcons.
Dwight Clark leaps to catch a pass from Joe Montana and start a 49ers dynasty.
Berman said the 1981 NFC Championship Game, in which Joe Montana connected with Dwight Clark for "The Catch," is one of his fondest memories of the park. He did a live shot from the 5-yard line as fans celebrated the 49ers' victory. Berman, who will host MNF from Candlestick, reminisced about the Clark catch and how it was the beginning of the 49ers' reign atop the NFC.
"They beat the mighty Dallas Cowboys, and it was [the beginning of] a ride that pretty much continued for 20 years," Berman said. "It was a momentous game. I can remember the plays in the drive that began at their own 11, San Francisco down 27-21, like it was yesterday.
"It was fresh, it was fun, and who knew what they were building at the time? The whole thing sends shivers down my spine, that I was fortunate enough to be there and see it. It’s an iconic game in pro football history, let alone Candlestick. That’s what Candlestick will be remembered for more than anything else, that play. That game."
Berman said his other biggest memory of Candlestick was the 1989 World Series between the A's and Giants. An earthquake occurred before Game 3 and postponed the series 10 days. The Giants played at Candlestick from 1960 to 1999 before moving to a new stadium.
"I have spent many an evening and day at Candlestick Park, it will be nice to go back there one more time," Berman said. "Fifty-four years, that is a half a century plus, open for sporting business. I am sure there will be a lot of memories for everybody who walks in the park or everybody that watches the telecast."