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49ers aim to join Giants as San Francisco champs

Pro Football Weekly
49ers aim to join Giants as San Francisco champs

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49ers aim to join Giants as San Francisco champs

San Francisco was on top of the sports world last weekend. On Sunday, Oct. 28, the Giants beat the Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings, completing a sweep for the World Series.

The next day, on national television, the 49ers dominated the Cardinals 24-3 on “Monday Night Football.”

Heading into their bye, the 49ers are 6-2, with a two-game lead in the NFC West and appear to be primed to win the division for the second year in a row. The Niners were our preseason pick to win the Super Bowl, and have looked like a contender at times this season.

Should San Francisco win Super Bowl XLVII, it would be a historic year for the City by the Bay, and it would mark only the fifth time in 47 years that one city hosted the current World Series and Super Bowl champions at the same time.

Here’s a look back at the four times a team has won the World Series in October, and the football team from that city went on to win the Super Bowl a few months later.

1. 2004 / New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox — It didn’t cure the curse, but Boston Red Sox fans could at least take solace in the fact that their football team had won two of the previous three Super Bowls heading into the 2004 season. That special year in Beantown, though, saw the Red Sox’s World Series drought finally come to an end. To add insult to injury to the New York fans who couldn’t stand to put up with Red Sox fans finally having the upper hand, months after bringing a World Series to Boston, the Patriots won their second Super Bowl in a row, beating the Eagles, 24-21. They didn’t need a historic comeback — as the Red Sox had accomplished in coming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the hated Yankees in a seven-game A.L.C.S. — as they won their two playoff games by 17 points and 14 points, respectively, before the Super Bowl win.

2. 1986 / New York Giants and Mets  — On Oct. 25, the ball got past Bill Buckner, and the Mets stayed alive in the World Series. Two days later was quite the sports day in New York. The Mets beat the Red Sox 8-5 to win their second World Series, and the Giants beat the Redskins 27-20 on “Monday Night Football.” Maybe it was the momentum from the Mets, as the Giants used that win over Washington to start a nine-game win streak to finish the regular season, and then added three more victories in the playoffs, including a 39-20 Super Bowl win over the Broncos to clinch their first world title. The Mets have not won a World Series since, but the Giants have captured three more Lombardi Trophies, including two in the past five seasons.

3. 1979 / Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates — The “We Are Family” Pirates won the 1979 World Series thanks in big part to Willie “Pops” Stargell, who hit a home run in Game Seven and was named the World Series MVP. Prior to that, though, the Pirates were facing elimination on Oct. 14, 1979, when they beat the Orioles 7-1 at Three Rivers Stadium. Things didn’t go so well that day for the Steelers, who lost 34-10 at Cincinnati. But after the Pirates won the World Series a few days later, the Steelers rattled off four wins in a row, and won seven of their last nine to close out the regular season. Two Franco Harris touchdown runs helped give the Steelers their fourth Super Bowl win in six years. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they have been little brother to the Steelers since ’79, having not won a title since. The Steelers have won two championships in this decade.

4. 1970 / Baltimore Colts and Orioles  — Baltimore did not host a big game on Sunday, Oct. 11, but the Orioles played in one as they rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to beat the Reds 6-5 in Cincinnati, giving Baltimore a 2-0 World Series lead. On that same day, the Colts beat the Oilers 24-20 in Houston. A few days later, the Orioles won their second World Series in five years, and the Colts continued a win streak that lasted six games. Johnny Unitas’ club went 11-2-1 that season and defeated the Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V, giving the Colts their first Lombardi Trophy, and the only one in Baltimore until the Ravens won following the 2000 season. Baltimore hasn’t earned a World Series championship since 1983.

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