The San Francisco 49ers get going later today against the New Orleans Saints. Obviously, we’ve covered a lot of ground, specifically the one time how a Saints game decided playoff positioning. Well, let’s forget about after-effects and let’s talk about the Vernon Post.
The 49ers were seeing an unanticipated resurgence under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh. The team was not picked to win the NFC West, yet Harbaugh had locked up the No. 2 seed. The New Orleans Saints came to town in a game many thought the 49ers would lose. The 49ers went up early thanks to hard hits and some ill-advised Drew Brees interceptions, but the Saints came clawing back into it. It started up what might be the most exciting four minutes in NFL playoff history. After a Darren Sproles touchdown, the 49ers were behind and Alex Smith went to work with a genius playcall: a boot to his left where he took it to the house.
Personally, when it happened, I was happy but also wondering why Smith didn’t down it at the one-yard line. I know it’s a terrible thought, but it was something going through my mind. I was quickly shown why he shouldn’t have because it was only a few seconds later Drew Brees hit Jimmy Graham for a long touchdown run. And Candlestick park got quiet. Real quiet. That time that would have been wasted on my “kill clock” idea was going to be necessary for what came next.
The 49ers did a few runs and then Smith hits tight end Vernon Davis for a huge pickup and the place just erupted. Davis had the 49ers in perfect field goal range to send this thing to overtime.
Then my phone rang. It was my father.
“Harbaugh’s going to put a stop to this right now,” He said. “He’s going to take a shot at the endzone.”
I hung up and waited. Then this happened.
The gif’s quality is a bit questionable, so click that link to see the YouTube version. That is the Vernon Post. AKA: The Catch III. AKA: The immaculate redemption. The play won the game and the emotions ran high after the game was over. It was supposed to signal in the return of the 49ers, but that return was short lived as Jim Harbaugh would leave three years later.
In the anime Dragon Ball Z, in order for a Saiyan (aliens that look like humans but have a monkey tail) to become Super Saiyan (where their hair turns golden and they are extremely powerful), certain requirements must be met; the Saiyan must have a calm, pure heart, it must possess a certain level of strength, and finally it must have complete lust and rage for battle. When those requirements are met, the transformation is unlocked.
I’ve been trying to think of something similar for a Catch play to happen. What are the requirements for such a play? I have no idea. I’ve been trying to list a certain set of circumstances for a Catch play to happen (3rd and 3, 49ers must be down, it must have a player(s) significant to the history of the team) but I’m able to argue against any rules beyond 3rd and 3.
So we’ll just have a thread to talk about it to kick off the day.
And here are some links.
NFL picks, predictions against spread for Week 14: 49ers beat Saints; Rams upset Seahawks; Ravens top Bills (Sporting News)
49ers run game takes center stage vs. Saints (Madson)\
49ers welcome chance to face a pocket passer: Even if it’s Saints QB legend Drew Brees (Branch)
49ers defense gets another tough test vs. multi-faceted Saints offense (Madson)