Even if you don’t appreciate what you’re about to read, remember that I’m attempting to provide a service.
There’s nothing worse than getting one’s hopes up, only to have them dashed hours, days or weeks later. This is true in just about every part of life, from asking someone on a date to going on a job interview.
It’s also true in the world of sports. There are those who believe that ending your season in heartbreaking fashion with a close loss in a playoff game is better than not making it to the postseason at all.
Those people are idiots.
Not a single 49ers fan has benefitted from obsessing over the failings of Kyle Williams or fade passes to the corner of the end zone, just to provide a couple of painful examples. And it’s in that spirit where I’ll try to pump the brakes on this whole Jason La Canfora dream scenario, where Denise and John York strip Jed of his football powers and hand the reigns to a guy like Mike Shanahan.
I’ve had a day to digest his reportage, and sure, a logical person can easily imagine how the Yorks might look at what the Jedster has done and wish to make a change. If I was an old rich person and my son was a petulant tool who chased away the franchise’s best coach since Bill Walsh, I’d send him to his cabana with no supper and tell him to figure out a new line of work.
“How about sailing, son? Maybe you can hook up with Larry Ellison and zoom around the bay in a catamaran. Or become a dogwalker! You’d be good at that. No matter what you choose, you can still come to the games and eat and drink as much as you like in one of our posh suites. You just don’t get to pick the GM, coach and players anymore.”
But the Yorks have shown no desire to put football above family (or their profit margin). We also have several reasons to question the veracity of any report from Mr. La Canfora.
Disclaimer: La Canfora’s job isn’t easy. I’ve broken a half dozen or so stories over the last five years. They’ve all turned out to be true, but each one materialized within hours of my “scoops” being published on this website. I’ve had a chance to break a few other bits of local news, but I’m cautious about this stuff (translation: I don’t want to end up being wrong and hear about it from Twitter eggs for years). I’m also under far less pressure than La Canfora, whose job is to be an educated speculator on all NFL matters. And, as we all know in this crazy world where clicks matter more than facts, the juicier his educated speculation, the better. Throw in the fact that he’s competing against two absolute giants in Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter, as well as Ian Rapoport, Albert Breer, Chris Mortensen, Mike Silver, Jason Cole, Jim Trotter, Mike Florio and others, along with editors wanting La Canfora to produce scoops on a weekly (if not daily) basis, and it’s not difficult to see how an “insider” might run with something that’s a little less than airtight from time to time.
Yet, when a guy reports something that propels a battered, desperate group known as 49ers fans into a state of cautious optimism — which is clearly irrational considering how much this ownership group has punished the fans over and over again with poor decisions built on equal parts greed and arrogance — well, we have to look at past reports from JLC and see if we should grab a grain of salt or two. It’s the only responsible thing to do..
From a La Canfora story published on Dec. 7, 2014:
While many are connecting Harbaugh to the opening at Michigan, where he was a star quarterback, sources close to the coach maintain he is not interested. Harbaugh’s family has close ties to outgoing Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Harbaugh is much more interested in NFL possibilities.
I’ll staunchly believe Jim Harbaugh is staying in the NFL, and most likely with Oakland, until he’s gone. But, well, I doubt he leaves
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 20, 2014
To be clear, Kaepernick/49ers relationship has been over for weeks. As reported at the time of his benching, he would not be back in 2016
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 21, 2015
Harbaugh ended up in Michigan, and Kaepernick is still the starting quarterback for the 49ers. So when La Canfora goes on KNBR and says this:
“They would ostensibly hire someone to actually run the football operations on a day-to-day basis. There would be someone there, whether it’s Mike Shanahan or whomever, who may then themselves decide I should be the coach and executive vice president of football operations. But at the very least, there would be someone, a football man, atop the entire personnel pyramid, who would essentially be sort of a team president/head of football ops, who would be making the day-to-day decisions on the way things operate.”
“Jed would be out, he would be out. He wouldn’t be involved in football operations. I mean you can get cute with titles. You can do whatever you think you have to do. But the premise would be, the top of the pyramid would be this person they bring in, to effectively be running the football operation.”
We probably shouldn’t ignore this report from Pro Football Talk (as much as some of us would like to).
According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, none of those things will be happening. Jed York won’t be leaving the football operation, his parents (Denise DeBartolo York and Dr. John York) won’t be replacing him, and the team won’t be hiring Mike Shanahan in any capacity.
Not may be or could be or possibly will be or any of the other weasel words that will litter so many reports of comings and goings over the next few weeks. Will not be, period.
As the source explained it, the CBS report likely originated from an effort by Shanahan to get his name in circulation as the offseason carousel begins to spin. He has made no secret of his desire to get back in the NFL, but to date he has found no takers.
Granted, La Canfora and Florio have quarreled in the past. La Canfora also doesn’t appear to like Rapoport.
@RapSheet keep my name off your lips. Always. Remember this. I know you will
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 27, 2016
Again, it’s a pressure-packed job. La Canfora has gotten some things correct throughout his career, but to think that Denise and John would do EXACTLY what fans have been clamoring to see ever since Harbaugh departed and move Jed out of football ops (essentially admitting that they never should’ve fired Harbaugh in the first place), is to ignore 17 years of the Yorks not even hinting that they give a rat’s ass what the fans want.
