Should they even bother to play this game, Super Bowl XXIX Jan. 29 in Miami?
Carmen Policy, president of the 49ers, said in his euphoria that the Super Bowl would be anticlimactic after San Francisco met it’s year-long goal of beating Dallas in the NFC championship game on Sunday.
The San Diego Chargers surprised even themselves by beating Pittsburgh and would probably be shocked to defeat the Niners, who beat them - in San Diego - 38-15 on Dec. 11.
San Francisco already has been made a favorite by anything from 17 1/2 to 201/2 points to become the NFC’s 11th straight Super Bowl winner.
The only other time the odds were that big was in 1969, when the Baltimore Colts opened as 17 1/2-point favorites over the New York Jets; Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a victory, and the Jets won 16-7.
“Out of respect to San Diego, I don’t like it,” 49ers coach George Seifert said. “But … we have no control over that.”
With the ultimate game two weeks away, both teams spent Sunday night celebrating like they’d won all they could win - the Chargers at a rally with 75,000 fans in Jack Murphy Stadium; the Niners on the field at Candlestick and then at postgame parties worthy of a Super Bowl win.
“The Super Bowl, in my opinion, will be anticlimactic,” Policy said. “It would be a tragedy if we lose, but that’s how big I feel this win is.”
“We’re still in a little bit of a euphoric state, which is all right for the next couple of days,” Seifert said Monday. “But then we have get down to business.”
By Monday morning, the euphoria had begun to wear off.
Quarterback Steve Young was rewarded on his own radio show, allowed to choose an entire album (“Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac) instead of the one song he usually picks.
He said he was already coming down from the thrill of victory. “It didn’t last as long as I thought it would,” he said. “I woke up this morning and realized we have one more game to go.”
That one would give the 49ers, one of the most accomplished teams in NFL history, another niche a record fifth Super Bowl victory. It would come in the relatively short span of 13 years, although the five players who played on the first four winners - Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Mike Wilson, Keena Turner and Eric Wright - are all gone.
The Chargers know there is more to winning than numbers.
“It says a lot about this team that we stuck together through thick and thin, with thousands of people against us,” said Tony Martin. “Nobody ever gave us a shot.”
Now they have it - in the Super Bowl.
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