Here is a link to my Sunday column which asks the eternal question, Who is a better owner Mark Davis or Jed York? The full text runs below:
Who is a better team owner, Jed York or Mark Davis?
Both are in the news. Both are searching for new head coaches. So, if you were a head-coaching aspirant, which owner would you rather work for?
At first, the answer seems obvious. A new coach would rather team up with Jed and the Niners than Mark and the Raiders. The Niners, after all, are the Niners. And the Raiders, are, well . . .
The Niners already have a new stadium, allegedly state of the art. Mark is working diligently at getting a new stadium at the current site of the Coliseum, but that is iffy. He may move the Raiders out of the area if he can find somewhere to move them.
But the stadium comparison is complicated. If Mark succeeds in getting a stadium at the current location, his team will be in Oakland, a BART ride across the Bay from San Francisco. Lots of people live in Oakland-San Francisco-Contra Costa County. The Raiders are well placed — if they ever get a new place.
For all the bells and whistles at Levi’s Stadium, it has disadvantages.
It is in the wrong city. It always will be the contention of this column that Santa Clara is not San Francisco, that the “SF” logo in the middle of the Levi’s Stadium field is a fiction — or a joke.
By moving the 49ers to Santa Clara, Jed surrendered his home-field advantage, something 49ers teams had at crummy old Candlestick Park. And the turf at Levi’s Stadium is not good enough, certainly not 49ers- worthy.
The stadium is too hot. To avoid sunstroke, some fans retire to the shade of the concourse in the second quarter. The place is quiet — compare it to CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Now, that’s a place with a home-field advantage.
Still, give Jed points for having a new stadium, and let’s move to other points of comparison.
Jed makes the 49ers too much about him.
The primary reason Jim Harbaugh had to leave was simple: Harbaugh didn’t get along with Jed. That’s a reason? If you know a more important one, please tell the class. It is unusual for a winning coach to get the heave-ho — forget that mutual-decision stuff — because he and the owner don’t like each other. Surely, they could have worked things out.
Mark does not make things about him. He allows his designated people to perform their designated jobs. He fits the ideal owner description. Mark is so patient, so forgiving, so open-minded that he gave Dennis Allen two-plus seasons to show what he had — or didn’t have. Mark has been loyal to general manager Reggie McKenzie and, finally, that loyalty may be paying off. More on that in a moment.
Jed inserts himself too much into football business, something in which he lacks expertise.
I believe he is the prime leaker in the 49ers’ organization. He denied it at a recent news conference. I’m not convinced. He seemed to hang out the Niners’ dirty laundry for many national writers-talkers-whisperers on an almost-weekly basis. His split with Harbaugh was known before the season even began. If he didn’t leak that stuff, someone very close to him did.
Bad look for a team owner.
He wrote that awful tweet on Thanksgiving night, undercutting his coach and team. The tweet was a clear smack at Harbaugh, a way of getting even. And it was another very bad look for a team owner.
Mark does not appear to leak. “Leak” is such a suggestive word in this context.
Mark never undercut his team with whispers or tweets. He does not appear to have a Twitter account.
Mark stays in the background where an owner belongs. And he acts with dignity. Does Jed?
A coach would rather work for Mark because Mark will leave him alone. Mark places more reasonable expectations on his coach and players. Jed doesn’t place expectations. He places demands.
He demands a Super Bowl win every season. He said this a few weeks ago. He demands a Super Bowl winner even though his team — especially his offense — is in decline. The Niners peaked two seasons ago, but Jed doesn’t seem to know that. Jed is clinging to an outdated vision of his team, to Trent Baalke’s false and outdated version of the team: “We are not rebuilding. We are reloading.” That’s quite a load.
Whoever becomes 49ers coach will have to coach that outdated version. Good luck. Whoever becomes 49ers coach takes over for Harbaugh, a tough act to follow. Good luck. Whoever becomes 49ers coach has to live or die with overpaid and overrated Colin Kaepernick, a coach killer. Good luck.
Mark has Derek Carr, a fabulous young quarterback. Whoever takes over the Raiders already has solved the quarterback problem. Whoever takes over has a young team on the rise. Credit McKenzie for this.
So, yes, Mark is a better owner than Jed and, curiously, the Raiders may present a better coaching opportunity than the 49ers.
Oh, one other thing. Al Davis, especially at the end, was an intrusive, unreasonable, hard-to-please owner. Jed fits that description and Mark does not. Which means Jed York is more like Al Davis than Mark Davis ever was.
Life sure is strange.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.