Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hey, isn't that John Candy?

The atmosphere in the huddle was one of quiet confidence.

San Francisco 49ers have been here before. Hey, it was Super Bowl XXIII in Miami, F-L-A. One for all the marbles as they were going for their third Vince Lombardi trophy in the 80s.

Only this time, they were down 16-13 against the Cincinnati Bengals of Boomer Esiason with time down to 3:20 left in the 4th quarter when 49ers QB Joe Montana called for a huddle to map out their final drive from their own 8 yard line. Before he could issue out the play (20 Halfback Curl X-Up), Montana noticed the actor/comedian up in the stands. “Hey, isn’t that John Candy,” said the former Notre Dame QB1.

It was the most unlikely crack in the most inopportune of moments and it loosened up his offensive unit.

The play called for spreading out their wide receivers in response to the Bengals’ bracketing defense that was designed to overpower the 49er’s linemen. With San Francisco running back Roger Craig covered, Montana found wide receiver John Taylor in the end zone for an eight-yard pass for a 20-16 victory and that Super Bowl ring.

Since then, 20 Halfback Curl X-Up has been known in San Francisco and football history as the John Candy play.

Note: I've always thought that some of the best sports documentaries of all time were done by NFL Films. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

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