San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone?

Aug 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM0


Book Review: Sports Publishing L.L.C. and writer Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, recently sent me a copy of his new book, San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone? Being a big fan of Mr. Maiocco's work, I looked forward to reading it.

San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone? profiles 49 players throughout the team's history...ranging from the well known, like Joe Montana and Dwight Clark, to the lesser known, like Visco Grgich and Paul Salata. While the book does profile these players during their time with the 49ers, it also takes a detailed look at their lives after their NFL careers ended. While one of my favorite players from yesteryear, R.C. Owens, was a tremendous asset to the 49ers, it was the struggles after his playing days that caught my attention. Owens kept a secret from the organization while he worked as the alumni coordinator. Reading about R.C. Owens gave me a new perspective into the personal life of a player that I continue to admire.

Whether you want to know about the playing days of individuals like Steve Young, John Brodie or Joe "The Jet" Perry, or you want to learn about their lives afterwards, this book has something to offer for everyone. It is important to note that this book does not necessarily focus on the 49 greatest players in 49ers history (certainly 1997 1st round draft pick, Jim Druckenmiller, is not looked upon as being one of the greats), but on 49 players whose lives have a genuine story to tell. And if they did not make an impact in your mind during their playing days, many certainly will once you finish the book. Casual fans and die-hards alike will find something that they can enjoy within these pages.

If interesting trivia is what you are after, this book has plenty.

During high school, former 49ers head coach, George Seifert, served as an usher for games at Kezar Stadium. "It was basically just a way to get to watch the 49ers for free," he said.

Paul Salata, who played end for the 49ers, scored the team's final touchdown in the AAFC and the first touchdown when the team joined the NFL.

While everyone assumed that multiple concussions led to quarterback Steve Young's decision to retire, he now states that the team's decision to go through a rebuilding process, abandoning the win-at-all costs attitude, was the major influence.

Matt Maiocco's style of writing makes San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone? an easy read. I found myself fascinated with each turn of the page, even when I did not recognize the name at the beginning of a new chapter. This personal approach to individual players is the complete opposite of a chronological account of the team, as in of one of my other favorite 49er books, The San Francisco 49ers: the first fifty years by Glenn Dickey. However, that change is refreshing and brings about a new perspective into the history of the team I love so much. Mr. Maiocco's heartfelt retelling of each player's story is presented with sincere respect and class. I feel like I got to know each player the more I read about them. You may find yourself becoming a fan of those players that did not impact the team greatly, but led admirable lives off the field.

If you are a die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan and think you know everything there is to know about the team and the warriors that take the field each week...think again. This book will open your eyes to back stories you won't find anywhere else. Mr. Maiocco's hard work in compiling the information that went into this book truly shows.

I want to thank Mr. Maiocco and Sports Publishing L.L.C. for offering me a very different look at the team that I love. A special thanks to Mr. Maiocco for taking the time to personally contact me.

San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone? profiles the following players (in alphabetical order):

Dan Audick, John Brodie, Bernie Casey, Joe Cerne, Dwight Clark, Roger Craig, John, David Crow, Fred Dean, Jim Druckenmiller, Riki Ellison, Keith Fahnhorst, Russ Francis, John Frank, Jeff Fuller, Visco Grgich, Cedrick Hardman, Bill "Tiger" Johnson, Randy Kirk, David Kopay, Charlie Krueger, Clay Matthews, Milt McColl, Hugh "The King" McElhenny, Guy McIntyre, Jerry Mertens, Joe Montana, Renaldo Nehemiah, Frank Nunley, R.C. "Alley Oop" Owens, Dave Parks, Joe "The Jet" Perry, Gary Plummer, Eason Ramson, Tom Rathman, Bill Ring, Len Rohde, Paul Salata, Bob St. Clair, Monty Stickles, Jeff Stover, Jim Stuckey, Y.A. Tittle, Keena Turner, Dave Wilcox, Ken Willard, Delvin Williams, Billy Wilson, John Woudenberg, and Steve Young

About the Author:
Matt Maiocco is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter who has covered the 49ers on a daily basis for more than a decade. He completed his degree in journalism at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. His first book, Roger Craig's Tales from the San Francisco 49ers Sideline, was published in 2004.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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