This was quite a day for the 49ers — Jimmy Raye got fired and Mike Johnson is the new offensive coordinator and all that. In a previous column I criticized Raye and Mike Singletary — and they deserve it. Alex Smith also deserves plenty of blame for the 0-3 record. But the chief culprit for all that has gone wrong is Jed York — I call him the Prince of York. To read my column on the Prince and how he is failing as an owner click here.

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  1. peterwc

    Your last two columns have been excellent. Thanks for being such a clear, strong, truthful voice

    September 28th, 2010 12:27 am

  2. drowningboy

    Keep it coming Cohn!!!


    September 28th, 2010 12:36 am

  3. Norm

    The 49ers are a disaster.

    September 28th, 2010 12:50 am

  4. Warren

    Fear makes people move to quickly. Jed was afraid because he heard the media say other teams might want to hire Singletary. There was probably also fear that if Sing left then they wouldn’t be able to hire who they wanted (watching too much of Al Davis trying to hire a head coach). So he panicked and thus ended up with Sing vs. Grudan. Sucks doesn’t it?

    September 28th, 2010 1:03 am

  5. drowningboy

    Follow for the Bay Area’s best sportswriter:


    September 28th, 2010 1:06 am

  6. drowningboy

    PS: I meant “follow up”..meaning Cohn is the best…by far!!!

    September 28th, 2010 1:07 am

  7. jp

    Cohen was unable to get sufficient traction with his “Lincecum is finished” posts, so he is trying to get some attention with this series of pieces. Then and now, I think, ‘Meh.’

    September 28th, 2010 1:07 am

  8. DennyPat


    You seem to have a hit list. Get Raye, then Sing, then Jed, then his dad. Then what, hire Eddie D?

    I guess that’s what the media does.

    September 28th, 2010 1:17 am

  9. MJ

    Im sorry, did Alex Smith play defense in Seattle? Did he play defense in KC? Was he the one blocking for himself? Holding? Getting 15 yard penalties? Smith is as much to blame as is Gore, Vernon and Morgan. His production in the 2 bad losses was down, but so was everyone else and if he only gets 2 seconds to throw before being pressured all he’s going to have are 5 and 10 yard routes. Cant run 40 yards in 3 seconds no matter if youre Deion or Moss.

    And everyone needs to lay off the bring back Eddie non sense. He wasnt the one who built the niners dynasty, that was Walsh. Eddie funded it and got out of the way. He was a much more successful Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones. Bringing back Eddie wont fix anything if they can’t resurrect Walsh. And even Walsh made mistakes (Terry Donahue as exhibit A, B and C).

    September 28th, 2010 1:36 am

  10. MJ

    Bitter much Lowell? This isn’t the first time nor will it be the last time a son (or daughter) get an extremely high position within the FAMILY business. This family business just so happens to be a professional sports team but its not like this was the first time its happened in the history of big business.

    Jed got his degree from ND, worked in NY, and eventually came here. I see nothing wrong with that. Its not like he graduated HS and was made VP. A degree from Notre Dame is on the level as a degree from Stanford, Brown, Cornell, etc. Working for a fortune 500 company is worth something as well. And he didn’t just get placed in as acting owner of the company, he was a director of planning and then moved up to vp of planning.

    Also, please drop the Shannahan and Gruden talk. How well is Shanahan handling the situation in Washington? Is Gruden even coaching? No. Who thinks they would have come here and seeing how Shanahan is handling the DC job, I’d rather he didn’t. After Elway retired in 1998, the Broncos went to the playoffs 4 times and only won once. 10 years, 4 playoff trips, 1 win. He also had a winning percentage of .568 in those 10 years. And this is the coach they should have waited for? Before this season Singletary had a winning percentage of .520. Gruden was a good coach with Oakland, ill grant you that, but he inherited Tony Dungys team and got the win vs the Raiders because they were using his plays, John Lynch saying they knew the plays that Oakland were running before they ran them (sound familiar)? He had 3 playoff seasons in Tampa Bay, 2 playoff seasons in Oakland and had a wonderful win percentage of .540 as a coach (.509 in Tampa). These are hadly coaches worth getting. Cowher or Dungy would be something but I doubt they want to move to California.

    Fact is York made the best move available to him. He hired a coach the fans loved and the players loved. Would you rather he waited, get spurned by the so called “good” coaches you listed and go after the next Dennis Erikson? Please.

    September 28th, 2010 2:01 am


    [...] Keep it cummin’ Cohn!!! [...]

    September 28th, 2010 2:40 am

  12. ready ranger

    Some of the above commentors want to “Blame The Messenger,” and not take a clue from the message. The 49er Organization is ran Badly period…there, said it, done….

