The Ballad of Young Lord York

Watching the 49ers again this weekend, my anger towards one Jed York flared.  Let’s be honest, I watched 3 straight 3 and out drives and bailed on the game for the Red Zone.  What a horrible team.  Under talented (Exhibit A right Tackle), under-performing (Exhibit B – the defensive line giving up 200 yards to an undrafted Rookie) and under coached (Exhibits C & D – let’s punt, that must be the winning strategy! Let’s take the field goal that will cut the deficit from 16 to 13 with 5 minutes left!).

In all honesty, I’m sure even Tomsula knows he’s over his head.  Do you believe his parents, high school acquaintances, and Facebook stalkers don’t tell him daily?  Every radio host does.  Local AND national sports announcers.  And, when the only way to win is to score touchdowns and take chances, he punts, conceding the game.  It doesn’t matter what he says, even he knows he was waving a white flag.  I imagine his inner monologue goes something like this:

Down by 16 we need 2 touchdowns and 2 2-point conversions.

I know those are long odds and its 4th and goal from the 3.  We can’t run for shit and receivers aren’t helping things.

If we try and fail, people will call for our heads

We can’t make it.

If we kick a field goal our point total will improve.  It is better than the 17-3 beating we took from Green Bay

I’m sure I’m being judged on improvement. Cutting the deficit is improvement.

Field GOAL!

I’m sure the logic behind punting was just as ludicrous.  He’s coaching to not lose worse, not to win.  Hell, I could coach to be 3-13 with the talent on the team.  And I wouldn’t have had ALL those “defections,” I mean “retirements.”  I might have kept Willis.  Or Borland. Instead we have Italian family dinners.  I think at this point his family is embarrassed for him.

But enough shitting on Tomsula, let’s call it correctly.  Everything that happens on the field is on Jed.  He wanted Harbaugh gone and made that happen.  Now he has created a culture of ineptitude the likes we may never see again.  Geep Chryst is the second coming of Jimmy Raye.  No one else wanted to work for him.  (Exhibit E – Adam Gase).  Who will want to work here in the future?  Oh yeah, they are already planning on hiring Hugh Jackson or some other in demand coach.  But we know they will turn Jed down.

Tomsula’s coaching is straight from the Jed playbook.  Jed cut Jim Harbaugh and saved $1.5 million.  Since Tomsula is the lowest paid coach in football, I’m assuming he couldn’t pay him less or else he would have. At least Tomsula can afford to buy his folks a nice house if he wants.  Jed’s about saving money.  Picking up 3 points for a field goal is like taking free money.  Don’t pass up the freebies, even if it leads to losing.  That’s Jed, let’s build the bank account and not worry how the fans feel.

And Jed screwed over Kap.  How?  Colin took a bit less so that other players could be signed or brought in.  The 49ers are $13.2 million UNDER the salary cap.  Not even close.  Even I’m not naïve enough to believe they couldn’t have found a significant upgrade for Erik Pears for $5-6 million.  Of course if no one wants to play here, that might explain why NOTHING HAPPENED.  What happened is the long term planning of how to cut Colin and be rid of the last piece of the Harbaugh legacy.

Let’s pretend this is an episode of Law and Order.  I’ll be Briscoe.  “Hey!  We’re out of leads.  Let’s follow the money!”  What a great idea.  Do you realize the 49ers are worth $2.7 Billion.  With a B.  That is a 69% increase from last year.  That’s $1.6 Billion increase in round numbers.  That’s long term income.  Over $1 Billion in added value.  Wow.

But the 49ers also a debt ratio of about 21%, one of the highest in the league so, they have about $570 million of outstanding debt.  So really, net equity on the team is $2.1 Billion or so.  Of course that’s only if they sell.  They could plead poverty.  Nope.

The 49ers made $124 million last year in operating income based on $427 million in revenue.  That’s retaining 29% in profits.   Clearly there are other costs, but they are very, very profitable.  The New York Giants make less and retain less.  Washington is similar with far less debt.  But then no one would say the owner in the capital is one to emulate.  Well, maybe his mother.

