Jed York's Championship Culture Starts With a Group Text
If you’ve ever seen Band of Brothers, you may remember the episode ‘Crossroads’, where then-Captain Dick Winters is leading a platoon of Easy Company men against a full battalion of SS. Winters plans a dawn attack, and then tells the platoon to wait for his signal. He sprints across an open field, totally exposing himself to enemy fire. His platoon waits for his signal, and then come running to fight at his side.
During the interviews with the men of Easy Company, Staff Sergeant Darrell ‘Shifty’ Powers said this when describing Winters:
He went right in there, and… he never thought of not being first, or sending somebody in his place. I don’t know how he survived. But he did. (Source)
Comparing football to war is insulting. Yes, I got it. It’s an analogy, so just bask in my genius and go with it for a moment. Football, like any sport, needs leaders on and off the field. A team needs someone, or a few someones, to recognize adversity, and then shout ‘Follow me!’, even if the leader has no idea if the outcome will be successful.
Come with me now was we review the leadership of the San Francisco 49ers, and how Jed York is building a championship culture.
From yesterday’s announcement to fire Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly: Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary. - Jed York(Source)
And from today’s press conference: I own this football team. You don’t dismiss owners. I’m sorry that that’s the fact and that’s the case, but that’s the fact. - Jed York
Let’s put aside the fact that his parents actually own the team, so we can play Jed's game a bit more. There are bits of truth to not dismissing owners. But owners are the leaders. And that means owners take responsibility, right?
I don’t make football decisions. Jed York. (Source)
Hang on. You’ve fired three coached and a general manager in the last three years. Your name is attached to yesterday's decision to make changes to football leadership for the 49ers. You’re the one behind the lectern today answering questions. But you don’t make football decisions? What exactly do you do each day, Jed?
My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Source)
That’s being a leader, Jed. You’ve not once been sincere in taking a shred of blame during this Era of Dark Feelings. We’re not stupid, Jed. We can tell the difference between a leader and an actor. We can sniff the wind and tell if someone’s just playing the part for the camera, or if the person truly has the fortitude to lead.
You’re not a leader and you’re not an actor, Jed. You’re not the one tending the light at the end of the tunnel, so stop acting like you are. Rather, you’re a spoiled kid who refuses to take any blame.
Old 49ers - Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Jerry Rice - would bathe in Hell’s frozen lakes and dodge the jaws of Satan himself if Eddie DeBartolo asked them.
There isn’t a single 49er today who would follow Jed York to a warm Hawaiian beach for tasty waves and a cool buzz. While Jed's lost the trust of 49ers fans, more importantly he's lost the trust of his players and probably a lot of potential coaches.
And how'd he do that? According to Cam Inman:
Jed York informed players via text last night of Chip Kelly's firing. (Source)
Ah yes, friends. The man who doesn’t make football decisions informed his team of a firing via group text.
That’s Jed York's version of the In Case of Failure letter. Welcome to the championship culture, and the 2017 football season.