Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports



This is what happens when you cut the head off an organization. All hell breaks loose.

It's well past time to stop lamenting the loss of the finest head coach this franchise has seen in the last 20 years, but holy-living-Christ, do the hits just keep on coming!

I'll admit, I scoffed initially at the narrative that all the players were jumping ship due to the regime change. Losing Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, the cornerbacks, all that was to more or less be expected considering the free agency talent pool and the cap numbers in play. But the early exits of Pat Willis, now Chris Borland, and more than likely Justin Smith (ok, a not-so-early exit in his case), smack of a team that has no reason to keep fighting the good fight. No hometown discounts this year, no suit-em-up-one-last-time-and-get-it-done storylines. It's hard to leave a team or a group if you feel you're a part of something special, something bigger, but when it's every man for himself, opting out is a hell of a lot easier.

Jed York sent a pretty clear message that there was plenty to him that was more important than winning this year. He expects the respect being at the top of the hierarchy usually commands and should that fail him, he'll use the inherent power he's been gifted and make nice, big, ham-fisted cuts. It's his team after all, the future be damned.

Canning the most successful coach in decades, asshole or no, doesn't resonate within the locker room, it spreads doubt like a virus. Sure, I'm guessing more than a few players are fine fans of Jim Tomsula, but he ain't the hard-driving workaholic lunatic the last guy was. You may not want to have Jim Harbaugh over to meet your parents or speak at your wedding, but if you need to win football games, this was your guy.

There was still enough leadership in the locker room that remembered what it was like before he got here, and just as we fans dread a return to the bad-old-days, those players have to dread it even worse. Sure, they're professionals and there's the paychecks to prove it, but those guys that have had enough skin in the game all these years and made their money, why stick around to watch the whole thing grind into mediocrity?

I'm sure Jed's far too busy to read small-time hacks like myself, but if he happens to glance at this little piece, I'd like to give him some advice about being like his uncle Eddie, someone he so desperately wants to be identified with.

You want respect? You show it.

Recall the imagery of Eddie Debartolo in the locker room hugging and laughing and crying with his players. Remember Eddie punching out a Green Bay fan in Lambeau after a particularly tough playoff loss. That was no show, Jed. No cloying to the media. No hollow words crafted by PR yes-men. Eddie respected the hell out of those players and he took care of them like no other owner in the league in that era and he wore that respect and love on his sleeve. Do your players even talk to you?

An owner that respected his players never would have undermined their coach, effectively torpedoing a season, and run him out of town in such a fashion. It's more than bad business, it's disrespectful, shameful, and embarrassing. Now we're all getting to see that, as usual, you reap what you sow.

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. York. You wanted your coach gone, and you got it, but it's becoming increasingly obvious that you never considered what dominos might start falling as a result. Please, take yourself out of this bubble you live in, that of the historically out-of-touch decision making, and start respecting your team, not to mention your fan base.