Brian Baldinger writes that owner John York has driven the San Francisco 49ers into the ground:
Near the end of my playing career, the 49ers flew me to San Francisco for a physical. This was in 1994, when the 49ers were a powerhouse and every player in the league would have loved to wear the red and gold.
I remember walking into their practice facility in Santa Clara. There were the Vince Lombardi trophies. There were lockers belonging to Steve Young and Jerry Rice. There was Bill Walsh on the practice field, no longer a head coach, but still The Man in the model organization in the NFL. I felt like I was on hallowed ground.
I felt much different when I visited the 49ers last week. From the fading “SF” on the awning atop the entrance to the practice facility to the absence of star players to the presence of a head coach who isn’t wanted, it’s a whole new atmosphere — an atmosphere of defeat, despair and hopelessness.
Baldinger suggests that York finds the next Bill Walsh to run their team; Larry Beil goes one better: “Other NFL owners have encouraged York to sell the team, but he refuses”.
An NFL team is the most elite franchise in the world to own, and if some of the other 31 members of the club are suggesting that you sell, you know you’re really doing an awful job. Take their advice John.