Posted by Mark Diaz, a resident of another community, on Aug 13, 2007 at 11:40 am
I had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Walsh about 7 years ago while in the San Francisco airport waiting for my flight to arrive. I saw him sitting in the next terminal and I thought to myself I should not let an opportunity like this pass (to meet one of my childhood heros).
I walked up to him and introduced myself, I told him what he must have heard thousands of times in his lifetime - how big a fan I was of his, how much his teams meant to me growing up in the Bay Area. He thanked me and asked me to sit down (I was shocked) he asked me where I lived, where I grew up and how life has treated me so far. I responded and he actually took the time to listen and we continued to talk for nearly 40 minutes ! The thing that really made a big impression on me was the way he looked into my eyes when we were talking, I got the sense that he was REALLY listening. Before we parted he asked me for my contact information - I handled him one of my business cards - not ever expecting him to hear back from again.
Well to make a long story short - about 3 weeks later I receive a handwritten letter from Mr. Walsh, thanking me for the kind words and telling me how good it made him feel that I took the time to tell him what an impact I had on his life. I was floored !
They say that good role models are lacking in sports - Bill Walsh was so much more than a "sports person" and the world has lost another one of it's better people.