The year is 1982 and George Healy has been living in San Jose for over 15 years. After an incredible play – now deemed ‘The Catch’ – in the NFC Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers have reached their first title appearance: Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich.
“I was working for Bank America at the time in San Francisco. There was just a certain buzz around that team I remember. It was a truly special time for what was then a somewhat young fan base,” Healy said.
The San Jose Mercury News put together a contest for participants to write poems that the publication would then send into the team’s locker room for the players to read before the big game.
Healy got to writing.
“I think what I tried to do was incorporate as much about the team as possible. I didn’t want to just focus on one aspect. I tried to hit all the points – offense, defense, specials team, all of it,” Healy said.
Though he’s not sure if his poem ever made it to any of the players’ hands, he still holds it dear to his heart to this day.
“It’s just a fun thing to look back on and read,” Healy said. “Especially with the sort of magical season they’re having this year. It adds to the fun,” he added.
Editor’s Note: A copy of Healy’s poem can be see on page B2.
Though originally from upstate New York, Healy has deemed himself a member of the Faithful since his job brought him to the Bay Area in 1963.
Working for Bank of America, a few of Healy’s coworkers had connections through the team. On numerous occasions Healy found himself sitting next to players at sponsored events.
In 1986, Healy recalls sitting in a golf clubhouse with San Francisco linebacker Keena Turner and then rookie Charles Haley.
Healy won a raffle that resulted in him being gifted a bottle of Zinfandel wine. Haley proceeded to talk about how his fiance loved Zinfandel and it was her favorite type of wine. So what did Healy do? He simply re-gifted it to the 49ers rookie.
“I thought to myself, well, he will probably get more out of it than me so why not,” Healy said. “If only I had known how great of a player he was going to be I probably would have asked for his autograph before I gave him the bottle,” Healy added jokingly.
As for today’s match-up against Kansas City, Healy knows the test ahead is a tough one.
“I like the balance the 49ers have. They don’t really have a missing piece. On the other hand the Chiefs quarterback really scares me. But, then again we were finally able to beat (Russell) Wilson so that’s a good sign,” Healy said. “Let me put it to you this way, I’d put a bet on ‘em, but that would probably be out of sentimentality.”
‘The Faithful’s Dream’
By: George Healy (1982)
The 49ers are a team
About to fulfill the “faithful’s” dream.
In Pontiac, Michigan they’ll win with a will
Led by a coach by the name of Bill.
For the Bengals, the day will be dark
With pass after pass completed,
Montana to Clark.
And Kenny Andersen will be seen,
Time after time,
Sacked by Fred Dean.
His pass thought complete, but it is not;
Is again intercepted by our Ronnie Lott.
As owner Eddie says, once more with a grin–
“They ate it once, they can eat it again.”
On January 24th, no longer a dream
The Niners have won!!
Sixteen in XVI.