One of the architects of the San Francisco 49ers' success this season is a 76-year-old intellectual who can only vaguely describe a touchdown.
This man didn't know the team was in the mix for Sunday's Super Bowl until two weekends ago, when he heard shouts from neighbors' houses. For most of the season, Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel, INTC +0.42% couldn't have named the team's coach.
But last week, after finding out that head coach Jim Harbaugh uses the 1996 management book he wrote as a sort of spiritual guide to football, Grove said he's suddenly earned a new flavor of respect from friends and family. For many years, he said, they'd always accused him of being "out to left field" when it came to sports. "I don't know much about the 49ers," Grove acknowledged in an interview last week. "One of my claims to fame is that I used to eat at a restaurant Joe Montana frequented, but I never saw him."