The quiet of the offseason requires a little creativity amidst all the positional reviews and roster projections. Our friends at Pride of Detroit came across this great question.
You can change the outcome of one sporting event during your lifetime. Which one would you choose and why?— Michael Dunlap (@DunlapSports) July 19, 2017
We can easily focus this one on the 49ers. Some will see a very clear answer, but I would argue there are a few interesting options to consider.
The easy answer for a lot of people would be Super Bowl 47. Change the result of that, and the 49ers are 6-0 in Super Bowls. They would have six Super Bowl victories alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers, but more importantly, would be undefeated in Super Bowls. Losing to the Baltimore Ravens sucked in many ways, but I would argue that losing their zero stung more than anything else.
The most obvious in my mind is the 1991 NFC title game. The 49ers won Super Bowl 23 and 24, and entered the 1991 NFC title game against the New York Giants with a chance at a three-peat. A Roger Craig fumble later, and the dream was dead. If we reverse the outcome of that game, we don’t know for certain if the 49ers would have beaten the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl 25, but given the quality of those 49ers teams, a win seems like a strong possibility. And they would be the only three-peat in NFL history.
What about the 2012 or 2013 NFC title games against the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks? I would have loved to see Justin Smith and Frank Gore and Patrick Willis and all those guys get another shot at the Super Bowl. How do the 49ers handle the Patriots or the Broncos in those respective Super Bowls?
Another game I might change would be the 1999 divisional round loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The big change would actually be Garrison Hearst not destroying his ankle. I don’t know how the NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings or the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos would have turned out, but with a healthy Hearst, who knows.
What about the 1988 playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings? They would have faced Washington in the NFC title game, and then the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. really, you could point to any conference title game loss and ask what could have been come Super Bowl time.
What would be your choice? The Super Bowl is the easy choice because the opposite result is a guaranteed Super Bowl.
If you could change the outcome of one 49ers game, what would it be?
This poll is closed
Super Bowl 47
1991 NFC title game vs. Giants
2012 NFC title game vs. Giants
2014 NFC title game vs. Seahawks
1999 Garrison Hearst game
1988 divisional round vs. Vikings
Other (specify in comments)