Today’s Morning Tailgate only features headlines regarding the recent passing of Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famer, R.C. Owens.
The player and 49ers front office member affectionately known as “Oop,” carved out several memorable moments in his life. (Pictured above is Owens’ first ever “Alley Oop” catch against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 6, 1957). Dan Brown of The San Jose Mercury News recounted some of those stories and also caught up with 49ers historian Donn Sinn for some incredible details on Owens’ 49ers career.
According to Shinn, Owens was one of the first NFL players to challenge free agency. Owens, a dangerous vertical threat at the wide receiver position, also became one of the league’s first players to utilize gloves.
“Owens was also a pioneer in the use of gloves for pass catching during cold weather games,” Brown wrote in a recent post. “This was a practice that he developed during his years while playing for the College of Idaho. 49ers’ coach Howard ‘Red’ Hickey discouraged Owens from the practice of utilizing gloves saying “This is the NFL, son.”
More Owens headlines can be found after the jump.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com takes a look at the major achievements in Owens’ life, both on and off the football field. Maiocco: “Owens made a huge impact with the 49ers off the field when Eddie DeBartolo and Bill Walsh hired him to return to the organization in 1979. The 49ers had severed ties with their former players, and it was Owens’ responsibility to rebuild that bridge. He remained as alumni coordinator for the next 24 years, and was one of the most popular individuals in the organization.”
49ers.com remembered the highlights of Owens’ career, and shared a video of Owens’ 2011 49ers Hall of Fame induction speech. The former 49ers wideout began his speech by saying, “You know, if you don’t put anything in it, you won’t get anything out of it.”
TWEET ABOUT IT
CEO Jed York expresses the sentiments of the entire 49ers organization.
Tags: Jed York, R.C. Owens
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