Jerry Rice, Dwight Clark and Steve Young will be present tonight at the final regular-season home game at Candlestick Park, but the greatest player, the man who shared in the glory of one of the most iconic moments in the history of the ‘Stick, will not.
Joe Montana, who threw the pass that Dwight Clark hauled in for “The Catch,” tweeted that he would be spending time with his family instead.
Montana had indicated for weeks that his family’s tight holiday schedule would not allow him to be present, with his son, Nick, in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday with his Tulane team. Clark, whose six-yard catch in the final minute of play propelled the 49ers past the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC championship game, plans to attend. So does Rice and Young will be working for ESPN.
Clark, for one, felt a tough-love kind of nostalgic about the place, which opened in 1960.
“It was a dump, but it was our dump,” Clark told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. ”We had a lot of history there and a lot of success. It’s sad to see it go, but that’s progress.”
“It was our home field. It was a place to play,” Montana told the San Francisco Chronicle. It wasn’t anything special, overall. It’s not like playing in the Superdome, or the Cowboys’ new stadium, places like that. The moments are made by the team that’s playing there. If you don’t have success, I don’t care what the building looks like.”
Rice, the Hall of Fame wide receiver, said he is “excited” to be there.
“So many great memories,” he told the Chronicle. “Who knows? Steve Young and I may be throwing the ball around. When I enter that stadium, something takes over my body. I remember how I used to run into that stadium. My ritual. Getting everyone going. So many great memories. It’s something that I’ll never forget.”