It’s theme week once again on the SB Nation NFL blogs! This week, it’s “Where were you when ...?”
There are a host of great moments in 49ers history, but I wanted to stick with one that even the younger readers here recall. The 49ers have had a lot of big moments over the past dating back to the beginning of the Jim Harbaugh era, and none quite matches the Vernon Post touchdown play.
Jim Harbaugh helped turn the 49ers around in a hurry, winning the NFC West and claiming the No. 2 seed. They hosted the New Orleans Saints following their bye week, and it was a wild one. The 49ers took a 17-0 lead, only to see the Saints storm back and take a 24-23 lead. The two sides exchanged leads, including Alex Smith running a 28-yard QB keeper to give the 49ers a 29-24 lead. The Saints took a stunning lead on a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham. The Saints led 32-29 with 1:32 to go, and the 49ers got started on their own 15 yard line. You can watch the full drive below, culminating in Smith’s touchdown pass to Vernon Davis on the Vernon Post play.
The final 49ers drive is fun to watch, but the entire game is a great watch. You can watch it in full here.
What were you doing that day for the game? Were you in attendance, watching at home, or out with friends for the game?
I was actually in attendance for the game, and it was my first game with a media credential. I spent most of the game more or less rocking back and forth and trying to avoid getting too outwardly excited. There is a rule about no cheering in the press box, and given the stakes of this game, that was not an easy rule to abide by.
One notable thing about media coverage of Candlestick Park is that the locker room is on the opposite side of the field from the press box and there is no way to get there other than going directly across the field. So, with five or so minutes left in the fourth quarter, media goes down through the stands to the sideline to wait for the game to end.
I made my way down to the field, and in perfect timing, I got down to the goal line just before Alex Smith ran in his QB keeper. I then made my way down the field on the Saints next drive that resulted in Jimmy Graham’s touchdown. When the 49ers took over at their 15, I was down on that side of the field, and made my way up the field as the 49ers moved the ball. And when Smith found Davis for the game-winning touchdown, I was looking right down the goal line as the play happened. It’s safe to say that was a once in a lifetime opportunity!
After the score, all I remember is jumping up and down in excitement, and actually hugging then team president Gideon Yu. It was a wild finish and all sorts of fun! Here are a few pictures I took near the end of the game.