The 49ers took the first step yesterday in the process of hiring a new General Manager by interviewing Tony Softli and thus dispensing with the requirements of the Rooney Rule. Now they can finish off the smoke and mirrors PR foofarah by interviewing a couple more fellows before simply elevating Trent Baalke to a full blown GM.
Which means nothing is going to change in the team’s hierarchy. This is not the impression Jed York initially floated in the immediate aftermath of the team’s desolate performance in St. Louis. More baloney from the castle. York intends to be an owner similar to both his Uncle and Jerry Jones. He won’t (hopefully) pretend he’s qualified to be a GM, like Jones, nor will he be bear hugging dudes twice his size in the locker room after victorious games, like Uncle Eddie. But he will be hovering in and around the loop at all times. Can’t really say I blame him. He’s young and doesn’t need to take naps in the afternoon like most of the other fat cat owners in the league. In the end, it doesn’t matter what any of us fans think anyway. He’s going to own the club for a long, long time. May as well get used to it.
It does seem like both York and Baalke already have decided whom they want to hire as the next Head Coach. After all, they have had half a season to come to their choice, with the Carolina loss in game seven being the kicker to start the process.
Two names leaked into view Tuesday: Jim Harbaugh and Jon Gruden. Niner fans will probably applaud either choice. Peter King assured the world (as is his wont) it would not be Gruden, so Harbaugh is the man the Niners want. Before they can get him, they will have to again perform the Rooney Rule dance and then hope Mr. Harbaugh actually wants to coach this team.
This GM entitlement would probably have occurred even if Mike Singletary had proved to be an effective coach. Baalke has been de facto GM since Scot McCloughan left town, did a commendable job with the draft, and giving him the actual title would have been called for. The way this has gone down appears now to be more of an orchestrated event, rather than an emotional reaction to the St. Louis defeat.
This entire scenario looks to be about a two week process, which is pretty crisp, but far too long to perch on the edge of one’s seat in anticipation. We could do one of those year-in-review fillers, but Maiocco can and will perform this tedious task, and frankly this is a year I’d just as soon forget. It had little to offer in any way at all. Just a four month long toothache.
Personally speaking, having reached the jaded era of my years, I’d much prefer hearing some juicy reports from a gruesome group of paparozzis staking out Mike Singletary’s house and passing along the news of how the big guy is handling being kicked out the door. Mr. I’ve Got Life All Figured Out pays a visit to Failure City. Apparently, Mr. NoFear is of a similar bent with today’s somewhat curious foto offering.
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Kickoff return to open the second half is the play. Not exactly a highlight and my apologies to the squeamish but the TeeVee guys didn’t want to show the injury. I’m not sure why I did, but for those that like to know the gritty details, here ’tis.