On-Air Now
On-Air Now
Listen Live from the Casino Matrix Studio

In honor of Sunday’s communal agony, we offer a Bay Area Mount Pain-More



If there’s one thing we’ve learned since that fateful Sunday evening in Las Vegas, it’s that we’re all in it together.

Call after call, text after text, the KNBR family has gathered to grieve, howl, weep, second-guess, lament and exasperate about those five quarters of football between the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58.

The shared communal suffering is at least on some level soothing, even if the joint bond is sports agony. 

Which leads me to listener Sean McCormack, who hit me on social media to share what might be called the Magna Carta of 49ers/Giants/Warriors Pain, the Constitution of 49ers/Giants/Warriors Nausea. It was a list created by his friend Ron Andre of the top 20 “All-Time Most Gut-Wrenching, God-Awful, Knife-in-the-Heart, Kick-in-the-Groin, I-Want-To-Puke-On-My-Shoes Sports Moments.”

The list is a dandy, and is definitely generational, because it spans as far back at the 49ers’ 1983 NFC Championship loss at RFK Stadium, through the Giants’ 1987 NLCS in St. Louis and all the way up to the part where Chris Jones went unblocked in the Nevada desert.

Along the way, Ron and Sean list things like the 2021 NLDS (“Wilmer’s Check Swing”, they wrote) at No. 14 and the 2109 NBA Finals (“Klay’s Achilles/KD’s ACL”, they wrote) at No, 17.

I know a Bay Area sports challenge when I see one. 

A list of 20 is great. 

But a list of the Final Four — what the Jock Blog will call Mount Pain-More — is more dramatic.

So in the spirit of our joint tribal barfing, here is the official Jock Blog of Bay Area Mount Pain-More. The four that will be etched in stone not in the Black Hills of South Dakota, but maybe above the ‘SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO THE INDUSTRIAL CITY’ sign.

In ascending order:

4. 2016 NBA FINALS: Cavaliers defeat Warriors in Game 7.

So many layers to this: 

— The 73-win regular season that would surely be validated in the Finals, cementing the Dubs as the Greatest Single Season of All Time, Jordan Bulls be damned.

— Steph completing a back-to-back MVP run, and as the first unanimous pick ever, surely to be enshrined in the annals of icons as a back-to-back champ.

— Our first encounter with “Draymond In Trouble”, as Kiki Vandeweghe rules a flagrant on Draymond Green for his Game 4 kerfuffle with LeBron James which, upon reflection, looks like the ultimate “play on, gents” ruling for those of us old enough to remember true NBA brawls.

— Draymond watches Game 6 at an A’s game which, given A’s attendance totals of late, is some dark comedy. I had forgotten the A’s offered to let Draymond throw out the first pitch. Draymond declined.

— The Father’s Day finale … the LeBron block of Andre … Steph throws a behind-the-back pass out of bounds in an 87-86 game with 5 minutes left … Kyrie’s unreal dagger 3 … Kevin Love locking up Steph in the final seconds . . . 

— Oof.

WHY IT MAKES MOUNT PAIN-MORE: The first team ever to blow a 3-1 NBA Finals lead, with all that history at stake, and to LeBron and Kyrie, of all people. 

3. SUPER BOWL 58: Chiefs 25, 49ers 22 in OT.

So many layers to this:

— The Niners have a chance to end a 29-year drought for an entire generation, and are favored by Vegas against the defending champs.

— The narrative of the core that gets a “Revenge Game” against Pat Mahomes, Andy Reid and Travis Kelce. What more could George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Fred Warner and Nick Bosa ask for?

— Brock Purdy, under fire from a nation of doubters, steers leads of 10-0 early, and 19-16 with under two minutes to play. The kid had a chance to kill off the dragon Mahomes.

— Chris Jones went unblocked.

— And there was a coin flip.

