Kyle Williams earns cruel place in 49ers lore

January 23, 2012, 4:45 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Kyle Williams put down plenty of memories worth clinging to, but for the purposes of 49er history, he will be known as the owner of the fingerprints that held the knife that ended the season that ended their desolation.One punt that found him when he wanted it not to do so, and one stripped punt -- thats how Williams season ended. Half of the New York Giants points in the NFC Championship at Williams hands, and the 49ers dream season ends with a thud for want of those 10 points.The final score was 20-17, with the death blow a 31-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal 7:54 into overtime. But it wont be remembered as such. It will be remembered as the Kyle Williams Game, until he has an opportunity to inspire the story of the Kyle Williams Overcomes Adversity Game.

If that happens. Not everyone gets an escape clause in sports, and some live with it for far too long.It was just one of those situations, Williams said as he confronted the first paragraph of every story that will be written about him this spring and summer. Just one of those things.RATTO: 49ers fail to cheat The Reaper
Well, two of those things, actually. He wasnt sure what to do with the punt that struck his right knee with 11:08 left in regulation, the one that turned into the Giants second touchdown. And he was too sure on the punt that was taken from him by New Yorks Jacquian Williams and Devin Thomas 5:28 into the overtime.I just wanted to turn it up the field, and the guy (Thomas) just reached in and made a play, Williams said of the strip by Williams that was recovered by Thomas at the San Francisco 24. Its hard to be the last guy to touch the ball in a game and have what happened happen in a game of this significance, but it is what it is.There were lots of reasons the 49ers were stopped one game short of Indianapolis, and they will be recounted elsewhere. But Kyle Williams will be listed as the chief culprit because of the reductive nature of heroism and villainy in sport. The only folks who ever get to be remembered are the ones who did, and the ones who did not.In New York, Eli Manning did, and so did Victor Cruz and ultimately Thomas and Williams and Tynes. But in San Francisco, this is Kyle Williams burden to bear for as long as it takes for someone to replace it with something better, worse or weirder. Football is a mean-spirited game that way, too.

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