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The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and the Game That Changed the NFL
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The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and the Game That Changed the NFL

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  120 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
How many great catches have there been in the history of the NFL? Hundreds? Thousands? Mention "The Catch,"though, and fans will think of only one: Joe Montana to Dwight Clark, the NFC Championship game, the Dallas Cowboys vs. the San Francisco 49ers, January 10, 1982. It changed the game and The Game. This is the story of the pieces that fell into place to allow it to ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Crown Archetype (first published 2009)
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Dec 21, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
If you're a football fan, you've probably seen highlight footage of "The Catch."

It's the pass from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the waning moments of the 1981 NFC Championship game that sent the up and coming San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and the Dallas Cowboys to NFL infamy as the team that "The Catch" happened against.

The footage has been endlessly replayed on NFL Films and ESPN and was even redone as a Gatorade commercial a few years ago.

But the famous reception is more than just a
Steve Kettmann
May 02, 2010 Steve Kettmann rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2009
One of the pleasures of digging into a book like this as a lifelong 49ers fan is that even as a reviewer, ostensibly paid to be skeptical, you can gleefully skip right over any sense that first-time author Gary Myers is overhyping the importance of the Catch.

What's to overhype? That glorious moment when a flu-ravaged Dwight Clark sprang up gazelle-like from the back of the end zone at Candlestick and somehow hauled in a remarkable Joe Montana pass was such an epic moment in sports, all superlati
Tom Gase
Feb 01, 2013 Tom Gase rated it liked it
This book was well researched, but it could have been better. Problems I had with this book were 1) The author, Gary Myers, desperately tried to make this game and this catch bigger than it was. It is an important catch and one of the best games ever as described in this book, but too many times I was reading how it was the end of one dynasty and the start of another, which isn't entirely true. The Cowboys made the playoffs the next year and were once again one win away from the Super Bowl, but ...more
C Baker
Oct 25, 2014 C Baker rated it it was ok
Shelves: football, sports
On January 10, 1982 the San Francisco 49’ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game on one of the most memorable catches in NFL history. Late in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana threw up a prayer to wide receiver Dwight Clark in the end zone, beating Dallas 28-27. This improbable catch launched the San Francisco 49’ers into Super Bowl XVI, which they won over the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21.

The theme of this book is that this sem
Paul Schulzetenberg
Feb 05, 2010 Paul Schulzetenberg rated it did not like it
Absolutely terrible. I enjoy me a good book about football, particularly one with some historical context, as this book claims to have. However, this book is thematically and formally a train wreck.

Myers set out to write a book about the collision of dynasties, the 1970s Cowboys with the 49ers. He chooses as the focus the most dramatic meeting between those two franchises, the 1981 NFC championship, best known for Dwight Clark leaping in the end zone to catch a high Joe Montana pass. His claim i
Feb 12, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of the famous play in the 1982 NFC Championship Game, when Joe Montana (the BEST quarterback ever) threw to Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone with less than one minute left, to defeat the Dallas Cowboys. This crucial play allowed the Forty-Niners to play (and win) their first Super Bowl ever and led to a period of troubled times for the Cowboys.

Myers does a very good job recreating this game and the moment (the catch) that has become so famous in sports history. He also
Christopher Racle
Dec 02, 2015 Christopher Racle rated it really liked it
A truly exhilarating story about the alleged catch of 1982 where the San Fransisco 49er's defeated the Dallas Cowboys with a last minute reception that will be ever remember as the one. Not only does this story go into great analysis of the games entirety, but also gives an insight before and after the game that will leave you clinging to the book. It gives a true realization of the life of professional athletes and the struggles they face not only on the field, but maintaining balance in their ...more
Mar 31, 2011 Bookworm rated it liked it
Shelves: football, sports
A look from various viewpoints of a famous football play, "The Catch". I wasn't even born when this play had happened, but I know of it.

It seemed promising and I was under the impression it would take us through a historical look at the buildup of the play. Instead, Myers looks at the coaches, the players involved, the owners and the paths the two teams took to get there and what happened to everyone after that play.

I thought the book was uneven overall. Sometimes it could be really interestin
Jan 17, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
On Jan. 10, 1982, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Champsionship game. The Niners went on to win their first of five Super Bowls. Gary Myers shows us how one play (Montana to Clark, aka, The Catch) made San Fran the team of the 80s and put America's Team, the Cowboys, into a deep freeze for the next decade, until Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin arrived to bring the Boys back to greatness.

Myers does a superb job examining the pivotal players of that game: Mon
Feb 13, 2010 Dustin rated it did not like it
Not only is this book about the 49ers in general, which should be an automatic 5 stars, but its about the single greatest moment in 49ers history, another automatic 5 stars, AND its about the downfall of the Cowboys Dynasty, which should be an automatic 3 stars. This book could have been just the words "The 49ers were awesome in this game and awesome for a long time afterwards because they beat the Cowboys who were awful for the next 10 years," and it would have been guaranteed 13 Stars.

Alas, Ga
Howard Rigdon
Aug 10, 2014 Howard Rigdon rated it really liked it
The book " The Catch" was interesting and should be read by all people who like football. Gary Myers did a good job depicting the moment the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game of 1982. It went into every detail of what the conditions were on the field in the Cowboys standpoint and in the 49ers standpoint. I think he also did a good job in showing how the 49ers became a dynasty after the Catch while the Cowboys were destroyed after that Championship game. His ...more
Oct 31, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
You might not think it's possible to write an entire book about a single play in one game of football. And certainly, there's a lot more covered here than JUST that play. BUT, it really does focus on that Sprint Right Option play and what lead up to it, and what happened afterwards. 49ers fans need things to cheer them up these days, and this book certainly qualifies. (Worth also noting that author Gary Myers was the COWBOYS broadcaster at the time, so his bias, if any, is not towards the Red ...more
Dec 14, 2013 Alan rated it liked it
this book is a little disjointed. Some great stories and I like the idea of approaching it from both the SF and Dallas perspective. But there is WAY too much repeating almost word for word. It feels like a collection of blog posts or magazine articles that were all collected together without any larger plan.

There was a very good story to tell here, and I found sections of it fantastic. But it had no comprehensive narrative.

In the end I liked some of it, but as a whole it was pretty disappointi
Sandra Strange
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I am not normally a sports fan, though I grew up playing and watching a LOT of sports. This book, focused on one climactic football pass play in the 1982 playoff game between the 49'ers and the Cowboys, is well told. The author proves how important the play proved to be, marking the beginning of a 49er dynasty and the beginning of the end of the Dallas coach's career. The book examines everyone involved with "the catch" on both sides--Cowboys and ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Mark rated it did not like it
Extraordinarily sloppy book. Information is consistently repeated. Author -- former reporter with The Dallas Morning News -- also attempts to create these links between the 1981 NFC Championship game and the downfall of the Dallas Cowboys and the surge of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s. He also attempts to connect The Catch and that game with tragedies among the players a decade or two later when there is no connection. Seemed to lack focus or attention to detail.
Jan 03, 2010 Michael rated it it was ok
Weird non-linear structure makes this book harder than necessary to follow. I'm not sure who actually wants to read about BOTH the niners and the cowboys....I assume fans support either one or the other, and this particular game means that only niners fans will read it, and the niners material is pretty well covered in other books. Though the writing is straightforward, the flashback and flash-forward technique is not. Alas.
Great book that takes you back to the moment on January 10, 1982, that served to change NFL history forever. I especially liked the "afterwords" aspects of all the players that made that game special. From triumph to tragedy, this book has it all.
Nov 22, 2009 Alpha rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
3.5/5 - Enjoyed reading about football history; since I only recently became interested in football, I didn't know a lot of the material covered in the book. That being said, it was pretty light and fluffy.
Oct 26, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
If you're a fan of the 70's and 80's football 49er's and Cowboys you will really enjoy this book. Goes into the background of a lot of the players and coaches involved in "The Catch" NFL championship game. As an NFL fan who watched this game 30 years ago, I enjoyed it.
Riley Cooper
Nov 02, 2013 Riley Cooper rated it liked it
This book is too disjointed to merit a higher rating. However, there are many great anecdotes and a lot of insight into the ramifications of The Catch, so it still makes for an informative book.
Pat rated it it was ok
May 07, 2010
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Jan 30, 2012
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Mar 28, 2012
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Ayesha Waheed rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2014
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