Jed Deserves Some Credit...At Least For Today

Jan 8, 2011 at 7:40 AM

I wanted to write this piece after Mike Singletary was fired...and then again after Trent Baalke was hired...but decided it would be best to wait until the media frenzy surrounding the hire of Jim Harbaugh had subsided. Now that the media roar has died down, the residents of 49erland (myself included) need to take a moment to offer up a big fat apology to Jed York.

Over the course of his tenure as the 49ers President, Jed York has been the target of some very heavy criticism. Granted, Jed has done his part to earn the ire of the 49er fan base since emerging as the man in charge of the 49ers. Though obviously intelligent, his inexperience was reflected by a host of decisions that seemed to reflect 2-dimensional thinking: from his hiring of Mike Singletary as head coach to his Division Championship prognostication via text message to this GM/Head Coach search, Jed had become an almost constant punch line to the joke that his once great franchise had become.

Anonymous posters in the Bay Area football blogosphere called him everything from "Jed Dork" to "the lucky sperm". Some called him a coward. Others called him cheap. Some even called him a liar. Local media pundit and tinfoil hat aficionado Lowell Cohn went so far as to sardonically dub him "The Prince". Tim Kawakami, local media negativity spigot/Raider apologist, wrote that Jed had set himself up to fail. Michael Lombardi, professional NFL network mouthpiece/currently unemployed football executive, implied that Jed was not committed to positive change (which I believe was code language for "Aw shucks, I still can't get a job in the NFL").

Well, is time to eat some crow. After all was said and done on Friday afternoon, Jed got the coach he the price he wanted...with the GM he picked.

As it turns out, Jed wasn't cheap, he wasn't a coward, and he hadn't set himself up to fail. He had a plan, he picked the GM he thought would best execute that plan, and then he set that plan in motion. For the first time in recent memory, the 49ers called their shot and came through. For at least a day, the beleaguered populace of 49erland had something to cheer about. For the first time all season, the 49ers had accomplished that which they had set out to achieve.

Does this mean that all is right with the 49ers? Has everything been magically put right? No. Not yet, anyway. There is no telling what will happen with this team until it hits the field next season. I believe that Harbaugh and his offense are perfect for this team (the 2nd half of the Orange Bowl was basically an interview for an NFL head coaching gig), but with a lockout looming, uncertainty at quarterback, and a free agent market that is for all intents and purposes "up in the air", there is still much to be accomplished before the 49ers regain relevance on the field.

What this means is that for one day, things went exactly as the 49ers wanted them to. And regardless of how you feel about Jed York, for today at least, he deserves credit for calling his shot and hitting it out of the park.
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.


  • mary cobian
    good job 2011 jed i see us in the playoffs in 2011
    Jan 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM
  • Niner_Noe
    Yep, I agree 100%.. Jeddie deserves an apology from me too. The other thing for us fans to remember is that it will take time to pull us out of the cellar, but at least we are headed in the right direction. My hope has been restored.
    Jan 8, 2011 at 10:23 AM
    Response: Let's hope it doesn't take too much time...the goodwill from this hire will likely last the off season and the first half of next year.
  • Al
    Jed York has been working hard and smart since day one on the Stadium project. But Jed has two problems. He's following John York, who followed Eddie DeBartolo Jr. The same problem Steve Young had, following Joe Montana. Do you remember Steve Young throwing the monkey off his back after winning his first Super Bowl? Well, hopefully Jed (DeBartolo) York threw the monkey off his back yesterday!
    Jan 8, 2011 at 9:14 AM
    Response: I hear ya, Al. Jed was overdue for a win, and he got one. He has a lot more winning to do before this team becomes a perennial competitor, though, so let's hope yesterday was a sign of things to come.
  • Rjberryx
    Thanks for this article. Jed is progressing. Lost in all of this - almost - is that the team does not now appear to be overspending the way some believe his uncle was doing. Time will tell whether Jed is meeting his investment objectives - so much might be out of his direct control (player performance, stadium financing, etc.) but his latest investment outlays have been more measured and thoughtful. And securing Harbaugh for $5M rather than $8 might be evidence of this new trend in fiscal responsibility. The CBA will be interesting, especially if it helps reign in outrageous owner spending on rookies and head coaches in the NFL.
    Jan 8, 2011 at 8:34 AM
    Response: You're welcome...glad you liked the read. The CBA will be very interesting indeed...especially as it pertains to a new rookie salary cap and the upcoming free agent market. Like you, I get the feeling that in addition to wanting to build a winner, Jed is making smart business decisions.
  • STL Niner Fan
    I just want to say that I'm as excited this morning as I've been in a long time for this franchise. I have no idea how good Harbaugh is going to be and frankly its going to be pretty hard to live up to the unbelievable amount of hype surrounding his hire. However, If Harbaugh would have went to MIA Jed York would have been eaten alive by the local press and fan base because of his "money would be no object" statement in regards to hiring a new GM/HC. So if MIA swoops in and throws money at Harbaugh and he accepted the MIA job then Jed York would have seemed like a cheap fool who didn't stand behind his word. As it stands now, SF looks like they played it perfectly. They got their guy and didn't break the bank in doing so. However, they ran an awful risk in the process. It's possible that all along they knew something we didn't but hard to say. I'm also not sure spening $7 MIL for a unproven HC makes any sense either. So I guess what I'm saying is I'm happy everything has worked out for SF the way Jed York hoped it would turn out. Your right, its been awhile since we've been able to execute a plan to perfection. Now they just have to go out and get results.
    Jan 8, 2011 at 8:28 AM
    Response: I get the impression that Jed and Trent really did their homework here. From what I was able to gather from Harbaugh's comments during the press conference, this job is about a lot more than money, and I get the feeling that Jed knew that...which is why he didn't get pulled into an over-the-top bidding war. Hopefully this is the first of many well played gambits by our front office.
  • charlie
    Jan 8, 2011 at 7:50 AM
    Response: It will be quite a hike, Charlie, but if its anything like the journey Stanford has made over the past few years, it should be a lot of fun to watch.

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