Magazine Profile Reveals A Young But Wise Jed York

Glenn Franco Simmons@fotodifrancoAnalyst IAugust 2, 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)

In an excellent profile in Haute Living Magazine, writer Stephanie Wilson reveals a side of Jed York that 49ers fans are anxious to learn about.

It couldn't have come at a more opportune time in the team's history.

After nearly a decade of mediocre teams, it is time to move on, close ranks and look to the future.

This outlook was reinforced when I was reading the team's website today and found this teaser to Wilson's well-written profile:

“I am here by six every morning and stay until late at night,” {York} states, “because it’s not my team. It’s not my family’s team. It’s our fans’ team. Because if they are not supporting us, if they don’t believe in what we are doing, then our team doesn’t exist."

That quote confirms what Eddie DeBartolo Jr., York's uncle, said about the team's new owner/president.

When DeBartolo voiced his confidence in York, that was good enough for me, as I've said, and I joined the Jed York bandwagon.

After reading Wilson's fine story, my trust in DeBartolo was well placed.

Jed York gets it.

And that is key.

York sure sounds a lot like his uncle in the late 1970s.

After all, DeBartolo definitely understood the players, most of whom loved playing for him.

He also loved the fans, as he was one himself.

The fans loved him, and most still do.

Although I do not know either gentleman personally, from a fan's standpoint, I can see a bit of Eddie D. in Jed.

I see intelligence. I also see a commitment to excellence, and a steadfastness to see this through to the end, which will hopefully be a restoration of a period of success.

Before Eddie was incredibly successful, the 49ers Faithful, who had not abandoned the team during the down years, looked upon him with anticipation, a bit of skepticism, but with a great deal of hope.

Kind of similar with Jed.

And, as with Eddie D., skepticism will fade with success.

Eddie D. was not only successful, but he was the most successful NFL owner in history.

Although Pittsburgh has won six Lombardi Trophiesunder one family's ownership, DeBartolo is the only single NFL owner whose team has won five Super Bowls under his or her tenure.

Matching that achievement may be unlikely in this age of the salary cap, but do not underestimate York.

Wilson's story shows this young man has what it takes:

"Jed York was born for this role. At only 28 years old, he is the owner and president of one of the most storied and celebrated football franchises in all of the NFL.

"While that story may have been a little bruised and beaten throughout the course of the last decade, it once was a tale of greatness, one of honor and class, valor and victory. And it is this young man’s destiny to get the story—and the team—back on track.

"There are two main characters in this narrative: The players and the fans. Without both, the 49ers could not exist, so in Jed York’s mind, both have to be treated with equal importance. His job is a delicate balancing act."

So far, advantage to York.

He has illustrated he completely understands the team's history, the players, the fans, and the fans' frustration.

Wilson also points out one factor about York that I believe has led to an unfair judgment—one that I am not proud to admit I made because it embarrassingly reveals a prejudice on my part.

"While it is easy to focus on the baby-faced York’s relative youth, take into consideration that he also has 28 years of experience with the 49ers."

York has the double whammy of being young and being a young-looking 28-year-old.

Those factors have unfairly intensified fans', wrters' and commentators' criticisms of him, with many pointing out his age.

I include myself as one of those wayward critics.

If you are still among the cynical, which is understandable to an extent given the team's difficulties this decade, perhaps Wilson's story will change your mind:

"Jed grew up in football stadiums, both in the owner’s box and in the front office. While traveling around the country with his grandfather to cheer on the team, he had full knowledge that one day he would be the one calling the shots.

"'As a little kid, I always wanted to carry on my grandfather’s legacy. This is obviously a piece of that legacy: making sure that we return the 49ers to the prominent level that my uncle brought them to in the ’80s and ’90s.'"

Upon reading Wilson's excellent profile, I am even more buoyed by York's maturity, regardless of his good, young looks.

The gentleman is intelligent, football is second-nature to him, he is a fan first, and he has worked his tail off to get a new stadium.

He's paid his dues. Now let's reward him with our support.

If you want to learn more about York, read Wilson's lengthy but fascinating article.


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