Ronnie Lott

49ers legend Ronnie Lott's life on, off field focus of new documentary

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USATSI

49ers legend Ronnie Lott's life on, off field focus of new documentary

On the football field, Ronnie Lott was one of the most feared players in NFL history.

But off the field, it was a different story, Ronnie's daughter Hailey said in a new documentary titled Ronnie Lott: A Football Life.

"To most of the world, I think people see my dad as a heavy-hitter, a tough guy," Hailey Lott said. "I think most people see him as intimidating, maybe as a little mean, a little scary, and that's just not how I see him. I really wasn't that involved in his career and I think it was almost a way for him to respect our family, is leaving work at work."

To commemorate the 100th year of the NFL, the league is revealing its top 100 Game Changers, and the former 49ers defensive back came in at No. 86 on the list.

Taken with the No. 8 overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, Lott brought an intensity that helped the 49ers beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI in his rookie year.

“I brought an attitude that maybe the Niners didn’t have," Lott said.

Marcus Allen, Dwight Hicks, Eddie DeBartolo, Charles Haley, Jon Gruden and Anthony Lynn were among the NFL luminaries that were interviewed for the documentary.

Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson formed a friendship with Lott, and the former Lakers star spoke about why the two elite athletes latched on to each other.

“We both admired each other," Johnson said. "We both watched each other play ... You know you really don’t enjoy winning because you don’t have time to enjoy it because you want to do it again."

[RELATED: Grading 49ers' win over Cardinals]

Ronnie Lott: A Football Life debuts at 7 p.m. PT Friday, Nov. 1 on NFL Network.

Dwight Clark's 49ers teammates to attend 'Letters to 87' book launch

Dwight Clark's 49ers teammates to attend 'Letters to 87' book launch

SANTA CLARA – Dwight Clark stands so tall among Bay Area sporting greats that it took more than a hundred authors to capture his legacy.

“Letters to 87” (Cameron Books) is scheduled for release on Wednesday -- appropriately, 8/7 -- with a book launch party at Pete’s Tavern in San Francisco (across from Oracle Park) from 4 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public and books will be sold.

Many of Clark’s former teammates are scheduled to attend, including Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, Dwight Hicks, Keena Turner, Mike Wilson, Mike Shumann, Dwaine Board, and Steve Bono. Brian Murphy of KNBR will act as emcee for the event.

Clark is best known for “The Catch,” a leaping 6-yard touchdown grab of a Joe Montana pass that led the 49ers past the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game in January 1982 and into the organization’s first Super Bowl.

The book includes excerpts of letters from 118 fans. It captures the unique bond Clark had with the 49ers’ fan base. Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., Montana, Ronnie Lott and Kelly Clark, Dwight’s wife, also wrote essays for the book.

Clark passed away on June 4, 2018, from ALS. Two weeks earlier, a group of friends, including Lott and Turner, gathered around his bed at his home in Whitefish, Montana, to read him the letters from his fans.

The book is inspired by the NBC Sports Bay Area documentary, “Letters to 87,” produced and directed by Sean Maddison, which debuted last year. The documentary will re-air Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

One hundred percent of all royalties from the book will go toward Clark’s charity of choice, the Golden Heart Fund, which provides assistance to former 49ers in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

For a complete list of upcoming book events, go to LettersTo87.com. The page will be updated as new events are scheduled through the fall and winter.

Ronnie Lott appreciates Kevon Looney's toughness in return to Warriors

Ronnie Lott appreciates Kevon Looney's toughness in return to Warriors

Surprise! Kevon Looney isn't done for the season after all.

The Warriors center will return from a one-game absence to play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors on Friday night, an outcome that didn't seem possible a few days ago when he was ruled out indefinitely with a first costal cartilage fracture.

Looney's return to the lineup should provide an emotional boost to a Golden State team in dire need of a victory. A win in Game 4 at Oracle Arena would tie the best-of-seven series at two apiece, while a loss would put the Warriors in the unenviable position of being down three to one, with Game 5 in Toronto.

The high stakes undoubtedly played a role in Looney's decision to play through the pain, and his toughness caught the attention of another Bay Area athlete known for going the extra length to get on the field.

Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott played 10 seasons with the 49ers and two with the Raiders, but he's perhaps most known for having his broken pinkie finger amputated in 1986, rather than undergo reconstructive surgery and endure the long recovery time that would have followed.

Lott is one of the NFL's all-time "tough guys," and he took to Twitter to applaud Looney for his surprise return in Game 4.

Lott likes the toughness. The Oracle Arena crowd most certainly will as well.

[RELATED: Warriors must improve defense in must-win Game 4 of Finals]

Let's just hope to avoid any amputations.