    What in the he.ll have you people been watching since 2000? No playoffs since 2002, bad hires for on the coaching staff, and a 20 year old youngster running the organization as the owner, G.M., C.E.O, and President…

    Take ur head out of the sand, this is the blind, leading the blind.

    September 28th, 2010 3:34 am

  13. Bake

    A perceptive and concise column, as was the post game column. We should all pitch in and buy the team for Lowell.

    Question: Why does nobody mention the cause of this tragedy? Causes must not be forgot, the smart owner doing something stupid.

    “What’s the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has limitations.”
    ~ Albert Einstein

    Eddie’s genius was imposed on him. The one time dynasty fell to the grim reapers of profit. It’s bottom line for Daddy York, and the Prince is proving himself mightily. Prince and Daddy are the winners, and in their game, winner takes all.

    How many billion will it cost to buy this team? Larry Ellison, this is a real team and it’s in your backyard. BUY IT. The Niners are a natural for the valley maven of Oracle. Hello Larry.

    September 28th, 2010 6:07 am

  14. Exeterniner

    The one constant in the 49ers 8 years of failure has been the Yorks. Their solution to failure is the “anoint another golden boy” strategy. Find the next shiny thing to distract you from the real problem. First, it was Donahue, and then it was Nolan. When Nolan couldn’t draft worth a damn, McCloughan was in charge. When the charismatic Singletary took over he got the crown. Say hello to the new boss same as the old boss. The Yorks and their flunkies are always in over their heads.

    The solution is a front office with successful NFL people. An experienced general manager guiding a talent evaluator and head coach with the same philosophy. Not bargain basement neophytes and a muddled organizational structure. If the Yorks don’t want to pay for a good front office, then why should we expect anything different? You always get what you pay for.

    September 28th, 2010 8:32 am

  15. Marco

    Bravo Lowell! Jed “Lucky Sperm” York is an incompetent rich kid who was born on third base, but thinks he hit a triple! Where are football people in the 49ers organization? They DO NOT exist. BOYCOTT the stadium, DO NOT renew season tickets, and drive the Yorks out of town! If they don’t sell, let them move the team. The city will sue to keep the 49er name, and with-in a few years the NFL will award a new San Francisco 49ers to NEW ownership, ie Larry Ellison. This is the same thing that happened in Cleveland. The Yorks are a cancer and need to be removed!!!

    September 28th, 2010 9:36 am

  16. Bob In Pacifica

    I am reminded of Ira Miller’s repeated complaint that the Niners haven’t gotten a good overall football mind to oversee the whole operation.

    Imagine if there was a Scott Pioli in the SF Org. Would he have allowed Singletary to hire Raye? Would he have allowed Singletary to be hired? After the 2008 season wouldn’t a real GM have put out feelers to possible real, actual NFL coaches before immediately settling on Singletary?

    There are plenty of NFL owners who aren’t even as smart and not as engaged with their franchises as Jed York. But they succeed because they have real general managers who make these decisions.

    I’m a Niners fan and I hope they succeed this year, but however the season ends I hope there are some dramatic changes in the Niner hierarchy.

    September 28th, 2010 10:36 am

  17. Stan

    Slumlords-have something to say before you crow. Your a lot like Singletary,promises that you dont deliver.
    MJ,saying a ND edgycation is equal to Stanford or Ivy league sort of leaves the rest of your argument short. Especially since Jed’s accomplishments have been near zero so far. Hell,I didn’t go to any fancy smancy college-and I NEVER would have hired Singltary no.1 and sure as hell would have vetoed Jimmy Raye as my OC. Smith would be on the bench too,and my starter?-Donovan McNabb. All things I said long before too..not a bit of hindsight.

    September 28th, 2010 10:39 am

  18. chris

    brilliant blog Lowell……….a floundering sports franchise always begins with the ownerships incompetance……..Chris Cohan is the perfect example, and the 49er owners…….the Yuck family……..are equally as bad…….

    I’m just glad Bill Walsh doesn’t have to be subjected to the disintigration of the foundation that he built.

    September 28th, 2010 10:55 am

  19. rucrazy

    Prince of York got the team from his mommy, not his daddy.

    September 28th, 2010 11:01 am

  20. Stan

    And Lowell,you sort of left your colleagues go without blame. I clearly recall Monte Poole and a few other writers saying that Singeltary would make a great head coach…you know, the writers who now aren’t writing articles about the Jimmy Raye fiasco were those who edged Jed to Singeltary.

    September 28th, 2010 11:13 am

  21. Stan

    Singletary..hey,its too early for this..lol..

