There are certain memories of your life as a sports fan that you push to the recesses of your mind.
These are memories so painful, that your mind has developed a defense mechanism to never reveal these moments again.
I'm fully convinced that 60% of these memories involve the Chicago Bears playing the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park.
Yep, they're so bad; I choose to not acknowledge what new name has been bestowed upon that craphole. 3Com? Milkcom? Golden Gate Stadium? I could care less. It's 'Candlestick F'n Park' in my world, and its horrifying memories are etched into my brain.
The statistics are staggering. These are not fake. There is no way, in any world, that any professional team has had any experience in one stadium quite like the Bears have had in Candlestick over their past seven games.
Since the Bears defeated the Niners 26-10 in 1985, the Niners have outscored the Bears 239-42 over their past seven games.
239-42. That's an average loss of 34-6. Prior to the sh--show that took place in 2008, the average score was 38-6.
In these seven losses, game totaling 420 minutes of football, the Bears have had the lead for a mere three minutes.
Over these past seven losses, the Bears have turned the ball over 27 times; nearly four times per game. Bears quarterbacks have gone 140 of 267 for 1392 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions during this span. That's an average of 20 for 38, 199 yards, 0.7 TD passes/game, and 2.7 interceptions/game.
That's a 42.84 rating.
Plus, keep this in mind: Of those four touchdown passes, only two were thrown by the starting quarterback! (Stewart/Harbaugh) One more thing: of those four touchdown receptions, only one was caught by a Bears wide receiver (Waddle). 420 minutes. One touchdown reception for Bears wide receivers. Moving along,
On the other side, Niners quarterbacks have gone 139 of 214 for 1,616 yards, 14 touchdowns, and two interceptions. That's an average of 20 for 30, 231 yards, 2 touchdowns, and barely a sign of an interception. Given the Niners were way up in all of these games, these stats could be much worse...much, much worse.
That's a rating of 105.6.
Here's a recount of these games:
1987 San Francisco 49ers 41, Chicago Bears 0
The two teams met on Monday Night Football with 10-2 records. This would be the game that would settle home field advantage for the NFC playoffs. With Joe Montana injured, the Niners went to USFL phenom and Tampa Bay Buccaneers reject Steve Young to start the game. On a cool, misty night, Young completed only nine passes for 100 yards. The only issue for the Bears? Four of those nine passes went for touchdowns. Even worse, Mike Tomczak couldn't find his own guys. He threw four interceptions. The Bears were never in the game. The 49ers would win the game and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
1989 San Francisco 49ers 26, Chicago Bears 0
This was a throwaway game for the 49ers; the final game of a 14-2 campaign. This is usually when a team rests its starters and gets ready for the playoffs. The Niners, however, were such a well-oiled/professional team that they didn't take days off. The Bears turned the ball over five times. For some reason, the combo of Tomczak and Harbaugh wasn't working out. It only took Ditka 1987-1990 to realize that without McMahon his team was screwed. That's why they pay him the big bucks. And no...I'm not bitter.
1991 San Francisco 49ers 52, Chicago Bears 14
Most of us can still smell the cigar smoke from Detroit Lions head coach Wayne Fontes. Fontes lit up his cigar after watching the Bears get lit up on Monday Night Football; giving his Lions the NFC Central Division championship. The Bears were looking for a bye, a division title...everything was up for grabs. The 49ers had nothing to play for; they weren't making the playoffs at 10-6...so who cares? Well, I guess they did care enough to be up 24-0 at the half. The game was an absolute nightmare. If it wasn't bad enough to watch the Bears fall behind 31-7, it was even worse when the Bears fumbled near the goalline and watched Don Griffin go 99 yards for a touchdown. It was another craptastic performance by a Mike Ditka team on Monday Night Football....But, hey, PT Willis threw a touchdown...now that guy had potential!
1994 NFC Playoffs: San Francisco 49ers 44, Chicago Bears 15
I used to wonder how New England Patriots fans felt going into Super Bowl XX. I mean, did they have any inkling that they could possibly compete in that game? Hell, no! So, when the Bears defeated Minnesota in the NFC Wild Card round in 1994...I wondered the same thing...would there be any possibility of beating one of the greatest offenses in NFL history? Hell, no!
The Bears led (for the only time in Candlestick over these past 27 years) 3-0. It came after a turnover...a holding call prevented a big play for the Bears, and they had to settle for a field goal. Then...the boom stick. The Niners led 30-3 by halftime; the final touchdown coming when Shaun Gayle cracked Steve Young five yards after he crossed the goalline...you know...to make a statement! What was that statement? Apparently it was, 'We Suck!'
2000 San Francisco 49ers 17, Chicago Bears 0
This might sound extreme...like Todd Collins extreme...but this offensive performance by the Bears goes into their top 10 of the past 25 years. EASILY. Cade McNown (shuddering) went 9 of 29 for 73 yards. The Bears offense totaled 104 yards. 104.
This game is remembered, however, for the performance of Terrell Owens. Owens set an NFL record with 20 receptions and ate up the Bears for 283 yards. Plus, Jerry Rice broke another record in this game. He broke around 93, so I can't remember which one it was. Once again...blocked into the back of my mind.
2003 San Francisco 49ers 49, Chicago Bears 7
Dick Jauron had all summer to prepare for this game. Kordell Stewart had all summer to think about the 49ers defense. Apparently, both were just getting a tan. To say Stewart looked clueless is an insult to true clueless quarterbacks like Henry Burris. Clueless means 'not having thought'. This performance was so poor, I honestly questioned if Stewart could actually think. The Bears totaled eight first downs and five turnovers. The Niners won 49-7...but it could've been much, much worse. The Niners had FIVE field goals of under 30 yards. FIVE. Convert those three points into seven? That means it could've been 69-7. Go. Bears.
2008 San Francisco 49ers 10, Chicago Bears 6
This game sucked the life out of me. Have you ever watched a game that you were dying to turn off...but you couldn't? Jay Cutler threw five interceptions, most in the red zone, and the Bears offense struggled to get points otherwise. I don't have the energy to talk about how many chances Cutler was granted, and how he literally threw all of them away.
So...you thought the loss to Houston was bad? Well, there you go! Feel better! Can't wait to get to The Stick!