My friend and colleague Robert Rubino wrote a terrific 4-part blog for the Press Democrat about Bill Walsh’s years with the Bengals — it’s based on a video you can find on nfl.com.
After reading Robert’s blog I was motivated to look at my book on Walsh — I almost never do — for some of the things he said about Bengals owner and coach Paul Brown who never allowed Bill to be Bengals’ head coach. That eventually led to Bill leaving the Bengals and that led to you know what. So here are some quotes from Bill on the legendary Paul Brown.
“Paul could be downright dishonest or whatever it would take, He’d be a great guy if it was convenient. If it wasn’t, he’d be himself. I had a lot of ambition. I wanted to be a head coach before I died. And he was holding me back because it was a perfect setup for him. It was as unsettling as hell because he had control of my life.”
“The truth is I wasn’t his world. I was like a guy from another planet that dropped in. That was about the time of the Vietnam War, and my hair might have been a little longer than his. And I had these boots you zipped up that my wife got me for Christmas, and he saw them one day and he had a fit, he was so upset. So he was afraid that this kook would be his replacement.”
Brown named Bill Johnson Bengals’ head coach after he stepped down. This is Walsh on getting passed over for Johnson: “If you want to win a goddamn championship, you better have the brains. You can’t win it with a dull guy as head coach, and the smart guy as the assistant. That’s why we didn’t win an AFC championship when Paul was the head coach, because it had to go through Paul to be done. And now it had to go through Bill.”