Anyway, the 49ers, once a proud, classy organization, make a lot of money.  And they should, as they charge an arm and a leg for anything at their soulless stadium.  The problem is, they want us to believe they are giving us a Nordstrom experience.  They are not. Their product is more accurately compared to the red tag remainders at Walmart.  Or, being generous, a nice Goodwill outlet.  So yet again, we are sold an inferior team.  A magic elixir that is really sugar water.  I recall two words, “championships” and “accountability.”  I don’t see either.  Do you?

So, what can we as fans do?  Clearly, Jed doesn’t care what we think.  Parag has spreadsheets that help him identify how to make more money.  Trent can’t find a free agent worth a darn. (No, Sean Droughn doesn’t count.) Jed sold his licenses, which fans are clamoring to return.  What can we do?

We follow the money.

How much do you think Jed and the league make from sponsorships and advertising deals?  It doesn’t matter because it is HUGE.  Jed is effectively a snake oil salesman that can’t be trusted.  Or he’s incompetent, but I believe his arrogance leads to making continual bad decisions, including surrounding himself with Yes Men.  Snake oil salesman.  Misrepresentation.  Cavalier disregard for his customers.  He holds himself higher than his customers with false promises and backstabbing campaigns.  What does he think he is, a feudal Nobleman a la Henry VIII?  Perhaps we should call him Young Lord York.  And in the Democracy that is the USA, we don’t need royalty.

Young Lord York needs to be seen as the business liability he is.

Hey Pepsi! Do you want to be aligned with Jed?  You are and we think less of you.

SAP, you want us to trust you with our company’s information?  But you are aligned with Young Lord York and we don’t trust him.

Yahoo? Wait, you have your own problems.  Do you really need more?

Intel, you want to be in my PC.  Stick with Jed and I’ll go to Apple.  Boot Jed.  How would Steve Jobs like his legacy of product loyalty and reverence for the customer feel about alignment with such a charlatan?

Toyota, I’m buying Nissan or Honda till you remove your sponsorship.  And yes, I’ve ruled out Lexus.

Brocade, I think I’ll buy Cisco for my company, thank you very much.  You can be reconsidered when you move on.

Levi’s I love your product, but you need to put some pressure on Young Lord York if you want my money or your name on my ass.

Hey Roger Goodell!  We will remind you often that Young Lord York and his feudal crushing of the public’s trust is ruining your brand.  I’m sure Kraft and Jones don’t mind.  But you saw what happened to Donald Sterling.  Abusing the public trust will ultimately make Jed pay a similar price.  It is that history thing, repeating itself. You have an anti-trust exemption.  What’s that worth to you?

So my fellow serfs gather your pitchforks, your torches, your shovels.  Let’s stop tending to Young Lord York’s fields.  He doesn’t care if we tend them or not. Let’s not storm his castle.  Follow the money and make sure his SPONSORS know how we feel.  Perhaps they don’t want to be associated with his “disreputable” practices.  Let’s let them know they are stained and shameful as well.



Extreme Sadness + Outrage Leads to Hate, But Must It?

Every time I turned on the TV or radio last week and heard about the horrific attacks in Paris, I became emotional and teared up.  Each and every time.  Other than the 0.0003% of the world that thinks these actions are justified and needed, I believe the rest of us are saddened and shocked.  And while its clear we decry terrorist actions, so many people choose to take up the cause of hate.  Justified hate in their minds.

Social media has been slammed with reminders that Muslims hate non-Muslims.  Hate mongers see this as their call to action, to remind us that their brand of purification, eliminating the Muslim threat is justified.  Clearly if you see the video “Moderate Muslims Don’t Want You to See!” you will see the foundations of violence.  Allah’s word makes stoning adulterers and gays the right choice, the perfect law.  And outrage and calls to arms resonate and grow in their might.  And I’m saddened.

