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The 49ers deliver some tough losses to other teams

Chris Burke from SI.com has a clever article about the worse losses for each team in the NFC. The 49ers show up a lot.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Over at SI.com, Chris Burke has compiled a list of the worst losses for each NFC team in their history. It's a fun idea that is taken to the next level by how prominently the San Francisco 49ers feature into some tough losses for other teams. And, to be honest, I sort of remember those games pretty fondly, so it's a nice way to skip down memory lane during the offseason.

Let's go in reverse chronological order, shall we?

Jan. 14, 2012, NFC divisional round - 49ers 36, Saints 32

This game, which may have been the high-water mark for the Jim Harbaugh era, saw moments of redemption for Alex Smith and of pure bliss for veterans Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. It think we can all easily remember Davis's face as he walked off the field after his 14-yard TD catch. I think one of the reasons why the game was so momentous not only had to do with the catharsis of actually seeing the 49ers win a playoff game again, but also to do with how hyped the New Orleans Saints were that year. They were an offensive juggernaut that could roll over teams at will. And, they almost did it to the 49ers, staging two comebacks.

Jan. 5, 2003, NFC wild card - 49ers 39, Giants 38

Burke is right to point out that the Giants probably feel crappy about this loss due to the blown call that sealed a 49ers victory. Here's Burke's telling:

Nothing fires up sports fans quite like a blown call, and this game featured a doozy. Before that occurred, though, the Giants first had to cough away a 38-14 lead to Jeff Garcia, Terrell Owens and the 49ers. New York still had a shot to win it late when Matt Bryant lined up for a last-second field goal, but instead a botched snap led to one of the NFL's most controversial moments ever.

Holder Matt Allen corralled the low snap and rolled right, then heaved a pass downfield to lineman Rich Seubert, who had reported as an eligible receiver. Seubert was tackled by San Francisco's Chike Okeafor before he could attempt a catch. Flags flew ... for an incorrect call of an ineligible man downfield, not pass interference. The league later apologized for its officials' gaffe—hardly consolation for the heartbroken Giants.

As Burke mentions, though, the 49ers had to stage a furious comeback before the blown call could have even mattered in the first place. That's the stuff from my early teens that I have chosen to remember - not the blown call (sorry not sorry, Giants fans).

Jan. 10, 1982, NFC championship - 49ers 28, Cowboys 27

Awww, yeah. Could this get any better? This, here, is the definition of schadenfreude. Before today, I had never wondered what it must feel like to be a Dallas Cowboys fan and to hear references to The Catch constantly. Burke made my day for allowing me to roll around in Cowboys fan sadness.

But, seriously, in some way The Catch has become the most iconic moment in NFL history. Just check this out. And, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole from a 49ers fan who has grown up immortalizing that moment since before I could even understand why it was important; yet, I think it's not outrageous to say that Cowboys fans must hate having The Catch be such a prominent part of NFL and popular culture.

And that's something we can all celebrate.