49ers Getting To Be Family Again—From The Top Down

May 6, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Ask a 49er legend what made the golden years so golden, and they're likely to mention a feeling of family.
The first great 49ers dynasty was born and thrived under the thoughtful ownership of Eddie DeBatolo Jr, whose attitude and generosity toward players made the team a desirable destination for great athletes. Additionally, Eddie's treating players and coaches as family motivated and inspired them to be great, and not let him down.
When a player was injured in a road game and has to stay behind for treatment, he would send his private jet for the player when he's ready to go home. "So he'll be more comfortable," he said.
It wasn't all some motivational trick. DeBartolo actually cared about his players. "Thank god Eddie didn't have to cut guys" Bill Walsh once said "or they'd never have gotten cut."
He'd send flowers when player's wives had babies. Lots of flowers. He'd send out long-stem roses to all the player's wives when SF won their division, or just because...

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