COHN: 49ers, Gore show championship mettle

ATLANTA -- The 49ers are going to the Super Bowl.

Savor that thought. Not long ago, the 49ers were a joke, a poorly managed outfit that accomplished nothing and had zero standing in the NFL. This went on for years.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons


On Sunday in the loud Georgia Dome, noise bouncing off the artificial turf and the stands and the steel girders — it was the sound of going insane — the Niners beat the Atlanta Falcons, a good team playing at home. The 49ers took the next step — more like a leap — to a business trip in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens, where their ultimate dream just may come true.

What they did against the Falcons, coming from behind to win 28-24, was among the greatest performances by any team I ever covered in any sport at any time. That's how inevitable the Niners were. Yes, inevitable. Even when they were behind, even when they seemed out of hope and ideas and resources, the feeling persisted that they would come back, that Atlanta could not hold them down. Nobody could hold them down.

There is something about the Niners — call it their X quality — that insists on winning, that will take your best shot and feel invigorated, will get off the floor and overtake you and laugh doing it, and then knock you out.

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