Did Donny and Marie cost the 1984 49ers their perfect season?
Much like the Carolina Panthers this season, the 1984 San Francisco 49ers entered the Super Bowl with a 17-1 record.
The 49ers destroyed Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins 38-16 to join the Chicago Bears as the only Super Bowl champions to finish with an 18-1 record — a mark the Panthers can match by beating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Feb. 7.
@AaronNagler only 6 teams have gone 15-1 and 2 (84 niners and 85 bears) won super bowl. Where does Carolina rank all time if they go 18-1?— Matt Greve (@TheGreveTrain) January 26, 2016
The blemish on San Francisco's record that season was a 20-17 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers when the 49ers squandered a seven-point lead with under four minutes to play. But some team members felt the game was lost even before kickoff — because of two main culprits:
Donny and Marie Osmond.
The 49ers thought the wholesome brother-and-sister pop duo brought the wrong vibe to the game.
“I went to BYU, I’m Mormon and they sang the national anthem,” Tom Holmoe, a safety on that team and now the Director of Athletics at BYU, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “When they announced before the game, ‘Now to sing the national anthem, Donny and Marie Osmond!’ people were looking down the line at me. They were like ‘What’s up with this?’ They blamed me for the loss.”
San Francisco-based band Huey Lewis and The News, who had sung the national anthem in previous game, set what the players felt was the perfect mood for a game.
“Oh, yeah, if Huey or Jeffrey Osborne would have sung the national anthem, we would have won that game," wide receiver Mike Wilson told the Chronicle. "Hands down. Guaranteed.”