Why the 49ers' Jed York Has Earned San Francisco's Support

Glenn Franco SimmonsAnalyst IJuly 10, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 19:  (L-R) Jed York, Denise DeBartolo York and Eddie DeBartolo look on during a ceremony held in Jerry Rice's honor during half time of the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Monster Park on November 19, 2006 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

When I first heard Jed York was taking over the reins of the 49ers, I was skeptical.

After some consideration, I recently wrote a mea culpa column and called myself and other San Francisco critics spoiled brats for not giving York a chance.

What I didn't say is what led to my frustration.

My frustration with the 49ers is not solely related to the team's performance for most of this decade.

Rather, it dates back to Kezar Stadium and a new Candlestick Park.

Deep within me is that sense of bitter defeat when we lost three consecutive playoff games.

It is not an understatement to say the losses were calamitous.

The playoff-caused implosion lasted for the rest of the 1970s and explains why the 1981-82 Super Bowl season was so cathartic.

The team's descent into laughingstock oblivion was stopped when the NFL's odd couple of Eddie De Bartolo Jr. and Bill Walsh took over the team.

Although success was not immediate, you knew these two guys were building something good.

When I read what York says and the direction he is taking the team, I have that same feeling.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News wrote an excellent column about York.

I will not ruin her column for you, but York said this about his uncle's endorsement of him:

"It certainly helps. I think he's the best owner there's ever been in professional football, maybe professional sports. So to have the blessing of an idol, whether he's my uncle or not, is important."

I agree.

Although my Dad died only several weeks before Pittsburgh won its sixth Lombardi, many sports analysts miss the fact that De Bartolo is the only single owner to have won five.

(Sorry, Steelers fans, but you won six with different Rooney family members running the organization.)

Critics like me owe Jed York an apology.

With Santa Clara to be the probable future home of a new stadium, York has handled himself with class.

I'm looking forward to the future.

It will not be easy, but if anyone can restore the 49ers to greatness, perhaps York can.

Go 'Niners!

Here is the link to Killion's article, which I suggest you read.