Yes, I freely acknowledge that the Koran preaches the killing of Jews and other non-Muslims.  Belief in Allah and his words are the only way according to that book.  No, I have no desire to read it.  No I haven’t read the new testament either.  Even if I have the details wrong, I have gist of it.  But 1500 years later do we really believe that all 15 Billion Muslims believe this?  I find that hard to  believe, having known and worked with several.

It is easy to see why the hate mongers feel this way.  But if we as a society ascribe to this, then what fate do we really have other than the mutually assured destruction the Reganites ascribed to?  Is that the world we want?  Clearly some people want that.  I don’t.

The world changes doesn’t it?  I sit here rationally and think to myself, what made sense in a feudal society a millennia ago doesn’t make sense now.  Why can’t we, as a global society, agree to make the world a better peaceful place?  Do we really need stonings, cruelty and racial hate?  Well, actually we do.  Rupert Murdoch and Fox News base their preaching and opinions on hate and violence.  There are no decorations on a coffee cup and the WAR ON CHRISTMAS grows.  Blacks protest the killing of unarmed people who may or may not be guilty of anything more than being black and it’s a sign of the WAR ON POLICE.  In my opinion, they are the gasoline for the fires of hate in the world.

But then I see that video.  I see a few hundred “assimilated” Muslims agreeing that Allah’s word is perfect.  This is regard to stoning gays and adulterers.  Is this true? Is this the majority?  Hassidic Jews keep their men and women separated similarly.  The Torah has passages requiring animal sacrifices.  This practice stopped nearly two thousand years ago.  Perhaps it’s time for mainstream Muslims to officially denounce such punishments and practices.  This is not the feudal Middle East of a 1000 years ago.

Of course this won’t happen.  The US has interests in places like Saudi Arabia where beheadings happen regularly and women and second class citizens.  Is that a Muslim issue or Saudi issue?  Africans often mutilate their women, but we decry that as a Muslim issue.  Is it?  Republicans and Democrats will work to prioritize and protect our oil and monetary interests over human rights.

I see the hate all around me.  I see the seeds of religious righteousness on both sides.  The Muslims with their holy words and the Christians letting me know I’ll go to hell because I am an unbeliever and sinner.  Of course I sin (their word, not mine).  It is more fun.  I’m also a good  person and I choose to believe that world is filled with good people.  People who want to do the right thing, and no that doesn’t extend to knocking on my door to tell me my beliefs are wrong.  You can keep your Watch Tower, tithes and personal messiahs.  I’m good thank you.  You can have your religion, but I’d rather stand for helping he oppressed, helping those whose lives required leaving their homelands.  Yes, those refugees.

So rather than preaching hate, rather than expounding why we need a wall, rather than standing on soapboxes on why we need to eliminate countries and populations, why its important to keep the hidden terrorsits within the refugee community from our shores,  why can’t we take the first step and seek to find how to solve the problems.  Seek to understand before being understood.  Maybe do some long range thinking.  Even if you could eliminate every Muslim – that is what you are thinking, right?—what does that do for OUR world.?  It is not just yours.  It is your kids.  It is your neighbors.  It is mine and my friends’ too.  Do you really want a world full of righteous murderers? Holy Repressors? Morally enabled thought police?  Actually I think you do, but I don’t want that.

Yes, I know it is a very complex world with very complex problems.  I have totally reduced the issues down to manageable, digestible bite sized pieces.  This is my blog, my thoughts, not graduate thesis on world peace.  But enough with the hate. Enough with the xenophobia. Don’t you think it is a counterproductive to your golden rule? I do.

Colin’s Benched, but Really It’s Jed and Trent that Stink.

By now I’m sure you are familiar with my subtle disappointment with 49ers ownership, one Jed York in particular.  I wasn’t the first to notice the clown car that tries to pass for management at the Santa Clara 49ers.  I’m not even the most vocal.

For the last few days, I’ve heard Adam Schein, one of my favorite voices on talk radio call the 49ers “a dumpster fire.”  Today I heard Alex McLorg of refer to team as a puppet monarchy in a radio interview.   I’m not sure those are compliments.  Sports Illustrated named them the 2nd most dysfunctional team in league, WAAAAY ahead of the (rebuilding since 1957) Detroit Lions.    It all seems fairly accurate.  No one is hiding their disdain, disappointment and nausea over management’s role in trashing a once proud franchise.

