SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – R.C. Owens, the star receiver who served as a good will ambassador for the 49ers and pro football for 50 years, died Sunday at age 78.

“He’s one of those guys that you just associate with the 49ers forever,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “We know the era of the Montanas, and Lotts and Steve Youngs and those great eras with Bill Walsh. With R.C., he was there for that, but he was there for the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, and going all the way back to Y.A. Tittle.”

Owens was the first 49er to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season (1961). But he was best known for his “Alley Oop” leaping catch play. Off the field, he’ll be remembered for his community outreach, his charity work, and his positive attitude.

“I’ve known him forever and I never knew him not to have a smile on his face,” Madden said. “He was just one of those guys who never got upset.”

A new NBA competition committee will examine “flopping,” the practice of players falling down or faking injury in an attempt to draw a foul. “I’m sure if it happened in (pro football), our competition committee would put in rules to take it away,” Madden said.

“It does affect the integrity of the game, and it makes a mockery out of things… There’s no place for it.” (9:00)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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