Right Choice- 06/08/2000
It isn't quite official yet, but Bill Walsh essentially confirmed that Steve Young would retire, probably this Monday. Walsh was quoted saying "Steve is moving on with his life". Several other team sources were quoted saying: "He's made up his mind," and "The day has been set, the only issue is the setting." While the real announcement will likely be postponed until Monday; as the 49ers did promise Young he could make the official announcement, the decision does seem to be made - so much so that Joe Montana has made arrangements to attend to the telecast via a teleconference because he and his family will be on vacation.
The announcement comes after a crazy week. At one point Walsh was convinced that Young was negotiating with Denver, and all but said Young would be playing there next season. It turns out that Walsh was wrong and that Young was merely seeking the advice of friend and former offensive coordinator, Mike Shanahan. Young and Walsh embraced after a yelling match that established where each side stood. Though there are no official reports of what was said, it is speculated that Young revealed to Walsh his intentions at that point, and was likely upset that Walsh jumped the gun.
The best news of all though is that we can all cease to worry about Young's health. His concussion prone head will no longer be in harms way. At this point in medical science, it is simply not possible to fully predict the effect of head traumas. In fact, Young claims to know more about concussions than most doctors do. This alone should be reason enough to retire.
Young's fifteen-year career is finally ending. It is great to see that he will retire in a 49ers uniform. Ever since Young was selected by Walsh from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be Montana's heir apparent, we knew he would be something special. Over the fifteen years, he brought us many memories, and one Super Bowl trophy, things that 49ers fans will forever be grateful. Young achieved award after award, racking up two MVP awards and becoming the highest rated passer in NFL history. He and Jerry Rice also combined for more touchdown connections than any tandem prior to them.
Young will be remembered much after his retirement. He is destined to the Hall Of Fame, and when he is inducted, his showcase should be placed right next to Joe Montana's – not above or below, but side-by-side. The two passers brought 49ers fans 20 years of excitement and victory, and should be remembered together. Montana was cool under pressure, and Young was the man who refused to quit. Young brought everything he had to every game, and believed that he could make a difference. He did. He has a assumed a spot in every 49ers fan's, if not NFL fan's heart - and rest assured Steve, you will be remembered as the player you were in 1994 and 1997 not for the man who lay somberly on the ground in early 1999. Steve should be remembered as the man who in one play, threw a pass, had it deflected back by the defensive tackle, caught the deflected pass, and scrambled down field, having his helmet knocked off, and still he kept running. I will remember that Steve Young.
The illustrious career is all but over. Steve's children will never see him play on live footage, as Young wished would happen. They will however, have a father. A father that is good at everything he does, who shares a passion that very few do, a father who gave up playing football for the family, a father who when push came to shove always did the right thing. Most of all though, Steve's children will see there father inducted into the Hall Of Fame, and when they do, Steve will be there, fully competent, something that could not be guaranteed if he marches back onto that field again.
On behalf of 49ers fans everywhere Steve, congratulations on all your successes, you have left an imprint on a team, and all its fans that should never be forgotten. Enjoy your future you deserve it.
As 49ers fans everywhere begin to celebrate Young's career, 49ers Paradise would like to invite you to share you most fond memory of Steve Young, please E-mail Me your memory, and include if you would like your name divulged. I will be creating a page full of our favourite Steve Young memories.
Young ammased some great statistics over the years, have a look below at his year by year stats, courtesy of ESPN.
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