Be Still My Beating Heart

Sure, this is speculation, but regardless of whether this story is true or not, there are drastic changes ahead for the 49ers. Scott Ostler, resident Chronicle sports writer and smarm-master extraordinaire, is putting out there that the Yorks have reached their limit in taking shit for running the San Francisco 49ers badly, and are quietly looking to sell the team. He points to the fact that chief negotiator Paraag Marathe has been moved out of the VP of football operations role to focus solely on selling the team (yay!).

Of course theres no way to know if this is true or not, but there have been some big-name suitors looking to buy, including Larry Ellison, and a group headed by Brent Jones/Steve Young. Shit, you can’t swing a dead cat around these parts without hitting a billionaire or three. Ellison though is desperate to get into the owners club, having been thwarted in his attempt to buy the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and the New Orleans Pelicans a few years ago. He also tried to start a new NFL franchise in LA. All for naught. The Oracle of Redwood Shores  also took potshots at the Yorks back in 2004 for their building of a 1-11 team.

“That victory spoiled what could have been a perfect season,” Ellison said sarcastically. “Clearly, it’s the worst team in football. Unfortunately, it’s not a publicly held company, so you can’t vote (the Yorks) out of there.”

Here we are 11 years later, and maybe Scott is right. The Yorks are tired of hiding from everyone, and catching a ton of heat for ruining a once-proud franchise as they stumble and bumble their way to another lost season.

It is but to dream.

I posted the article below. It is behind the subscription firewall.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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9 Responses to Be Still My Beating Heart

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Funny, some people would miss the Yorks ownership. Laughable.

    The Yorks haven’t reached the absolute crapitude of the Chris Cohan-led Warriors, but 5 winning seasons since the ouster of Eddie 16 seasons ago is surely the right track.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    Ahh, it’s behind the firewall. Here’s the article:

    You’ve had it up to your eyebrows with the York-DeBartolo family, haven’t you, 49ers fans? Especially with Jed York, who has run your favorite toy into the ground and seems to have it headed straight to China.

    Great. But did you ever think about how Jed and his parents might feel about you ?
    BY SCOTT OSTLER

    Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr finishes speaking to the media during the final press conference of the season at their practice facility in Oakland, Calif. on Thurs. June 18, 2015. Warriors’ streak offers lessons aplenty NBA legend Jerry West, Los Angeles Dodgers is among a bevy of major sports figures who have accused a celebrity investment adviser of gouging them for more than $3 million in excessive commissions on bond trades. Streaking Warriors recalling ’71-72 Lakers Turkeys? We’ve got plenty of ’em in the Bay Area sports scene
    The family righted the 49ers’ ship after an awkward ownership turnover caused by former owner Eddie DeBartolo’s clumsy mistake. The Yorks found a way to fund a new stadium. On Jed’s watch, the 49ers returned to their former glory for a brilliant three-season run.

    The family’s thank you? You harass and belittle the Yorks, especially Jed, in every public forum, sometimes to his face. You get personal, mocking Jed’s inherited wealth and elitist cluelessness.

    That’s got to be a bummer for Jed, who did only what most of us do: We take whatever our parents give us, in money and character, and run with it. Had my parents given me a football team, I would have accepted it.

    And as much as Jed might be reeling from the assault, imagine his mother.

    So: Everyone’s unhappy! Fortunately, there might be a way out of this mess.

    It is often said that Denise DeBartolo York, the actual owner of the team, would never sell her 49ers. An NFL team is a money tree on steroids, and this one provides Denise’s oldest child a great opportunity and challenge.

    But let’s take a fresh look, using logic and conjecture to connect some dots. (Denise DeBartolo York, John York and Jed York were invited by The Chronicle, through the team PR department, to respond to or comment on this story, and did not do so.)

    First, Denise DeBartolo York had the 49ers dumped in her lap after a misstep by her brother. Eddie DeBartolo had to surrender the 49ers to his sister after being convicted of a felony related to his attempt to bribe his way into the riverboat-gambling business in Louisiana. Denise had — and has — zero interest in the fame and limelight of NFL team ownership. She and husband John York live in Youngstown, Ohio, for crying out loud.

