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Dan Bunz thinks Cris Collinsworth still resents the 49ers

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Tale as old as time

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Dan Bunz could have been remembered for having one of the coolest last names in sports history. Fortunately, this is the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s remembered for that epic goal-line tackle on Charles Alexander in Super Bowl XVI known as The Stop.

History repeated itself in a way on Sunday when 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw stopped Seattle Seahawks’ tight end, Jacob Hollister, inches away from the goal line. The tackle gave the 49ers the NFC West, the first seed, and home-field advantage. Immediately, comparisons to Dan Bunz’s epic play were made while the officials on the field got everything together to be sure he was kept out of the goal line. Sunday Night Football color commentator Cris Collinsworth was one who questioned if Hollister was in. This is somewhat interesting, and maybe coincidental because Collinsworth was playing for the Bengals when Bunz made his stop.

So it reasons to show that The Athletic’s Daniel Brown caught up with Bunz to get his thoughts on the play. It’s a really nice profile on what Bunz has been up to since retiring in the mid-80s. But Bunz had some words for Collinsworth’s call when the officials got everything together:

Something else stuck out to Bunz about the Greenlaw hit: Watching from his brother’s living room, he noticed that NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth spent the replay review wondering if maybe Hollister actually crossed the plane of the goal line for the winning touchdown.

Collinsworth was a 22-year-old rookie for the Bengals at the time of the famous goal-line stand in January 1982. In his last season, 1988, the 49ers beat him again when John Taylor caught Joe Montana’s pass with 34 seconds left to win Super Bowl XXIII, 20-16.

“And I was thinking, Cris is just mad because we beat him twice,’’ Bunz said. “He’s never really warmed to that fact.”

I love a good grudge. I watched the replay of the game, and Al Michaels was saying that Hollister didn’t cross. Collinsworth wasn’t too adamant on the replay as he was just saying, “let’s be sure.”

But the reason I bring this up is that there’s been a running gag here on Niners Nation that Collinsworth resents the 49ers because they beat him in two Super Bowl appearances. Because of those two losses, that resentment drips into his commentary from time to time, and he doesn’t give them a fair shake. If you think that’s true, that’s up to you. Collinsworth has given a lot of praise on the team where it’s due; you can hear this in the 49ers-Patriots game from 2012 where Colin Kaepernick bested Tom Brady in Gillette Stadium.

It’s just funny how a game from the 80s is being re-lived, referenced, and influencing things in the 21st century.