The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Clark's One Regret

By John Crumpacker, San Francisco Chronicle

Dwight Clark was on a golf course in Portland, Ore., on Monday when he learned of Bill Walsh's death from the multiple messages on his cell phone and the television crews waiting nearby.
"I was on a course where they don't allow cell phones," Clark said Tuesday. "When I came off the turn, I had 26 messages on my phone."

As with a select number of Walsh's former players, his coaching associates and friends, Clark was able to visit with his old coach a final time. It came three weeks ago at a restaurant in Palo Alto as Clark, Joe Montana, Eric Wright and ex-Giants manager Dusty Baker met Walsh for lunch.

"He drove himself there," said Clark, who was a rookie receiver in 1979, and figured prominantly in Walsh's early success with "The Catch" in 1981 (above). "He was doing pretty good then. At that time, he looked a little weak and he said how he was sick of going to the hospital every day. It was nice to spend time with him."

If Clark has one regret, it's that he did not make time to take his 13-year-old son, who is playing quarterback in school, to visit Walsh and get some tips from the master on playing the position.
"Bill and I talked about getting him out there to meet with Bill," Clark said. "Life got busy and now I won't be able to. I'm kind of new at this people-passing-away thing. Now that I'm 50, it's happening a lot more. It'll take me a while to get a grip on the fact he's not there for me to call when I need advice. He was a huge supporter of his players and coaches."

A day late, but no less poignant, Clark remembered Walsh in much the same way as Steve Young did - as an astute judge of talent. Their own talent.

"He was a guy who believed in me before I believed in me," Clark said. "He believed I could play in the pros. He took this clean slate of a guy and turned him into a receiver."
Like many of the coach's former players, Clark became friends with Walsh after his playing days ended and enjoyed seeking his counsel.
"Once you get away from being a coach and a player, you can say how you feel," he said. "Once he let his guard down, you could see he really cared for his players. He was a double threat - he was a really smart guy but he was also tough."

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