Kate Scott on KNBR quipped that she was rethinking being a fan of the team.  Only Jed York and Trent Baalke can be surprised how far the team has fallen and the amount of anger the fans have for them.  I personally feel dirty about being a fan of a company that is so poorly run and so seriously disingenuous.

Last year was a whisper campaign about how bad Jim Harbaugh was.  He got results, but once the owner and GM began undermining him and it is very clear they did, what reason did the team have to perform?  If the owner wasn’t going to support the head coach, why should the team.  Dysfunction resonates and results fall into the chamber pot.

But, then the team had given our QB Colin a new team friendly contract and allegedly agreed to use some of the discount to sign new players and keep old ones from leaving via free agency.  Reggie Bush. Don’t make me laugh.  Another non-truth to hide what was really going on.

From where I sit, I see there were two major agenda items carved in stone last year in Santa Clara.

  • Distance the 49ers from Harbaugh
  • Make money

They are making money.  With a line as bad as SF’s does it surprise you that they are near the top of the league in terms of being under the salary cap?  Me neither. It was clear they didn’t spend it on the line.

And the first item has had serious repercussions.  Yes, Jim’s gone.  But do you think the smear campaign went unnoticed?  It didn’t.  When you look at ALL the departures via retirement and free agency, you must conclude that some of those men chose to leave rather than work for Baalke and York.  All of them? Probably not.  But people are not sheep, they are not stupid.  They see disloyalty and they have the choice to do other things.  For the record, I will not be surprised when Willis, Borland, or Anthony Davis unretire in a year or two so they can play for an organization and owner with integrity.

Which brings us to today.  Colin Kaepernick was benched for Blaine Gabbert.  Not only is Gabbert not a starting QB, he might be THE WORST BACKUP in the NFL.  That’s inspiring.  It is clear that Colin is the last major reminder of Jim Harbaugh.  His revolving annual contract foreshadowed what’s about to happen.  I’m not going to say Kaepernick has played well he hasn’t.  But I’m assigning the blame 60/40 on management.  No line.  No Plan other than ruination.  The QB coach hosted a radio show last year.
The offensive coordinator has dumbed down the offense so much that it sapped the drive from the team and eliminated the chance for offensive success.  That safety last week?  Inspired play calling.  3 straight telegraphed runs, each netting -1 yard.  I saw it coming on first down.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they told Colin “DO NOT THROW UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.”   I think that may be part of the reason he missed an uncovered WR.  If he can’t throw, he’s disheartened, he makes a mistake.  Bad Coaching.  Do you think defenses are playing the 49ers harder because they have less to defend?  That it is easier to see what is coming?  I do. The coaching stinks worse than my compost bin.

The organization worked hard to make sure that Colin failed this year.  Mission accomplished.  Personally, I hope he moves on, gets the solid coaching and support he needs  to fulfill his potential.  I am disappointed at all that has gone in the name of eradicating all parts of the Harbaugh legacy from the 49ers.  For the record, since the Yorks took the team over, the only highlights, however brief, came from Jim Harbaugh’s direction.  Exactly.

So Jed and Trent, two things.  Trade Colin someplace he can succeed.  That will save you some money.  You’ll need it.  You may have sold lots of corporate licenses, but the real fans give their tickets away.  In a few years, the stadium will be lucky to be half full. Me? I’m going to make sure that I don’t buy anything that has a chance of putting money in your pocket. No games. No jerseys. No gifts for my boys.  Bluntly, I think you are the football equivalent of the mean girls from High School.  Mommy’s money and your golden dome diploma won’t change who you are.  It is not pretty.

The 49ers were the joy of the Bay Area for decades. Your uncle helped them become great, the envy of the NFL, with one of the best fan bases.  You pissed on that history and created a festering mess that will stink for decades.  That’s your legacy.  Or will you pin this all on Baalke next year?