Crazy Eddie D, Jr., otherwise known as "Mr. D," said the other day that the 2011 49ers are better than the 1981 super bowl team. My first reaction was 'you're a wacho.'
That's actually a lot more polite than what the old NHS would have said, the 49er-Haters Society, which at the end of Eddie’s reign in 1998, used to document the sins of the 49er "family", and loved to remind everyone that Eddie Debartolo's new suffix is, "convicted felon". That, following a conviction in 2000 on charges he bribed Louisiana Guv Edwin Edwards with $400,000 in small bills.
As you know that cost Mr. D his ownership in a franchise that has never been quite the same. The stigma has never quite come out in the wash; only another super bowl ring could remove it.
But forget all that. Here was Eddie – now 64, and felon or not, worth close to $2 billion — saying something that seems ludicrous, even after an open-and-shut win over the Steelers.
As you'll remember the 1981 49ers included these names: Montana, Clark, Cross, Lott and Hicks. Those were the pro bowlers. And then somebody named Walsh. Add Keena Turner, Eric Wright, and Freddie Solomon for good measure.
The featured running back that year, however, was an invisible journeyman named Ricky Patton, who was taken in the 10th round, the 257th pick overall.
This year’s team includes these names: Gore, Willis, Crabtree. And somebody named Harbaugh.
If I ask you those names in 30 years how many will you remember? Gore and Willis. And I’ll bet you, Harbaugh.
Did I leave anybody out? Don't call to say, what about Ted McGinn or Vernon Davis? Or even the two kickers.
But yes, I suppose if you’re a true fan, you have to include Justin Smith on the list of memorable heroes.
Okay, but let’s do a casual comparison. Take the top three players from the 1981 team — according to pro-tooball-reference.com, plus coaches and owners, and match them up with the corresponding people in those positions now.