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A Press Democrat Blog

Cohn Zohn

Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports

“The Catch” revisited

Here is a link to my Sunday column about The Catch. The full column appears below: SANTA CLARA — He’s still handsome and, at 56, he looks young and his voice is rich and soothing. Someone once said his voice is “all milk and honey.” Dwight Clark. Made “The Catch.” Caught that pass from Joe Montana and ran the 49ers right into their first Super Bowl victory, ran them right into their dynasty. That Dwight Clark. The Catch was the… Read More »

Comparing Jim Harbaugh and Bill Walsh

Here is the opening to my Monday column comparing the styles of Jim Harbaugh and Bill Walsh: SANTA CLARA — I compare Jim Harbaugh to Bill Walsh. The comparison is inevitable. I watch Harbaugh work in training camp and I think of Walsh. I compare them. On Sunday, Harbaugh participated in a special teams exercise. He did not supervise the work. He participated, as if he still were a player. Holding a red foam pad, he crouched in front of… Read More »

Bill and Joe and Jim and Colin

Here is the opening to a column I wrote a while back for the Press Democrat’s special section on the 49ers. It is about the Niners’ first Super Bowl (well, it starts a little before that), which I covered, and the current Super Bowl attempt, which I am not covering: The man in the navy blue bellman’s outfit grabbed suitcases as players and media walked off the bus. Who was this guy? He was aggressive, grabbing the way he did.… Read More »

Bill Walsh vs. Dexter Manley

I promised you this column on Bill Walsh a day ago. It got delayed in publication — things like that happen depending on the flow of news in daily newspapers — so here it is now. Former Redskins defensive tackle Dexter Manley, as you may know, accused Bill Walsh of offering bounties to his players to hurt opposing players in the 1980s. To me, this sounded fishy. I did some research and came up with this column, and to read… Read More »

Bill Walsh and dirty play

I wrote a column for Sunday addressing Dexter Manley’s claim that Bill Walsh employed a bounty system on the 49ers. This is not that column. I will post it when the Press Democrat puts it on our website. This is an out-take from my research. I spoke to former Niners assistant coach Fred vonAppen about the alleged bounties and used that interview for my column. VonAppen, who coached special teams and defensive line for the Niners, vehemently denied that Walsh… Read More »

Walsh vs. Harbaugh

I’m posting my Sunday column in preparation for the Niners game against the Browns. I wrote about what I perceive as the difference between Bill Walsh and Jim Harbaugh when it comes to dealing with the media, people like me. I am writing about this because many readers are curious about this topic. I am not comparing Walsh and Harbaugh as coaches. Walsh was more media friendly, so take that for what it’s worth. To read my column please click… Read More »

West Coast Offense has moved beyond Bill Walsh

I wrote my Friday column based on group interviews today with 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Both talked at length about how the West Coast Offense has evolved beyond what Bill Walsh imagined. Fangio went so far as to say no one runs the Bill Walsh offense even though they still call it the West Coast Offense. I found all this enlightening and frankly thrilling and to read my column please click here.

Al Davis at the restaurant

Bill Walsh told me this one not long before he died. He and Al Davis went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant — it might have been in Palo Alto. They were having a nice time until one patron noticed them and walked over to their table. The guy had been drinking a lot. He grinned at Walsh and Davis and said how nice it was to see these two rivals together. Davis and Walsh chatted with the man… Read More »

Lowell on Al Davis

Here is my Sunday column on the passing of Al Davis. This is a serious subject about a serious man and I took it seriously. I tried to stay away from merely glorifying Davis the way people do when someone dies. They remember just one part of a person. Davis had a million parts, some good and some not so good. You know that. He was complicated and he was fascinating. I tried to capture some of his competing sides… Read More »

Bill Walsh vs. Jim Harbaugh

Zohn readers are all in a tizzy because I was critical of Jim Harbaugh. I’m getting lots of negative energy directed my way, as they say in California. Some readers point out that Walsh was 8-24 his first two  seasons in San Francisco. That is supposed to make me and others go easy on Harbaugh — if Bill couldn’t deliver his first two years why demand any more of Harbaugh? Wow. Does this mean Harbaugh gets a two-year grace period… Read More »