On the day after Dwight Clark lost his battle with ALS, the San Francisco 49ers honored the legendary wide receiver at OTAs, as all 49ers’ staff wore their Dwight Clark Day T-shirts.
General Manager John Lynch said the players watched film of Dwight Clark and “The Catch,” while Clark’s former teammate and current special advisor to Lynch, Keena Turner, talked to the team about the kind of man and player the wide receiver was.
“We had Keena talk to the team about him today to tell them about what type of guy he was,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “Just to hear how he was in the locker room, it wasn’t a coincidence that team was so tight, the type of teammate and friend he was. That’s what we’re trying to build here.”
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo never had the chance to meet Clark, but he is more than familiar with his place in the 49ers’ organization.
“Seeing all of the 87 shirts around here,” said Garoppolo. “We had a couple people talk about it in the team meeting. He seemed like a great guy. I never got to meet him, unfortunately, but just seemed like a great guy, loved to have fun. I heard he had the best hair in the Bay Area. He’ll be missed.”
Shanahan reminisced about being a kid at 49ers’ training camp as a ballboy when his father, Mike Shanahan, was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. He definitely had fun with Clark and his teammates.
“…[T]hey’d send me on errands,” Shanahan said. “They’d all have golf carts and make me race next to them and I’d have to run and I’d always lose. I think I entertained them a lot. I just looked up to all of them. I didn’t know it at the time. But now that I’m older and look back on that stuff, it had a huge impact on who I am now. And I feel very fortunate to be able to grow up around people like that, especially him.”
Lynch said that the organization will honor Clark throughout the 2018 season.
“I promise you, we’ll come up with a nice way to honor him,” said Lynch. “I think not only nice, but fitting. He deserves it, he earned it.”
This Fangirl could not agree more.