Dwight Clark’s diagnosis hits hard

From San Francisco 49ers RSS Feed
March 20, 2017 - 4:44pm
If you’re of a certain age, the news hit like a punch in the stomach Sunday night. There are about 6,000 cases of the brutal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosed each year, and the average age at diagnosis is 55. [...] for much of the Bay Area and the wider NFL audience, Clark will be forever young and healthy, the dashingly handsome football player who became wildly famous and beloved because of one singular moment in time. On January 10, 1982, Clark rose high in the sky in the back of the Candlestick end zone, over Dallas defender Everson Walls, and with his fingertips corralled a pass from a scrambling Joe Montana, and held on for the touchdown. With that touchdown (and some late game defensive heroics) the 49ers were headed to their first ever Super Bowl. The touchdown changed everything for the young man from a small town in North Carolina, who played at Clemson and was noticed by Bill Walsh when he came to scout someone else, who was drafted in the tenth round and who was worried every day of training camp that he might be cut. [...] thanks to the “Catch” he became one of the most important players in team history, played nine seasons for the 49ers, was a favorite of Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and remains beloved by football fans. Clark then went public with his diagnosis later on Sunday, posting on DeBartolo’s website, debartoloholdings.com. [...] I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safe, especially as it relates to head trauma. Clark became famous and seemingly charmed through the game of football, but now he is publicly wondering if the game of football has led to this terrible disease.

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