Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Eddie DeBartolo compares Jim Harbaugh to Bill Walsh

The San Francisco 49ers have returned to their glory days. Per usual, there stands one family that is steering the ship. The last name may be York, but the swagger of this team reeks of one Eddie DeBartolo.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is obviously to young to have a first hand account of what it was like to witness the 49ers previous glory runs.

The stories certain flow through the buildings and the various fields that the team occupies for various purposes.

The man with the final say Jed York told the Associated Press that he often leans on his uncle and former owner Eddie DeBartolo for advice.

“More than anything, I watched how my uncle built a team that consistently won with class,” York said. “I try to be my own man, but it’s hard not to take pointers from one of the best owners in the history of pro sports.”

“My uncle has been someone that helped me weather the storm,” Jed York said. “He taught me to stick with my intuition and ignore the critics. It sounds like simple advice, but he is always there to support me when there are tough decisions.”

The tough decisions helped DeBartolo build a franchise that won a total of five championships during his tenure.
He may have left in the midst of controversy, but Eddie D. is content with his current lifestyle.

“I’m just enjoying being with my family,” DeBartolo said. “I traveled, commuted from Ohio to San Francisco for decades. It’s just nice being able to be with my three girls and my grandchildren and my wife. It’s just nice, it’s just enjoyable.”

The charismatic mogul is up for Hall of Fame honors that will be decided this week.

“I’m so honored just to be where I am and among the final 15,” he said. “That in itself is a tremendous honor, just to be with the people and the men that are there right now. Most of them are really dear friends of mine, like Bill Parcells, Charles [Haley]and a lot of the players. I know it’s a long shot, but anything can happen.”

As his family prepares for yet another big game DeBartolo was not shy in making a prediction.

“I don’t think there’s any question they’re going to go and win the Super Bowl,” DeBartolo said. “I think they’re too good in every phase of the game.”

The opinion while biased must have personal merit to it. The man known as Eddie D compared the team’s current coach Jim Harbaugh to one of the greatest to ever do it in Bill Walsh.

“I see a lot of Bill Walsh in coach Harbaugh,” DeBartolo said. “Obviously, they’re different. Bill was a lot more low key than coach Harbaugh. I think coach Harbaugh wears his heart on his sleeve. But he, too, is a great coach and I think he’s going to go down as one of the great coaches. His career has really just started and he’s already been to his second NFC championship game. I see the teams that he has created that remind me so much of a couple of our teams — the ’89 team and the ’94 team.”

Those are big words coming from a man who has always done it well…big.

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