    September 28th, 2010 11:15 am

  22. Stan

    Another important kick to Jed..He has NO excuse. He was raised on west coast offense,Bill Walsh changed his diapers,Eddy D.is his uncle.
    And he hired the anti-offense Singletary. Who in their right mind would defend Jed?

    September 28th, 2010 11:39 am

  23. Tiburon Dave

    Thanks for another well written and well reasoned column Lowell…
    MJ & DennyPat…you’re both better than what you’ve posted here…
    Prince York’s sin isn’t incompetence…but make no mistake…he’s completely incompetent in this position…
    His sin is in believing he’s qualified to run this team…he’s not…and Ed Sr. is long dead and not around to tell him so…
    Prince York been told he’s wonderful since he was in diapers and in suburban Ohio there was no reason for him to question it…
    He has one opportunity to turn it around…if like his Uncle he recogizes he has no idea what he’s doing and is willing to hire someone who does…

    September 28th, 2010 12:27 pm

  24. MJ

    Whats the difference between Jed taking over the team and his uncle? Eddie D was a 31 year old who worked as a part of his dads real estate company and was basically given the team in 77 by his dad. Eddie had no experience running a team yet his dad bought it and gave it to him. Jed York may be a few years younger than Eddie when he was given the team, Yorks ~27/28, but I see ZERO difference between the two, except that Jed wasnt given complete ownership and he still doesnt have complete ownership, he’s the acting figure head but like its been said, he still has to converse with his parents on anything of major concern with the team (they being the financiers).

    Either way, the only reason everyones so high off of Eddie was that he was smart/lucky enough to hire Walsh and let HIM run the show. And this “Jed needs to hire a proven football mind”, lets not forget Eddie brought in Joe Thomas, a proven GM to run the niners and they were crap. It wasnt until Walsh came aboard that the team did anything. And how many teams in the NFL did Walsh head coach before the niners?….ZERO!! Who was the GM? WALSH! How many teams was he the GM for before coming to SF? ZERO!! Lets not make up new history, or gloss over what really happened, to make a point that is completely invalid.

    The fact is that Jed is pretty much following what his uncle went through almost exactly 30 years ago. Young kid is handed the family team. Eddie struggled for 2 seasons before he brought in Walsh, lets not kill Jed for the sins of his father. Jeds only been the acting owner for 2 seasons, in which time they went 7-9 and 8-8 (much better than Eddies first 2 years btw).

    And if anyone talks about Donovan McNabb again they deserve a smack. McNabb hasn’t done anything in Washington. He’s thrown for 2 TDs, same as Smith. He didn’t win any games for Washington. His skins team got beat by the Rams. This is the great QB that you want, please.

    September 28th, 2010 12:50 pm

  25. Tiburon Dave

    MJ…the difference lies in the fact that Ed Sr. was around to tell Ed Jr. the facts of life…and Ed Jr. listened…
    Once the old man died, the wheels fell off…remember Lousiana?
    Prince York has no such mentor…his father is convinced he’s successful because of his achievements, he forgot he married the money and he’s barely qualified to say “Turn your head and cough”
    Prince York will never have the benefit of his grandfather’s counsel…I’m hopeful he’s smart enough to realize that and go looking for a Walsh and a Policy…

    September 28th, 2010 1:12 pm

  26. Neal

    LMAO, Comparing Eddie D to Jed York,like comparing Alex ( I have another excuse) to Joe Montana.

    Lowell, you are the man, these last 2 articles are fantastic, it rots from the top, and when you have Prince Dork, on top of Holly Roller, Religious nut house Pope Sing and a QB that will should be carrying a clip board instead of a football,its one big huge freaking disaster. This is great stuff, incompetence is surrounding 4949 Centenial Santa Clara.

    I can see Jim Mora senior saying ( Playoffs) Playoffs hahah Great stuff Lowell, you have won me over.

    September 28th, 2010 1:29 pm

  27. KauaiRobert

    Gettin` louder every day…

    September 28th, 2010 1:53 pm

  28. Stan

    Better to be smart and lucky than do nothing for a decade as the Yorks have..and Jed, unlike Eddy doesn’t seem to be a get it done guy.
    What you ignore in every post is what the rest of see MJ, Jed had the giant advantage of uncle Eddys proven strategy,hire smart to brilliant tacticians who throw the ball.
    Jed, after seeing and being told all his life how to run a winning franchise settles for crap.

    September 28th, 2010 3:26 pm

  29. Neal

    Holly Roller, Religious Nut House Pope Sing, says he will be one of the greatest coaches of all time, that is the funniest thing I ever heard in my life.

