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Steve Young: Losses don’t matter to the Yorks because they are making money




The San Francisco 49ers have turned into that one family member of yours who is going through a midlife crisis. Everyone wants to chime in on how to fix them back up.

Wednesday on the Tolbert and Lund Show, it was Hall of Famer Steve Young’s turn, and did he ever spit the truth about the York family’s main focus: dollar bills.

“In the NFL, you don’t have to win to make money,” Young said. “The greatest growth equity value teams are not necessarily the winners. In fact, if you think about the 49ers in the last 15 years since the Yorks owned the team, you’re talking about equity values that went from — I’m just rough now — $200 million in 2000 to well over maybe $2 billion. It’s like 10 times or more. It’s like Silicon Valley. That’s one of the great success story of any tech business anywhere.

“That’s (the York’s) A game. Their equity value in the team is their A game, it’s what drives them. It’s what drives most of the owners. It’s what matters. It’s what they think about. It’s what they talk about. And the B game, is whether we win some games. It’s not that you don’t want to, or you don’t really want to, or it’s not really important. It’s just not the A game. And so when it’s not the A game, that’s the biggest issue with the NFL, is that success doesn’t track to success on the field. So you’re not held accountable.”

Young’s next piece of analysis is what might anger 49ers fans most. He feels like the ownership doesn’t understand the agony of losing because of all the money they are making, and in turn, the coaches and front office aren’t challenged to prove they are worthy to create the right culture to run a football team.

“So no matter what we decide to do here, and my opinion is when you’re 1-12 or 1-13 of if we end up 1-15, to me by definition, everybody out to the parking lot. Every living thing out to the parking lot. And nobody gets back in unless you can prove you’re part of the solution. I mean everybody. That’s a tough thing to do because you might have to start over in all kinds of ways.

“But when you look like you’re going to start in the revolving door of coaches and general managers and everything else, and the owners can’t feel that rigor. They don’t feel that –even people who love the team are like, ‘This everything, we’ve gotta, you know’ and the people who are actually calling the shots, it’s not their A game. And so it’s like you kind of have to wait until they decide how they want to play it.

“And the calculus is, should we start over? Should we wipe the place out? Should we leave Trent (Baalke) and maybe do a coach? But that doesn’t look right because we kept a coaching carousel, so let Chip (Kelly) come. Who’s going to be with Chip? Because it’s all this calculus has to go on. And it really, as an ex-player who’s been around a long time, it’s frustrating to watch. Because it’s never true merit, true everyone in the parking lot and you literally are barred unless you can prove your value that makes this thing move forward.”