July 30, 2007

Bunnday? Cool! Taking off!


Anonymous said...

Cute little thing, Maru. I apologize for going off topic, my bad.

Just wanted to say a goodbye, and heartfelt thanks to someone I admired and respected.

I don't know if it was the way he always looked like he was on his way to a tennis match, or to give a lecture on campus somewhere, or the way he would refrain from criticism of his players, instead phrasing it in terms like "we had some unfortunate blocking today, or "they (the opposition he always spoke of in glowing terms) were really superior players, and maybe we just aren't that good yet". Maybe it was the way his players never spiked the ball when scoring, or doing dances or pumping fists, instead instructing them "to act like you've been there before."

No. It was the way Bill Walsh made San Francisco a winner. Along with Eddie's DeBartolo's open purse. Quite the unlikely pair, that.

Unless you were a Bay Area sports fan, you probably weren't aware he first coached in the pros for the Oakland Raiders as QB coach, back when they were "The Raiders", not this imitation wanna-be bad asses parading around now. Before he went on to coach Stanford and the Niners.

His record when he retired was something like 102-63. But when you realize his first two pathetically undermanned Niner teams went 2-14 and 4-12, you can see when it was his players, his team, he went 96-37. Add to that the team he left for Seifert won a superbowl and went 15-1 then 14-2 his first two years, you can see his legacy in better perspective.

His offensive coordinator Shanahan: two superbowl wins. Holmgren: One S.B. win, one S.B. loss. That was Walsh vs Walsh philosophy in that Green Bay vs Denver S.B. Wyche: Lost to his mentor in another S.B. Billichik, Dungy, S.B. wins, highly regarded coaches. Gruden, S.B. win.

To be completely honest, having suffered through decades of losing and always being on the receiving end of Dallas playoff victories over my Niners, if the Niners had been whisked away by aliens after Montana found Clark in the end zone in 1981, I would have died a happy fellow. All the victories, the Superbowls that came after, all icing on the Big Cake Chef Bill presented to The City.

Always with dignity, and never a harsh word for anyone, a true Gentlemen in all respects.

Thanks for a lifetime of great memories, Mr. Bill Walsh.

maru said...

That was beautiful, farang. He was a decent guy - you don't see many like him much anymore.

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