    Do you think the Niners will pick Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2011 draft?

    September 28th, 2010 3:39 pm

  30. Stan

    If the irony that the Chicago Bears are undefeated,and credit the success of Jay Cutler to their new OC..MIKE MARTZ doesn’t hit you MJ,nothing will.

    September 28th, 2010 4:00 pm

  31. Rich, San Ramon

    Lowell, you got your facts wrong. York did not choose Singletary over Shanahan or Gruden. As of the time that York hired Singletary there was no hint that Bowlen was about to fire Shanahan or that Gruden would eventually be canned. York could not have known they would be available any more than you can tell me what tomorrow’s headlines will be. …and you’ve been slobbering all over this Niner team all pre-season, so get off your high horse.

    September 28th, 2010 4:45 pm

  32. glenellen

    The positive about the 49er’s saga:
    Lowell Cohn gets a writing award.
    It takes these kinds of situations to bring out your best.

    September 28th, 2010 4:57 pm

  33. White Wine Drinker

    To the Jed Fan Club, one need only to review the past and current NFL History Head Coach hiring process. RULE #1 CLEAN HOUSE this means to all the fan club members . Mike Nolan’s Coaching Staff , ALL OF THEM , BE FIRED!!! If Mike Nolan didn’t cut it as your Head Coach , WHY WOULD YOU THINK HIS #1 MAN COACH SING ‘ I WILL BE THE GREATEST COACH OF ALL TIME”with all his 5 years of NFL Coaching history on his resume be THE FUTURE ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL MAN??? The day he hired Jimmy
    Raye AKA (Scapegoat) proves my Point !!! I guess his Bell Cow Offense with go down in history equal to Bill Walsh’s West Coast Offense!! We need A Head Coach with A Great Big Football Mind , Not A broken record GOING FORWARD, GOING FORWARD, Drop My Pants, Stupid Time Outs, Fire Dennis ODonnell , Talk is Cheap there are too many good players on this this team to go 0-3!! The Fans WANT WINNERS!!

    September 28th, 2010 7:03 pm

  34. MJ

    Stan, the same Jay Cutler who should have thrown 6 INTS last night? Also, check the NFC west blog and see the comparison between Rayes offense production and Martz. Pretty much identical.

    And Tiburon, you telling me that a ~51 year old Eddie Debartolo needed his dads guidance to not get in trouble with gambling in Louisiana? Seriously!!

    Look, do I think the niners should be better, yes. Do i think the yorks have responsibility in this mess up, yes. But to throw all the blame on Jed York is ridiculous. Hes been running the show for 2 years, where was Eddie D after 2 years? Exactly.

    September 28th, 2010 10:13 pm

  35. Neal

    Dear Prince of Dorks,

    Please sell the team to Steve Young or Larry Ellison, your Mommy little rich kid that has done squat, you are going to become worse owner since Chris Cohan. Take the money and buy some gas stations in Ohio, and run them to the ground like you did the niners. PLease get out of here, you spoiled little incompetent rich kid.

    Thank you
    49er fans

    Lowell do you put Prince Dork can be worse then Chris Cohan?

    September 28th, 2010 11:08 pm

  36. Joe

    Mr. Cohn,

    Another great article on the disfunctional 49ers. I’ve been a Niner fan for years and it hurts to see this team as a bottom feeder. Since 2000 when the Yorks have taken over, this team has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse. I wish the fans would boycott some home games to force the Yorks the sell.

    September 29th, 2010 1:30 am

  37. homedelivery

    Mr. Jed York in his own words (you decide):

    “Judgment calls”

    Best business decision: Still to come.

    Worst business decision: Not switching to throw-back uniforms for next season.

    Toughest business decision: Working with my parents to determine the right time to become team president. My original thought process was that I would stay in New York, possibly go to grad school. When we changed from Coach Erickson to Coach Nolan it seemed like a good time to come out here. I came in earlier than I anticipated. I worked with my parents on how to make that transition and make sure it was as seamless as possible.

    Biggest missed opportunity: Not hiring Mike Singletary as head coach sooner.

    Mentor: My grandfather.

    The one word that best describes you: Confident.

    Read more: Executive profile: Jed York, S.F. 49ers – San Francisco Business Times

    September 29th, 2010 9:52 pm

  38. Les

    Jed York has stated when the Niners were 0-5(now 1-5) are going to win the Division. I think Jed York should put himself on the line and state that he will RESIGN as Pres of Niners. We the fans put our money on the line to see our Niners. So Jed, what are you going to do? I think you should man up and put yourself on the line.

    A 49er die harder thats dying harder

    October 20th, 2010 10:38 am

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