San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame Cornerback Ronnie Lott Speaks at Modesto Christian High School in California

It's not often that a member of the San Francisco 49ers comes to town.

San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame cornerback Ronnie Lott speaks to football player, from youth to high school at Modesto Christian High School (8-21-13).
Wait a minute ... yes, it is!

"Yeah, you've got one right down the street in Mr. Kaepernick," said former 49ers defensive back Ronnie Lott, waving his hand southward.

In June, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who grew up in Turlock, was in Modesto to host the inaugural Against All Odds Golf Tournament at Del Rio Country Club. A few days later, 49ers offensive lineman Mike Iupati was in town to work out with the Davis High football team, which won a Gatorade-sponsored contest that awarded practice time with a pro.

But Lott is an NFL legend, a 2000 inductee into the Hall of Fame and, along with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, among the greatest 49ers ever.

And nearly 20 years after his NFL career ended, the Cupertino resident can still generate a buzz in these parts. A crowd of close to 300 was on hand at Modesto Christian High School to hear Lott speak about football, sacrifice and what it means to be successful on and off the field.

"I'm able to do this probably two or three times a year during the football season," said Lott, who looked ultra-cool in sunglasses, gray slacks and a button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up. "I had (NFL Hall-of-Famer) Deacon Jones come out and talk to my team growing up in Rialto. He shared his wisdom and told me to go out and be the best."

Lott certainly heeded Jones' advice. He was a 10-time Pro Bowl pick and named to the All-Pro first team eight times. He ranks sixth on the all-time list for career interceptions (63) and is a four-time Super Bowl champion.

And, of course, he is the owner of the most famous pinky in all of sports. Er, missing pinky.

Legend has it that after severely injuring his left pinky, the super-tough Lott -- against doctors' orders -- demanded to be sent back into the game. When they refused, he told them to cut off the injured digit and let him play.


Source: Modesto Bee | Joe Cortez -- jcortez@modbee.com
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