    John was the 49ers’ CEO for a while, and quickly became an object of ridicule. So Denise and John came up with a plan: Turn over the team to young Jed, who was not yet 30. Let Jed’s good friend and confidant, Paraag Marathe, a very bright lad with degrees from Cal and Stanford (and some toughness), run the team and take the inevitable abuse from fans and media. Jed would do ceremonial stuff and work quietly on a new stadium.

    Whoops! That plan blew up after the 49ers — Jed and Marathe — hired Jim Harbaugh. When the team started winning, Jed was tempted to step into the limelight a bit. Why not take a bow, on behalf of the family, for reviving the 49ers and building them a new home?

    Then Harbaugh morphed into a monster and a bully, unable to work and play well with anybody. In this desperate situation, questionable decisions were made by Jed, Marathe and general manager Trent Baalke. The stadium was nice, but not flawless.

    The team sank. Oh, the braying from angry fans and pitiless critics!

    Eddie DeBartolo surely warned his nephew of the perils of team leadership. A young Eddie D took a terrible beating from those fans and media before he hired Bill Walsh. Jed surely knew of the crazy passions of fans, but the volume of hate had to come as a shock.

    Now, let’s jump into Denise’s shoes. You’re a loving mom. You knew your son’s qualifications for the CEO job were a bit light, but he worked hard in college, trained in the finance world, and he’s a diligent and earnest young man with a nice family of his own. Now he’s a public piñata.

    What does a mother do? A mother takes action. Here are two realistic scenarios:

    •A complete restructuring of the team. The family probably would like to retain the current structure for one more season, to give the current people, including head coach Jim Tomsula, a chance to fix what’s broken. But if the spiral continues — and Sunday’s brutal loss didn’t help — you blow it all up after this season.

    The Yorks could bring in a new president to run the show, an outsider or maybe Marathe. Baalke goes, replaced by a new head of football ops (think: Mike Holmgren), who hires a new GM. Jed moves out of the day-to-day operations and into a side role, or into his own business.

    •Sell the 49ers. Larry Ellison once had interest in buying the team and was told no, but it was a gentle no, with the door left ajar.

    The selling price would be sky-high, well above apparent market value, but Ellison, I’m told, could scare up the loot. He was crushed when he lost on the bidding for the Warriors. He wants into the owners’ club.

    If the Yorks are considering a sale, they don’t want word to leak. Why let the naysayers begin to celebrate while you’re still the owners?

    A sale-in-the-planning logically would explain the move of Marathe, from his job as team president into a vaguely explained reassignment. The recent shuffle was labeled by some observers as a demotion, but that’s unlikely, considering the strong affection and respect John, Denise and Jed have for Marathe.

    There is media speculation that the move is partly because of friction between Marathe and players/agents in contract negotiations. However, the 49ers say Marathe will remain the team’s lead contract negotiator.

    A more logical explanation for Marathe being replaced as president by Al Guido — whose corporate credentials are not nearly as shiny as Marathe’s — is that Marathe now can jump into the hard, full-time labor of selling the team. An army of accountants and tax lawyers would be involved, and the Yorks need someone bright and trusted to ride herd on that army.

    This much you can count on: Mother Bear isn’t going to mope hopelessly around her cave in Youngstown while her oldest cub is under attack from a mob of fans on the uncivilized Barbary Coast.

    One way or another, big change is in the wind.

    Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: sostler@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @scottostler

  3. Nipper says:

    Okay…..The Niners suck …..I get it. The Yorks either sell or change the leadership or continue to be vilified in the the media……the choice is theirs. If I were them I would get out while the getting is good. Who needs the constant crap that comes with a sports enterprise?

  4. unca_chuck says:

    The getting will always be good. For them. That’s part of the problem. Shitty ownership has steered the AZ cards to shitsville for 70 years. They’ve only now smelled some success.

    • Nipper says:

      I’m too old to wait 70 years! A three year plan seems better. Perhaps five. After that I would be an impatient owner.

  5. Winder says:

    Didn’t they take away some of Ellison’s trophy’s from his yacht racing?

  6. Nipper says:

    I don’t give advice to billionaires. They don’t need it. The only advice I give to myself ……do not spend one nickel on this product. I will not pay for parking, tickets or ballpark food or jerseys with a player’s name on the back. No sir! Let someone else pay for this pig-in-a-poke. GO NINERS!

  7. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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