Podcast: 49ers’ QB Room Gets Interesting...Again →

Nobody Minded York When We Were Winning

Jan 8, 2005 at 12:00 AM

I realize that this article flies in the face of everything we have read in the last two years about our bean-counting, villain of an owner, but it needs to be written. I am fully prepared for the onslaught on e-mails from those of you who feel that Dr. York was the worst thing to hit San Francisco since the Earthquake of 1906.

York has been called everything from cheap to miserly, and deserves a reprieve. People frequently cite three examples of his penny-pinching ways. 1 - He locks up his Gatorade at night. Who cares? 2 - He replaced bottled water with an elaborate array of drinking fountains. Cry me a river. 3 - He doesn't want to pay for the personal postage needs of everyone in the organization and their families. Neither would I. These "roadblocks" have nothing to do with championships, and didn't stop Mariucci from compiling the best record in the league during his last two years with the team.

Let's talk about what York has done. He has paid the maximum that the league allows in player salaries every season. He renovated the weight room, an enormous project, at the suggestion of the players. He is planning on unveiling a proposal for a new stadium at Candlestick Point this winter and will pay for the majority of it with his own funds, a move that distinguishes him from most owners in terms of his loyalty to the city and fans. He just spent $10 million to rid himself of a coach and general manager who were eroding the credibility of the franchise.

You might argue that he is at the top and bears ultimate responsibility. Is it his fault that the state of California is bankrupt and San Francisco isn't exactly doling out money for stadiums? Is it his fault that Terry Donahue and his yes-men back-loaded contracts to put us in the salary cap situation we're in now? Is it his fault that Donahue hired Dennis Erickson, who is a bright mind in his own right, but didn't have the people skills to attract equally innovative coaches to his sidelines?

York has arrived at all the rational conclusions. Erickson inherited a division winning team and within two years morphed them into the worst team in the NFL. Donahue mortgaged the team's future, didn't work hard enough, and created an intolerable environment for coaches. Can we really blame York for having a blind spot when it came to Bill Walsh's hand-picked successor?

Will York one day have the commanding presence of a Bob Kraft? Maybe not. But he is a phenomenally bright individual who has shown over the last week that he knows when to stand back and when to take charge. He paid a handsome sum of money this week to wipe the slate clean and bring in fresh talent. The least we could do is grant him that clean slate.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • No Comments

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Javon Hargrave, Eagles were motivated by George Kittle's comments ahead of NFC title game vs. 49ers

By David Bonilla
17 hrs

This week, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave shared some behind-the-scenes details leading to this past season's NFC Championship Game between his new team and his former one, the Philadelphia Eagles. The defensive lineman shared that comments by one 49ers star provided some bulletin board material for the Eagles, who went on to beat the 49ers 31-7, advancing to Super Bowl 57. Leading to the game between the two NFC powerhouses, Kittle was asked about the matchup and how the Eagles' roster compared to the 49ers'. "We'll see on Sunday, won't we?" Kittle responded. "I mean,

Jed York on 49ers' decision to draft Trey Lance: "I wouldn't change anything"

By David Bonilla
Mar 28

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York spoke with reporters on Tuesday at the NFL owners' meetings in Arizona. He was asked about one of his quarterbacks, Trey Lance. In 2021, the team made a blockbuster move, trading significant draft capital to move up to the No. 3 overall pick, where they selected Lance. Two years later, Lance has started only four games and has been surpassed on the depth chart by last year's "Mr. Irrelevant," the No. 262 overall pick, Brock Purdy. Despite the cost of acquiring Lance, York doesn't regret the decision to trade up and still believes in Lance's potential. "I wouldn't change anything that we've made about the decision with Trey," York told reporters.


More by Brett Pahler

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone