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Last game at historic Candlestick Park?
by Harry Spencer
Dec 30, 2013 | 2153 views | 0 0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By the time you read this, you will know whether the 49ers have played their last game at historic Candlestick Park or not.

There are several scenarios that culminated last Sunday to determine the fate of the NFC West. If the St. Louis Rams were able to defeat the Seattle Seahawks and the Niners were fortunate enough to beat the Arizona Cardinals, then SF would be the West Champion. That would mean that Candlestick would be the site of future playoff games. On the other hand, if Seattle won, they would be the champion of the West and the 49ers would be relegated to wild card status.

Whatever the outcome, the Niners seem to be poised to play their best during the upcoming playoffs.

As to the last Monday Night game of a week ago, it was a fitting climax to the storied park. In addition to a nail-biting finish to the actual game, there were many old memories recreated with the appearance of former stars such as Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Willie Mays and Willy McCovey. Also, it marked the perfect birthday present for Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Noticeably absent from the proceedings was possibly the most electrifying athlete ever to compete at the ‘Stick. That, of course would have been incomparable quarterback, Joe Montana. At least the other half of the famous “Catch” was there in the form of Dwight Clark.

As with many northern Nevadans, I have fond memories of attending 49er games. Starting with their long-ago appearances at Kezar Stadium against such teams as the Dallas Cowboys, with their diminutive quarterback, Eddie LeBaron, who later became a Reno resident and Squash opponent, there were many exciting contests which the Niners usually lost.

During those years, I had the opportunity to see a procession of quarterbacks such as Frankie Albert, Y.A. Tittle, John Brodie, Steve Spurrier, as well as Montana and Young.

During those early years the late Max Dodge and I would charter a United Airlines plane and take some 40 fans to the season opener of both the 49ers and the SF Giants. Notable attendees on those trips included Hughes Porter, Jack Streeter and Harold Smith, Jr.

During the 60s, I was usually the guest of San Francisco ad man Ken Macker, who had been instrumental in getting authorization for the creation of the 1960 International Olympic Press Club at the Mapes Hotel. At that time, Macker was a good friend of an Olympics Press Agent, who happened to be named Pete Rozelle, the same Pete Rozelle who later became commissioner of the NFL. Because of that friendship, Macker was able to obtain a skybox near the 50-yard line next to the skybox of the owner of the visiting team. Macker would leave me a pair of duckets for each of the 49er home games. At one Monday night game, I had the chance to stroll down to the broadcast box where I said hello to my good friend Dandy Don Meredith, who was paired with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford.

On another Monday night, I was accompanied by my son Zach in his Pop Warner jersey, who wanted to run a lap around the field after the game.

Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.
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