Wow. What a fitting end for Candlestick Park, the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium for quite a number of years. That interception — made possible by the incredible play by Tramaine Brock — is a perfect way to bring the history of the stadium full circle.
The “glory days” of the 49ers — and, consequently, this converted baseball stadium — famously took place under the guidance of Bill Walsh and the execution by Joe Montana (and later, Steve Young) of the revolutionary West Coast Offense. Sure, Ronnie Lott prowled the secondary, but the team was and is known for one of the most impressive offensives to ever take the field.
After years of turmoil, a defense began to be built — by the current defensive coordinator of the final game’s opponent, Mike Nolan. A lone bright spot for many years, this defense put the 49ers back on the map, even if they were not very prominently displayed. True, the offense has improved exponentially from those days, but it is still the defense that is the core of this team. That the defense made the final stop, the final touchdown, the final big play is impressive, awesome, and fitting. As much as that side of the ball pulled this franchise through the lean years, it is only right that it gets the final piece of glory.
This ending wraps a neat bow around the end of a stadium that has seen as much offensive glory as any. Hopefully, the bow is not completely tied, but if it is, what a great way to say goodbye.