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This Day in The Bay: DeBerg Leads 49ers to Victory Using a Microphone


September 21, 1980

On this day, 49ers quarterback Steve DeBerg defeated the New York Jets using a crafty microphone and speaker system.

In the days leading up to the Jets game in 1980, DeBerg could barely speak after suffering bruised nerves around his larynx in the opening game of the season. At the behest of coach Bill Walsh, team trainer Hal Wyatt rigged together a voice amplifying system for DeBerg to wear under his jersey. At the line of scrimmage, DeBerg barked signals into a microphone secured to his helmet by duct tape. His voice was projected out of a speaker on his back. Wyatt's contraption worked. DeBerg silenced a Shea Stadium crowd by completing 17-of-23 passes, including two for scores, as San Francisco beat the Jets 37-27.

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