Today is a sad day here in the Bay Area. The 49ers and football have lost one of the greatest - if not the greatest - coach in NFL history, Bill Walsh. Walsh was also a Bay Area product through and through. He was born in Fremont and attended "Speed City" - San Jose State University.
I was too young to witness The Catch, but I saw another version of it. My catch was Montana to Taylor in Super Bowl XXIII. Cincinnati has yet to recover.
As you all know, Walsh spawned a million prodigies like Mike Holmgren and Dennis Green. And he even coached Tony Dungy. He also left us with the West Coast offense, which has become an absolute staple of pro football. In fact, there doesn't seem to be any question in my mind that Walsh left the biggest imprint in football history.
If you don't believe that, then read The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. In it Lewis details the clash between Walsh and Parcells that changed football history. It also shows how Walsh could even make mediocre talents very good players.
I'm not going to say Montana stunk, but he owes a lot of his success to Walsh.
The 49ers and the Bay Area faithful pretty much owe everything to Walsh. Thanks again for all the great years, Coach. We'll miss you. God speed.