WHY IT MAKES MOUNT PAIN-MORE ABOVE THE OTHERS: Yes, Super Bowl 48 left us pining for Frank Gore to carry the ball from the 5 yard line. But that was a weird game, the blackout and all that, and it felt herky-jerky. And yes, Super Bowl 54 is awful. There is no getting around a 20-10 *FOURTH QUARTER LEAD* and Emmanuel Sanders is still open. But . . . to get that second chance . . . to slay the beast you’ve waited to slay for years . . . to do it with your new hero at QB . . . to finally end nearly three decades . . . to go to overtime! . . . to come *that* close . . . 


2. GAME 6, 2002 WORLD SERIES: Angels 6, Giants 5.

So many layers to this:

— The Giants had never won a World Series in San Francisco. 

— Repeat: the Giants, in San Francisco since 1958, had never won a World Series.

— The Giants led the Angels, 5-0, in the clincher, with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning. The previous half-inning, Jeff Kent stroked an RBI single to make it 5-0 and ran up the first base line, shaking his fist in celebration.

— The entire City and County of San Francisco was eight outs away from going off, sports fans.

— I’m not a big “Win Probability” guy, because I like to see the actual game play out, but when it supports my argument, I use it. With one out in the seventh inning, and a 5-0 lead, the Giants had a *97 percent* win probability.

— Russ Ortiz gave up two singles, and Dusty Baker came to get him. He gave Russ Ortiz the ball as a souvenir. I believe the kids might file that under “Freezing Cold Takes, Exposed”.

— Dusty went with Felix Rodriguez, Tim Worrell and Robb Nen. The Angels scored six unanswered in the next 30 seconds, pretty much.

— Oof. 

WHY IT MAKES MOUNT PAIN-MORE ABOVE THE OTHERS: When you’ve never ever won one, that’s a thing. The 49ers settled that deal in 1981. They won one. And then they won four more. The Warriors even won one in 1975. And even though that was like ancient Sanskrit to the 21st century crew, they had still won one in the Bay. The Giants . . . had . . . never . . . won . . . one . . . and . . . then . . . THAT. Yes, 2010 and 2012 and 2014 went a long way to washing away the pain. But not all of it.

  1. 1990 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: NY Giants 15, 49ers 13

So many layers to this:

— I confess, much of this is a personal thing. I was 23 years old and the 49ers were four-time Super Bowl champs and maybe the only thing that brought me half as much joy in life as Joe Montana was any Will Clark at-bat during that time.

—The 49ers were going to win their third Super Bowl in a row, and no team will ever match that. No, not the 2024 Kansas City Chiefs. This would be Joe Montana’s fifth, and even if Tom Brady won seven, no one could ever top Joe going 5-0 in the Bowl and winning three in a row. This was the all-time legacy game.

— The frickin’ New York Giants. The dour-ass, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, no-offense-havin’ New York Giants, who had hurt our guy Joe in the playoffs a few years earlier.

— Joe got KO’ed. Again.

— The Giants never scored a touchdown.

— And still, the game was there to win. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more gutted in my life than the sequence that went from the 49ers icing the game, ball on the NYG 40 yard line, 2:35 to go — > Roger Craig fumble —> Jeff Frickin’ Hostetler and his wooden legs somehow rolling out and hitting Mark Bavaro for 20 —> Kevin Fagan surging through and tackling Ottis Anderson for a loss of four —> Hostetler somehow rolling out and hitting Stephen Baker for 13 and . . . aw, dammit all to hell.

— Matt Bahr.

— Puke emoji, for decades.

— Oof.

WHY IT MAKES MOUNT PAIN-MORE ABOVE ALL THE OTHERS: I can’t explain because in writing this it’s still January 1991 and I’m still in my apartment in West L.A. with my comforter and pillow pulled over my head. I’ll let you know how I feel when I emerge. Damn. Those 49ers deserved the legacy three-peat.

That’s it for my Mount Pain-More. 

Excuse me, I have to go sit in a dark room somewhere.