Thread: Football The Philosophy of Bill Walsh
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:21 PM  
tk13 tk13 is offline
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The Philosophy of Bill Walsh

I'm not going to post the whole thing because this is a long, long, long article. Too many great parts to paraphrase it. But it's about Bill Walsh's insane drive to be a perfectionist and a book he wrote that's considered the bible for football coaches to this day. It follows a high school coach that got into coaching because of Andy Reid. It shows how far ahead of his time Bill Walsh was, and features Vermeil, Al Saunders, Belichick, Urban Meyer, Brian Billick and others. If you like football it's a great read.

Quote:
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL football coach of the past 30 years hated his legacy. He hated it from the moment he retired at age 57, in January 1989, days after winning his third Super Bowl as head coach of the 49ers. Bill Walsh had felt fried for years, and during that last season he was in "a claustrophobic panic," as a friend later described it. Or "just eking by," as his son Craig recalls. That 1988 season had been the most wrenching of his career, because the 49ers were not a great team. They were a 10-6 team that happened to win it all, and the grind swallowed Walsh to the point that he was, as his son says, "like a zombie." So he secretly decided to retire during the season, and in the whooping and wet locker room after the Super Bowl, Walsh wept alone, head in his hands. He wasn't happy. He was relieved. It was over.

That image, of course, doesn't square with the Walsh in old footage: elegant and confident, handsome and professorial, walking a damp Candlestick Park sideline in a sweater and khakis, fog-white hair neatly combed, holding a pencil to his lips as he plotted his next move, which always seemed to be two ahead of his opponent. But that's how he was. He always coached through existential torture, with alternating bouts of believing that he was brilliant and that he was incapable of fulfilling his own idea of greatness.

So it was no surprise that Walsh instantly regretted retiring. Believing that he left at least one Super Bowl on the table, Walsh was "melancholy and terrible," according to Craig. That the 1989 49ers were more dominant in the playoffs under new coach George Seifert than they ever were under Walsh made it worse. Walsh hated that Seifert won a championship that year with his team, his West Coast offense, his philosophy; he so hated the ring that the team awarded him that he gave it away. "He didn't want them to win," Craig says. "He couldn't hand over the team he had created to someone else, because he wasn't capable of it."

He tried broadcasting but quit in 1991. "I'm not going to sit for three hours and let some 27-year-old f-- in my ear tell me about the game," he told Brian Billick, former Ravens coach and one of his many protégés. In 1992 Walsh returned to Stanford, where he had coached in the '70s, but left after two losing seasons in three years, his magic gone. "He needed to be Bill Walsh," Billick says. "He needed to be a genius."

So he decided to write a book.
(Continued...)
http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/88...-espn-magazine
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