Wasn't it La Canfora who broke the Kaepernick "opt out" story the morning of the Chicago Bears game which proved to be totally false? Of all the NFL "insider" guys I think he is the absolute worst of the bunch..
49er fans haven't figured out that the York's put profit over winning. Jedster is the incompetent figurehead while Mommy and Daddy give him the allowance to play with.
The Rams have fired Fisher, before the season ends and shortly after extending his contract. Certainly it's up there on the weirdness scale to sack the guy you just gave a new contract, but it still pales in comparison to the niners dysfunction.
Say lil Jed had fired Chip after that come-from-ahead loss to NYJ; no one outside the bay area would've been particularly surprised since the team is literally setting records for badness and rumors have been flying around for a while. But since the York Piggybank is still paying for the last bad coaching decision by the York-Baalke regime, followers (I hesitate to say "fans" at this point) of the whole sorry mess mostly figure Chip is staying until he wants to leave or until the Tomsulery tab is paid off.
It's not so different with Baalke, except the currency is some strange codependency between lil Jed and Trader Trent rather than a contract payoff to go away. So while logic, media reports, rumor, track record, even just common sense, would indicate Baalke should be canned, should have already been canned, really, that's simply not how things work around the York corridors of power.
It's all guesswork, really, but if I had to bet it I'd say 60:40 that both GM & HC are still here, or both are gone after the season. I don't think lil Jed will get rid of only 1 of them, and I don't think he'll make a move before the last game of the season.
And if both are still here next season, then I think it's not even a question of hopes being "up", it's whether to have any at all.
@coredump I say go all-in on Chip Kelly.
Give him 2 more seasons to build a competitive team. Fire Trent, promote Tom Gamble (who is basically Kelly's executive assistant ). You can't eat all that Chip Kelly money after only one season. And you can't throw new coaches at the players every frikkin' year.
If it turns out Chip isn't the answer, at least you gave it 3 seasons and this team won't be good next year anyway.
@Slam @coredump I agree. But then I'm in favor of any scenario where Baalke is gone; he may be a good scout and, under different ownership, even a good GM (though you couldn't prove it by the niners results), BUT either way it's time to move on from Trader Trent and try something new.
But I also think it's far from a sure thing that lil Jed feels the same way. Any reasonable person would logically conclude "well of course the niners need a new GM", but these aren't reasonable people: they're Yorks.
@coredump @Slam If they keep Trent, they are truly clueless/indifferent to their fans. I think they're feeling the heat through the media, they HAVE to fire him. It's too contentious right now. And if I'm Denise or Jed, no way I eat that Chip Kelly contract. If they fire him that would be unbelievably stupid, especially when you consider SF isn't exactly a dream job these days for potential new head coaches. But like you say, the Yorks are a special kind of stupid ....
As a San Diegan following the Chargers stadium saga, I've seen all too many instances where LaCanfora was dead wrong in his reporting
This is a cautionary tale to Raider fans in Oakland. LA, and Vegas. Once they get their new stadium ....
This is the problem with PSL's. Fans who funded this new stadium are stuck. DeBartolo's got their money, no incentive to win. Hide in Ohio, don't feel the sting of Bay Area disgust. Without PSL's, attendance goes down 30-40% next year, forcing ownership to build a winning team.
@Slam too many fans believe in being " loyal" to a team and don't realise football is just entertainment. If you want to enjoy afootball game youpicka team with a quality product.
@BASportsGuy I want to see that mug when Santa Clara takes over the stadium on Dec 22
@BASportsGuy I just wanted to read that baalke is out. Oh well
@BASportsGuy The fact that Jed let Baalke sign McDonald to an extension convinces me 2017 will be the same. Proves Jed trusts Baalke. Sigh..
Trying to figure out what the Yorks (any of them, pick 'em) are going to do is like trying to juggle jello -- hard to get a handle on it, the stuff is all over the place, and you mostly just end up with a mess.
@LOLKNBR You'd be surprised what JLC is doing to 49ers fans. WAY too optimistic. On FB, anyway.
@LOLKNBR JEDSTER! \U0001f60e
@BASportsGuy SOURCE: Yorks reportedly set to disown Jedster and sell the team back to Eddie and buy the Dodgers instead
@LOLKNBR Let's make Niners great again. Oy.
@BASportsGuy I've officially lost all hope in this team. It's Cohan's Warriors all over again, only the York's are less broke.
@BASportsGuy There are 49ers fans who have their hopes up?
@BASportsGuy here in SD, JLC has been riling up locals by stating Chargers have decided on LA. Many think it's spox Fabiani playing him.
@BASportsGuy That's a face only a mother could love!! \U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602
@BASportsGuy great summary(reality). I lost my emotional attachment to 49ers a yr ago after being a fan for 40 yrs. it's been liberating.
@BASportsGuy Crap. How depressing. You'd think the league would lean on incompetent owners.... but then again the league is incompetent.
@BASportsGuy If you look up the term ass clown this is the pic you'd get. Lil Jed
@BASportsGuy that picture is just the worst.
@BASportsGuy I quit
@BASportsGuy Florio hates the 49ers. Even during Harbaugh years, he always bashed the team on PFT.