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Monday, July 30, 2007

Funny Story About Bill Walsh and Me (Brooks)

They Call Me Bill W. (Walsh)
by Brooks

I was living in Davis, California when he was coaching the 49ers. The Davis area was either a Raider town or a 49ers town depending on who was winning (that's how deep NoCal fans are). In 84 (circa), the 49ers were on top of the world. It was before I retired all my drinking trophies.

My friend, a huge guy, bought a white sweater with a small 49er monogram on it. Only it was too small so he gave it to me. I hated the 49ers (still do) but it was a very nice sweater and I had had a bad year in the can salvage business and wasn't turning down anything free (especially drinks).

Anyway, I was out late doing the bar tour and I stopped for one for the road (about 2 miles from home)at this local hangout in Davis. There were only a few patrons and I sat at the bar. I had the 49er sweater on - mainly because I looked devastating handsome in it - not because of any affection for that team. It was a Saturday night and the UC Davis football team had a home game earlier. As fate would have it, Walsh's kid was a receiver for the Aggie football team. The bartender remarked, as he served me, "here to watch your kid play, coach?" I gave him blank stare and said something intelligent like, Huh? The bartender looked a trifle uneasy and wiped some imaginary foreign from the bar and said, "you ARE coach Walsh, aren't you?" Then it all came together for me.

I took a deep swallow while I planned my response. I followed pro ball then and realized that the 49ers were out of town that weekend. A fact that even this bozo would realize in a while. I didn't always make good choices in those days when I was, er..out, but I've always had this razor like humor and I really wanted to use this hanging curve. Sooo, I said, uh, actually, I'm Bill's brother and I scout for him and we're very interested in one of the Aggie players. I remember thinking, "what if he asks me who...I didn't know the name of one single player on the team other than Walsh's kid. Fortunately, he didn't ask.

I had a couple of drinks on the house and beat it, telling myself that I could never go to that bar again because surely this guy would find out that Walsh never had a brother. There were only a few bars in Davis and I had just eliminated one.

I pretty much forgot about the incident. In fact, Sunday morning, I pretty much forgot about Saturday night.

There was this high class restaurant over in Vacaville, right off I-80 and when I wanted to make my bride happy, I would take her over there for an over-priced steak dinner. It was a combination bar restaurant with a little more bar than most dinner houses have. The eating area and the bar area were open to each other. We went over there one night (Saturday)and I was wearing the white sweater (looking pretty good, if I do say so myself). We ordered and were eating our salad when the cocktail waitress walked up with a drink. She said it's on (said his name) over there and pointed to him. He waived and walked over. "How you doing coach, he asked." I was on my first drink and didn't want to eliminate any more watering holes so, I told him that I wasn't coach Walsh. (photo left: Bill Walsh talking to SCVince and Vinnie) He winked at me and said he wouldn't blow my cover and walked away. It wasn't his first drink. When we finished our dinner, I had taken on a little more bad judgment and we left. On the way out, the guy hailed me and said good luck tomorrow (the 49ers were in town). So, not wanting to spoil his story for the next day, I replied something like, no luck necessary, a piece of cake. I know it is wrong but I had a warm fuzzy.

The only problem is that the guy was a regular and every time we ate there, he bought me a couple of drinks. Finally, dreading the day that he sobered up and found out I couldn't possibly be Bill Walsh, I quit eating over there. So, my mendactity, as innocent as it was, cost me another watering hole. You can fool some of the people some of the time and drunks all the time but you can fool all of the sober people all of the time.


Teri Dickerson said...

This is for Brooks. Hi Brooks. I just read your story about Bill Walsh and was laughing pretty hard thru the whole thing. It's funny because I had just remarked to my husband that you and Pat Carroll looked a bit alike, in fact you could be brother's. Then I read your story. It's amazing what you find out about your relative's. What other stories do you have??
Love you Unc,

Teri Dickerson said...

I meant Pete Carroll, sorry Pete.