For 49ers, season feels much like 1981
The 49ers entered 1981 coming off a 6-10 season during which they missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive time.
Thirty years later, the 49ers entered 2011 coming off a 6-10 season and missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive time.
Bill Walsh, an offensive-minded coach from Stanford, was entering his third season. He was hired by Eddie DeBartolo, a young owner from Youngstown, Ohio.
Jim Harbaugh, an offensive-minded coach from Stanford, was hired by Jed York, Eddie's nephew from Youngstown.
The 49ers opened the 1981 season 3-2, their best start in years, and the Bay Area was buzzing.
The 49ers opened this season 4-1, their best start in years, and were the toast of Northern California.
In Week 6 of 1981, the 49ers were underdogs against Dallas, an NFC powerhouse.
In Week 6 this season, the 49ers were underdogs against undefeated Detroit.
On Oct. 11, 1981, the 49ers crushed the Cowboys 45-14, en route to an improbable Super Bowl title.
This season's 49ers rallied to beat the Lions 25-19 on Oct. 16, en route to
It's sure getting interesting, isn't it?
Longtime fans remember what an incredible ride it was for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl to conclude the 1981 season.
So why can't the 49ers celebrate the 30-year anniversary of that season with another championship?
One big reason is that Alex Smith is not Joe Montana. Plus, it's tougher to survive an NFL season compared to years ago.
The 49ers went 13-3 in 1981, their only other loss coming against visiting Cleveland.
The 49ers' next opponent this season? The Browns on Sunday at Candlestick Park.
What to watch I
World Series, St. Louis at Texas, 5:05 p.m., FOX40: It's a rematch of Game 1 the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter and the Rangers' C.J. Wilson a 2-1 St. Louis victory.
What to watch II
NFL, Baltimore at Jacksonville, 5:30 p.m., ESPN: The Ravens should dominate they average nearly 30 points a game and the Jaguars just 12.
How far will the 49ers go this season?
Win the Super Bowl
Make the playoffs
Miss the playoffs
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Weekend poll results
Who is the Bay Area's best NFL quarterback?
Kyle Boller: 1%
Jason Campbell: 3%
Colin Kaepernick: 6%
Carson Palmer: 31%
Alex Smith: 60%
Total votes: 307