“Owens, Owens, Owens!” might have been what you heard from former 49ers play-by-play announcer Joe Starkey, had he been calling Niners games back in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
But not Terrell Owens. It’s wide receiver R.C. Owens who makes it at No. 6 on our all-time underrated list.
The elder Owens has been forgotten by all but the oldest San Francisco fans and those who pay keen attention to the team’s history. But when Owens was gracing the field at Kezar Stadium way back when, he was surely a sight to watch.
Owens’ stats tell a good enough story, particularly his 55-catch, 1,032-yard effort in 1961. But the 6-foot-3 receiver was known even more for his athleticism on the field. His amazing jump-ball abilities earned him the nickname, “Alley-Oop,” essentially being the first well-recognized player in league history to perform such an act.
This was pretty revolutionary at the time.
So the next time you’re watching a game and see a receiver make a tremendous leaping catch on a 50-50 ball, thank Mr. Alley Oop.