Many students at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento don't know that their physical education teacher, Danny Bunz, made a pivotal tackle in the Super Bowl that helped the San Francisco 49ers claim their first world championship.
OK, perhaps there's not enough hyperbole in that description for you. You might say that this region's native son was the hero of one of football's greatest goal line stands.
Bunz took down Cincinnati running back Charles Alexander in 1982, just 12 inches shy of a touchdown in the third quarter. Despite two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Bengals lost 26-21.
"I was talking to (a friend) one time, and he said, 'They don't even give you credit for all the other tackles,' but that one was so big that it kind of overshadowed all the other ones," Bunz said. "It was a great series, and it was a testimony to that team because Cincinnati (quarterback Ken) Anderson and the Bengals had a way better team, but we were just hungry."
Bunz is still hungry for wins. He'd like to see the 49ers bring home their sixth Super Bowl victory on Sunday, but he's more invested in a winning return for his Bunz & Company restaurant at 311 Judah St. in Roseville.
He founded the restaurant back in 1984 but sold it to his managers, Jim and Julie Sweet, in 1999. The Sweets closed the place last summer, saying sales had dropped in the downturn.
Bunz was their landlord, and when he began cleaning up the place, people pounded on the door and told him they missed their old hangout.
Then four restaurant veterans proposed a joint venture. Bunz agreed, and on Jan. 19, he welcomed old NFL buddies and customers to 2H 2nd Half at Bunz & Company.
Whether it's 12 inches from the goal line or seven months down and out, it seems this linebacker won't say die.
A heart for Girl Scouts
Pam Saltenberger keeps running into people who think she's still the chief executive of the regional Girl Scouts council, known as Girl Scouts Heart of Central California. The nonprofit serves roughly 30,000 girls and 18,000 adults from Sacramento down to Modesto.
Saltenberger officially retired Jan. 9, but a holiday break allowed her to travel to Arizona to watch her alma mater, Oregon, take out Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Then she returned to help new CEO Linda Farley with the transition before heading to Hawaii on vacation.
Saltenberger has a lot of travel planned this year: Cuba, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. She'll also be doing pro bono workshops for nonprofit leaders on behalf of Sacramento's Nonprofit Resource Center on Garden Highway.
Saltenberger, 68, said she's ready for a slower pace after setting a rigorous one at Heart of Central California.
"When I started, we had 30 employees," she said. "Now we have 130. We had a $3 million budget. Now we're close to $10 million. I came from the corporate world, so I was able to bring a lot of that business sense to Girl Scouts."
Saltenberger was a pioneer in the field of insurance more than 40 years ago, back when recruiters felt comfortable telling her they didn't hire women.
"I became the first woman to be a vice president of an insurance company in the western United States," she said. "The president of that company used to say, 'I was the only vice president he could kiss.' "
Yes, she said, out loud.
Saltenberger tells young women not to be complacent, not to let the advances of the last 50 years slip away, not to belittle or undermine other women. At Girl Scouts, she enlisted staff in creating the best environment for every girl.
She led the council into the computer age. She repaired buildings and camps where maintenance had been deferred for decades and acquired crucial new structures. She led a merger of Sacramento's Tierra Del Oro council with Muir Trail council in Modesto. Heart of Central California also hired part-time staff to bring Scouting to about 8,600 girls in rural areas, homeless shelters, juvenile halls and other hard-to-reach places.
It is a must, Saltenberger said, noting that 80 percent of women business owners, 70 percent of U.S. legislators and virtually all female astronauts were Girl Scouts.