Essay On Dwight Clark

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Earlier this week, former San Francisco 49ers tight end Dwight Clark passed away at the age of 61 after batting ALS. He leaves behind three kids, a wife and memories of a play so iconic that it overshadowed the rest of his exceptional career. Clark was born on Jan. 8, 1957 in Kinston, N.C and went on to play college football at Clemson University, where he mostly played safety instead of receiver. Playing receiver during his senior season with the Tigers, Clark caught only 11 balls. His college career wasn’t exactly Archie Griffith-like, but the Niners drafted him in the 10th round (the 10th round!) of the 1979 NFL Draft, nonetheless. Just before his passing, Clark stated that he “got lucky to get drafted by the 49ers.” And, how ironic is …show more content…

From 1973-79, the 49ers didn’t make a postseason appearance. At that point, Walsh and owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. were on a mission to improve the team, a mission that very much involved Clark. While the 49ers struggled throughout much of the 70s, the decade was very kind to the Dallas Cowboys. Had it not been for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Steel Curtain and a nail-biter against the Baltimore Colts, Dallas could’ve won five Super Bowls in the 10-year span. It’s also important to note that the first two times Dallas and San Francisco met in the playoffs (1970, 1972), the Cowboys won. But in the 1981 NFC Championship Game against Dallas, everything about the Niners was different, right down to the uniforms. San Francisco finished the ’81 regular season with a 13-3 record and opened their postseason with a convincing 38-24 victory over the New York Giants. Most favored the Cowboys and their experience to prevail in the conference championship, and San Francisco committed several mistakes throughout the game that could have contributed to that …show more content…

After Montana and Clark’s heroics in the NFC Championship, San Francisco went on to win Super Bowl XVI and their first-ever Lombardi Trophy. More Lombardi’s came in ’84. ’88, ’89 and ’94. Rightfully, “The Catch” is considered one of the greatest moments in NFL history. The more I think about it, the more unbelievable it is to fathom the impact Clark’s catch had on football. Among the thousands who were at the legendary game was a four-year-old Tom Brady. We’re well aware of the success Brady has had in the playoffs, and I wonder how much that game and catch have to do with shaping that. Clark was a 49er for nine seasons and won two Super Bowls, made two Pro Bowls, as well as two All-Pro teams. His No. 87 is retired by the 49ers and has made both the Clemson and Bay Area Hall of Fame. He also had stints as a general manager with both the Niners and Cleveland Browns — a very well-rounded football man he was. In March last year, Clark announced that he had been diagnosed with the disease, which he fought as valiantly and gracefully as he did on the field. Loved ones surrounded him when he passed, a fitting end for someone described as one of the finest men one could ever

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