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Sports Then and Now



Classic Rewind: Montana Magic Lifts 49ers Over Buddy’s Eagles 4

Posted on December 18, 2009 by Dean Hybl

When the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers meet on the football field this weekend the Eagles will be looking to strengthen their playoff position while the 49ers are trying to stay in the hunt for a playoff bid.

In the current decade, the Eagles have made seven playoff appearances, played in five NFC Championship Games and reached Super Bowl XXXIX.  Conversely, the San Francisco 49ers have not made the playoffs since 2002 and have also not recorded a winning season during that stretch.

It is a far cry from the 1980s when the San Francisco 49ers were the unquestioned team of the decade and, after opening the decade with a Super Bowl appearance, the Philadelphia Eagles struggled through a stretch of mediocrity.

By 1989, the 49ers were zeroing in on their fourth Super Bowl Championship of the decade under the guidance of first year head coach George Seifert. The 49ers were a team of superstars at the peak of their talents.

In 1989, Buddy Ryan had the Philadelphia Eagles poised to move to elite status in the NFL.

In 1989, Buddy Ryan had the Philadelphia Eagles poised to move to elite status in the NFL.

On the other hand, the Eagles were the brash and bold upstarts led by feisty head coach Buddy Ryan. After winning the NFC East in 1988 and losing to the Chicago Bears in the famous “Fog Bowl”, the Eagles were looking to take the next step in 1989 and push past the perennial champion 49ers.

In our Classic Rewind, we will look at their exciting meeting in the third week of the 1989 season. In many ways, this game would serve as a microcosm of how both franchises fared during that period of NFL history.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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