Here is a link to my Friday column about Jed York’s bad manners. The full text runs below:
Jed York is a coward.
What I just wrote was hard and caustic. I know that. I apologize if I have offended your sensibilities. But, after the 49ers’ 19-3 loss to the Seahawks, Jed offended the sensibilities of every fair-minded person who follows the 49ers. I repeat — Jed York is a coward.
After his team got smoked by the Seahawks, York tweeted: “Thank you 49ers faithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”
What a disgusting thing for a team owner to write. What a cheap shot by an absolute twit who took to Twitter. If York had something to say, he should have come to the postgame news conference and said it to the media. Or better yet, he should have kept his mouth shut and spoken privately to coach Jim Harbaugh, should have looked Harbaugh in the eye and told him the effort was unacceptable. It is so easy to hide behind Twitter.
You just want to throw up.
Let’s be clear about this. The 49ers played poorly. Their playoff hopes are probably over now that their record is 7-5 and four teams stand ahead of them in the wild-card standings and only two teams become wild-card entrants in the playoffs.
Harbaugh said he thinks the 49ers can make the playoffs if they win their remaining four games. But winning all four is unlikely when you consider one of those games is in Seattle — almost certainly a loss — and when you consider the 49ers’ offense cannot compete against top-flight defenses. Sometimes, it can’t compete against not-so-top-flight defenses.
I am not making a case for the Niners. I am amazed offensive coordinator Greg Roman had such a dead game plan against Seattle. And I am amazed how Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson outplayed Colin Kaepernick who, every week, proves he’s more and more overrated.
I am not praising the 49ers. I am criticizing Jed York.
I try to understand why he wrote that mean-spirited drivel. What kind of man writes that stuff? And I come up with a depressing conclusion.
Jed is trying like hell to drive out Harbaugh. He has it in for Harbaugh and wants to offend Harbaugh to the point of schism. Maybe he already has. Forget that Harbaugh saved this organization for Jed York and John York who didn’t know what they were doing. Who didn’t have a clue. Who were a joke in the NFL.
I was there the day Jed hired Mike Singletary after a game, brought him into the postgame news conference and anointed him. Jed was grinning. Like he had done something special. Like he was a wise man. What a farce.
Harbaugh saved Jed from himself. And Harbaugh saved John York from himself. And Harbaugh made the 49ers matter again. When a man does that, when a man still has a winning record, when a man opens his veins and arteries every week preparing his team, an owner acts with respect. An owner may be angry and embarrassed after a bad loss. But an owner acts with dignity and propriety. He stifles his annoyance. He takes time to think about things. He waits until the next day before opening his big mouth. He acts like a man.
It’s something Jed needs to learn. Something he probably is incapable of learning. He and Harbaugh are on the same team. They work together. They succeed and fail together. When things go badly — and they went badly Thursday night — people on the same team hang together. Close ranks. Don’t point fingers. Don’t scapegoat. Do the right thing.
It is hard to respect Jed York when his behavior is petulant, immature, rude, insensitive and unprofessional. When he refuses to act like a gentleman. What a sorry team owner.
After the game, Harbaugh came to the auditorium to answer hard questions. He didn’t hide in his office or the luxury suite — where Jed tweeted from. Harbaugh was a standup guy.
Immediately, someone asked if Jed’s apology to the fans for the unacceptable effort was appropriate. Harbaugh showed nothing on his face. He said. “We didn’t get it done. The Seahawks played much better team football than we did. We know what we have to do now. Come back and win them all.”
I said, “Does that mean it doesn’t matter to you what your owner tweets?”
“I don’t know anything about the tweets,” Harbaugh said. “What matters is how we respond as a football team.”
Harbaugh did not dignify Jed’s comments with a response. Harbaugh played past Jed’s rudeness and smallness. Harbaugh was the gentleman.
Jed York is the coward.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.