John and Jed York Fiddle As Franchise Burns

John and Jed York: hapless losers

Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2008

The great thing about our democracy is that we get to elect our leadership every two, four or six years, depending on the office. Unfortunately, democracy doesn’t extend to professional sports. Thus, 49ers fans are stuck with the fumbling leadership of John and Jed York, the two bumbling yahoos from Youngstown, Ohio, who have the money, but not the brains to run the once shining professional sports franchise called the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles came to town and ate the team’s lunch on Sunday. As John Crumpacker wrote in the Chronicle: “It was nothing short of a team-wide collapse starring offense, defense and, not to be left out, special teams.”

Coach Mike Nolan noted after the loss: “I’m concerned. Last year we were strong on defense, now it’s a reverse trend. We’re exchanging one problem for another.”

The quote sums up the entire York family regime and their management since they took over ownership: they simply exchange one problem for another. For all their money, this family couldn’t buy a solution (or a good day) if they knew where to find it.

Let’s look at their front office exchanges that went from bad to worse:

Steve Mariucci for Dennis Erickson

Dennis Erickson for Mike Nolan

Jim Hostler for Mike Martz (Although Martz is an improvement, he’s not the solution to the team’s problems)

They hired Peter Harris as team president and replaced him with nothing (of course they saved money, which is part of the family’s cheapness problem)

Terry Donahue for Lal Hannigan

And, here are a few inexplicable hirings that weren’t exchanges of one problem for another, but the York family simply created their own problems:

Paraag Marathe: he is one of the reasons the team is suffering over the past few seasons. He has no NFL experience, yet the York family hired him as their director of football operations. Thank god the York family isn’t running a hospital…anybody could walk through the door and become a physician. He replaced a real professional, Dominic Corsell, who was a positive, guiding light for the team. The York family let him go because his salary was too high.

Aaron Salkin is the director of the team’s public relations. That is like making John McCain the greeter at your casino. It says you want to fail at what you are trying to accomplish.

Lisa Lang is the team’s communications director. Another ‘genius’ hire by John and Jed York. Lang is so out of her element in the NFL that she makes Sarah Palin look like a decent choice as a running mate.

Larry MacNeil is the team’s vice president and CFO. Previously, he was in real estate development. He’s sure done a bang up job getting a stadium for the York family.

We have made our point: the York family is as incompetent as their own front office. But are they also unlucky? Are they cursed?

So, fans, this is where we stand today: we are stuck with the York family because we can’t un-elect them from NFL ownership. The York family has every right to drive the team into the ground and ruin everyone’s Sundays–the players, the fans, the press. They also have the ability to move the team to another location…say from San Francisco to Santa Clara to ????. Apparently, things are going so badly for them in Santa Clara, that Forbes Magazine has said they are likely to move from Santa Clara to somewhere else.

The only option we have for redemption is to pray to the NFL Gods. So, repeat after me: “Oh, great and mighty maker of our Sundays, I beseech thy…Roger Goodell, please save us from the York family and their self-inflicted misery. Oh Roger, who art in New York. Hallowed be thy Name. Thy NFL kingdom come…

Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past eleven years. Pat scribes an offbeat opinion column of the human family. Email Pat Murphy at





Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Sign up for our Email Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust

Comments are closed.