The good news is it’s opening Sunday in the NFL and Antonio Brown is nowhere near Tampa Bay. Even with Brown’s penchant for social media, it should take a series of ESPN E:60’s to figure that nutcase out.
No, today the Buccaneers host the 49ers for the first game of the year. This is the third time the teams will meet undefeated at 0-0.
With a lead in the 4th quarter back in 1986, QB Joe Montana would roll toward the left sideline and just before going out of bounds, twist for a throw. Immediately following, he would grab his back and just like that, “Super Joe” would have a ruptured disk in his back putting pressure on his sciatic nerve. An injury similar to the one that had forced Lee Roy Selmon to retire after the 84′ season.
On the Tampa Bay sideline that afternoon. Former 49er QB Steve DeBerg. The second string QB for the Buccaneers that day. 2nd year player and former LA Express QB Steve Young.
Fast forward and opening weekend for many will be remembered as the day Warren Sapp single handedly broke all the hearts in San Francisco.
While being sacked early in the game by #99, Steve Young would take a glancing blow to the helmet from the knee of Hardy Nickerson. The resulting concussion would eventually force Young from the game to be replaced by Jeff Brohm. Jeff Brohm would also play for the Buccaneers in 1998 and is now the head coach at Perdue.
Also injured in that game and lost for the season was Jerry Rice who on a freak tackle by Sapp, would suffer the first major injury of his career. These teams do have a history.
Hall Of Fame aspirations
Come to think of it. That day in 1997 there were at least 8 Hall Of Fame participants. With Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Chris Doleman and Terrell Owens on the field for the 49ers. The Buccaneers Derrick Brooks, and Warren Sapp. As well as both teams coaches, Bill Walsh and Tony Dungy. All have put on the gold jacket. Some would argue current 49ers GM, and Buccaneer great John Lynch should also be fitted for gold. As well as secondary mate Ronde Barber.
Fast forward to 2019. San Francisco is in town and the season starts today. I’m loading up the van and heading over early. Tim McGraw is opening the day with a concert at 2:00pm. The kickoff is 4:25. What a wonderful time of the year.
Photo credit: DAMIAN STROHMEYER/SI