49ers

Dwight Clark would have 'absolutely loved' statues of 'The Catch'

Dwight Clark would have 'absolutely loved' statues of 'The Catch'

SANTA CLARA – The highlight for the 49ers on Sunday occurred four hours before kickoff.

Statues of Dwight Clark and Joe Montana were unveiled in front of a group of approximately 200 invited guests that included more than 70 former 49ers players outside Gate A at Levi’s Stadium.

Clark is captured at the apex of his memorable leap, ball resting at his fingertips. Twenty-three yards away, Montana’s arms are raised, signaling touchdown.

The iconic play catapulted the 49ers past the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 10, 1982, and onto the organization’s first Super Bowl title.

Next year is the NFL’s 100th anniversary, and the league has asked teams to vote on the best moments in franchise history, 49ers CEO Jed York said.

“For us, there is absolutely no question about the best moment in the history of the San Francisco 49ers, the best play,” York said. “The only argument is, was it the best play in the history of the NFL?”

“The Catch” was the springboard for the 49ers’ dynasty of the 1980s and the organization’s five Super Bowl titles. Montana recognized his teammates and gave special mention to the team’s defense that preserved the win over Dallas.

“While there are two statues here, this is not about two people,” Montana said. “This is about a team, an organization, going back to Mr. (Edward) DeBartolo, Bill Walsh and the organization that put together a team that came along to be where we are today.”

Clark died on June 4 after a two-year battle with ALS. He was 61.

“He’s here. I wish he were here in person,” Montana said. “We all miss him a lot. I just want to say thank you on behalf of both of us. It is truly, truly an honor to have these statues and be remembered forever.”

Kelly Clark, Dwight’s wife, reacted after the statues were revealed.

“It’s difficult to be back here without D.C.,” she said. “I know he would have absolutely loved this. It’s a very beautiful tribute to him, so thank you.”

* * *

There are plans for a book based on the NBC Sports Bay Area documentary “Letters to 87.” We are asking for you to share your experiences of “The Catch” in letter form.

Dwight Clark enjoyed hearing stories about what people were doing during “The Catch” and/or how the play impacted lives.

Please send your letters to:

Letters to 87
NBC Sports Bay Area
360 Third Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94107

Joe Montana statue at Levi's Stadium defaced after 49ers-Seahawks game

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Joe Montana statue at Levi's Stadium defaced after 49ers-Seahawks game

SANTA CLARA – The statue of legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana outside Levi’s Stadium was vandalized on Monday night following San Francisco's 27-24 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, according to authorities.

Jorge Alberto Lopez of Santa Clara was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on a charge of felony vandalism, Santa Clara Police announced in a press release.

According to the report, a security officer at Levi’s Stadium witnessed Lopez grab the facemask of the statue and pull it off. The suspect was arrested at 9:50 p.m. on Monday.

The 49ers released the following statement on Wednesday:

“The Joe Montana statue that is part of the ‘The Catch’ art installation located inside the stadium’s Gate A plaza was vandalized following our recent Monday Night Football game. Security personnel apprehended the individual soon thereafter and the Santa Clara Police Department arrested the individual on felony vandalism charges. Crews have already begun repairs on the statue and expect work to be complete prior to Sunday’s home game. As this is an ongoing police matter, we will not have any additional comment.”

[RELATED: Bosa lost for first time in two years in 49ers' MNF defeat]

The statue of Montana was dedicated last October and is accompanied by a statue of Dwight Clark making the leaping catch in the 1981 NFC Championship Game that lifted the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. The statue has since been repaired.

49ers' Nick Bosa suffered first loss in over two years vs. Seahawks

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49ers' Nick Bosa suffered first loss in over two years vs. Seahawks

49ers rookie sensation Nick Bosa experienced something Monday night that the 22-year-old hasn’t faced in over two years.

He lost a game.

That’s right, the defensive end hadn’t suffered defeat prior to San Francisco's loss to the Seahawks on Monday night since his sophomore season at Ohio State.

That game was especially rough for Bosa, as he was ejected in the second quarter after a pretty blatant targeting penalty for a hit on Iowa's quarterback.

Bosa’s Buckeyes won the first three games of 2018 before he injured his knee and missed the final 11 games of his collegiate career.

[RELATED: 49ers clarify Kittle not officially ruled out vs. Cardinals]

The 49ers hope to restart Bosa’s winning streak Sunday when they take on the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium.