I don’t usually read sports books and I almost never recommend them. I’m making an exception. Dan Brown, the elegant writer for the SJ Merc, just published a book about the 49ers with the long title I already wrote in the headline to this blog. It’s a clever title and Dan is a clever writer and he has included the 100 essential Niners’ facts, vignettes, personalities, whatever you want to call them. Of course, he writes about Bill, Joe, Steve, Jerry — and he writes so well about them. There is much much more.

In his chapter on The Catch he says that was the only time Montana actually threw the pass correctly. I love it.

Dan devotes a chapter — each chapter is just a few pages — to the John Candy Game, Super Bowl XXIII. The situation you know, the game was on the line: I quote Montana from the book, “So I walked over and said, ‘Harris (Barton), hey, it’s John Candy. I figured he would appreciate it. He looked over at the stands and then looked back at me and said, ‘Are you crazy?’ ”

Dan starts his Dwight Clark chapter: “”Dwight Clark had 560 other catches.”


In Dan’s first paragraph about Charles Haley he writes how Haley wanted to beat up Steve Young in 1991 after the Niners lost to the LA Raiders. They had to bring into the Niners locker room Ronnie Lott, a Raider, to calm Haley down.

In his 100th chapter Dan writes about Hardy “The Hatchet” Brown, a linebacker from the 1950’s, now deceased. Brown hit people very hard: “So potent was Brown’s blow that opponents suspected he must conceal a steel plate in his shoulder pads. Officials would periodically check, only to discover that there was no metal under the uniform — just a linebacker hardened by life.”

Dan Brown scored a TD with this book. I read chapters for the pure pleasure of it. Sometimes I read out of order just because each part is that interesting. Triumph Books is the publisher.