But the way the 49ers have fallen is beyond crazy. And what’s crazier than that is they managed to hit rock bottom TWICE in a span of only a few years!
We all remember those great Niners teams of the 80s and 90s. Greats like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Steve Young, Ricky Watters, John Taylor, Dwight Clark, and Terrell Owens being coached by the likes of Bill Walsh, George Seifert and even Steve Mariucci. Five Super Bowl championships.
Those were put together and well-maintained by former personnel guru Carmen Policy, with DeBartolo’s blessing.
You see, what made those Niners teams so great was that they thrived in a family-like atmosphere were guys could feel at ease and motivated to compete week in and week out. And DeBartolo was responsible for that.
However, DeBartolo was indicted in a corruption scandal in Louisiana in 1998. Given that gambling is a cardinal sin in professional sports, he had to go.
Enter John and Denise (DeBartolo) York.
When DeBartolo was indicted, Denise was given control of the team by her brother in 2000. After taking control of the franchise, she and her husband quickly ran it into the ground.
Niners fans do not need any reminders of how woeful their team was in the 2000s. From 2003-2010, the Niners were one of the worst teams in the league.
The likes of Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan (whaa??), and Mike Singletary (double-whaaa???) were certainly not the smartest hires for head coaches. However, the worst decision made by a York was yet to come.
Funny thing is, the messed-up part about that decision was that it started off as a great one.
Shortly after the Yorks passed the decision-making to their son Jed, things finally appeared to be on the up-and-up. After correcting the mistake that was Singletary, he brought in Jim Harbaugh to coach the Niners.
And Harbaugh immediately delivered for Jed York and the Niners.
He went 13-3 in his FIRST year, winning the NFC West and advancing to the NFC Championship Game, falling short to the eventual champion New York Giants. That was followed by another NFC West and a spot in Super Bowl XLVII before losing to the Baltimore Ravens. And just to show that his Niners were not going to suffer a huge Super Bowl hangover, Harbaugh led the team to another spot in the playoffs before falling short to the arch-rival Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.
One would think things would be going great in San Francisco, right? WRONG.
York and general manager Trent Baalke had a hissy-fit over Harbaugh’s abrasive behavior towards members of the Niners’ brass – mainly Baalke himself. That power struggle proved to become a distraction to the team, dropping to an 8-8 record and Harbaugh’s departure.
And how have the Niners fared since then, you ask?
The 49ers has since sunk back into mediocrity, and new head coach/meathead Jim Tomsula was fired after just one season where the 49ers finished 5–11. And just to twist the knife into the Niners’ fans heart even more, Baalke and York hired former fired Eagles coach Chip Kelly this past offseason. Kelly has “led” the Niners to an 1-6 record so far.
It’s not surprising to see the fans react like this.
Again, I know Eddie DeBartolo is not walking through those doors in Santa Clara. Jed would be wise to have him as a counsel.
Niners fans would be very appreciative of that…