Despite the rivalry, I could never hate the Niners the way I hate the Cowboys (as a Giants fan) or the Patriots and Dolphins (as a Jets fan). Bill Walsh was just too classy, and so were his teams. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, so many more. They weren't my guys, but they were great players, and easy to root for. And I did root for them, whenever my own guys weren't in it. I was cheering as hard as anyone when Montana threw and Dwight Clark made the Catch, to knock the hated Cowboys out of the playoffs. And that drive against the Bengals in the SuperBowl was pretty special too.
Bill Walsh was the most innovative football coach of our time. He redefined the game, especially on offense. He always seemed to be a great guy too. His players loved him, and with good reason. I remember the first Niner SuperBowl against the Bengals, where he got to the hotel ahead of the team, dressed up as a bellhop, and unloaded their luggage for them.
You'll never see Evil Little Bill do that.
Rest In Peace, Bill. You did good work and left your mark, and that's all that any man can hope for.