Monte Clark Prays on Sideline – 1983


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Only a few years back the 49ers and Lions had been battling for the first pick in the draft (Lions won that battle in 1979, getting the first pick with a stunning 2 win season and drafting Billy Simms), now several years later these two teams meet in San Francisco in the first round of the playoffs.

The Lions were leading  23-17 with 5 minutes to play, however the 49ers would score late (how often have we seen this) to take the lead.  With the 49ers holding a 1 point lead, the Lions lined up on the last play to kick a field goal that would win the game. Along the sidelines was the Lion coach Monte Clark praying that he succeed. The usually reliable Murray (who made a 54 yard field goal in the first half) missed the 43 yard field goal which would send the Lions and 49ers in different directions for the next 20 years.  The image of Monte Clark praying as the kick sailed wide is symbolizes so many unanswered prayers by Lions fan and today is known only as “The Prayer”.

San Francisco would win 5 Superbowls from the 80’s to the present while the Lions would win one playoff game during the same time frame.  One has to think how would history had been changed had the Lions won this playoff game.

The Lions missed field goal against the 49er’s in the NFCD.