49ers release on debartolo jr. hof

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EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR. OWNER SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1977 TO 2000 2016 HALL OF FAME FINALIST THE BEST AT HIS POSITION EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR. OWNER SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1977 TO 2000 2016 HALL OF FAME FINALIST

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The San Francisco Forty Niners statement on Eddie DeBartolo Jr.'s Pro Football Hall of Fame nomination.

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  • EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR.

    OWNER SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1977 TO 2000 2016 HALL OF FAME FINALIST

    THE BESTAT HIS POSITION

    EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR.

    OWNER SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1977 TO 2000 2016 HALL OF FAME FINALIST

  • MR.D

    EDDIE DEBARTOLO JR.

    owned the San Francisco 49ers from 1977-2000. During his unprecedented tenure, he won more games, celebrated more Super Bowl victories, helped countless people, and set a gold standard for ownership in the NFLcreating a dynasty that helped shape the NFL into what it is today.

  • As owner of the San Francisco 49ers, DeBartolo made major contributions to the game of pro football both on and off the field that few have been able to match. His milestones during the 23 years he owned the 49ers speak for themselves.

    - The San Francisco 49ers became the first franchise in NFL history to win 5 Super Bowl championships (81, 84, 88, 89 and 94) and are still the only team to win 5 in the span of 14 years.

    - DeBartolo is the only single owner in NFL history to win 5 Super Bowls.

    - An NFL Dynasty for 2 decades 1980s: regular season record 104-47-1, .684 winning percentage 1990s: regular season record 112-48-0, .700 winning percentage

    - Posted an exceptional 22-11 postseason record.

    - Won 13 division titles in 17 seasons (1981-1987). This includes 7 in 9 years in the 80s (1982 was a strike year) and 6 in 8 years in the 90s.

    - Reached the playoffs in 16 out of the 23 seasons he owned the franchise. - 39 different players accounted for 111 separate Pro Bowl appearances.

    - His teams were honored with Coach of the Year 3 times, Defensive Player of the Year 2 times, Offensive Player of the Year 5 times and NFL MVP 6 times.

    - Hired Bill Walsh as Head Coach.

    - The 49ers won an NFL-record 18 consecutive road victories from 1988-1990.

    CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GAME & NFL MILESTONES

    - Named Man of the Year in 1989 by Football News

    - Inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2008

    - Inaugural inductee of the 49ers Hall of Fame in 2009

    AWARDS & RECOGNITION

    CAREERAT A GLANCE

    Almost every year we were the most traveled team in the NFL. One game, our DC8 airplane broke down and they gave us a DC10. Everyone loved the space especially the big guys. Eddie knew the comfort was a big deal, so he made us a betIf you win, Ill keep you flying the DC10. We never lost on the road that year, and he was true to his word. Its something other owners might have overlooked, but Eddie recognized the correlation between a happy team and success. JOE MONTANA, HOF 2000

  • A RUN FOR THE AGESOften referred to as the Camelot Era, there was only one team in the late 80s through the mid-90s that defined greatness in the NFLthe San Francisco 49ers. 5 Super Bowl Championships in 14 years with 2 different coaches. Thirteen Hall of Famers and numerous great players with a total of 111 Pro Bowl appearances. All with one common denominatorEddie DeBartolo, Jr. as the owner.

    Comparing DeBartolos success to that of other modern-era owners through 2015 regular season.

    OWNER YEARS

    TOP OF THE CLASS

    CONSECUTIVE10-WIN SEASONS

    DIVISIONTITLES

    PLAYOFFAPPEARANCES

    SB WINS / LOSSES

    23 16 13 16 5-0

    30 4 11 16 2-4

    27 6 9 13 3-0

    22 13 15 17 4-3

    Eddie DeBartolo1977 - 2000San Francisco 49ers

    Pat Bowlen1984-2013Denver Broncos

    Jerry Jones1989-PresentDallas Cowboys

    Bob Kraft1994-PresentNew England Patriots

    DeBartolo purchases the 49ers DeBartolo transfers ownership1977 2000

    200019801977 1981 1986 19911978 1982 1987 19921979 1983 1988 19931984 1989 19941985 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

    10-WIN SEASONS

    PLAYOFF APPEARANCE

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCE

    SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP

  • NFLPROMINENCEIn the 31 years prior to DeBartolos leadership, the 49ers had only 5 playoff appearances. With the accountability DeBartolo demanded of his team, he created a marquee franchise and the fiercest rivalries in the NFL, vastly enhancing the popularity of not only the team, but also the game.

    1977: Purchases the 49ers.

    1977: Was the swing vote that added two games to regular season.

    1978: Hires one of the most influential coaches in the games history, Bill Walsh.

    1982: Becomes youngest recipient of Salvation Army Citation of Merit.

    1984: Super Bowl XIX is most watched live event in television history.

    1987: With Walsh and Dr. Harry Edwards, creates the Minority Coaching Fellowship Program; DeBartolo approved and supported the program, insisting interns be paid for their work.

    1988: Constructs first modern state-of-the-art NFL training facility.

    1989: Was asked to be an ambassador of the NFL to Japan, bringing the 49ers and NFL across the world.

    1989: One of the 11 votersChicago 11that abstained from voting for Jim Finks as commissioner on principal because they wanted more of a vote in the process. This eventually led to Paul Tagliabues election as Commissioner; DeBartolo was on the subsequent committees that were formed to develop a compromise.

    1993: Fox outbids CBS for the NFC in part because of the 49ers and Cowboys; high ratings lead to increasing competition amongst broadcast networks which lead to record TV revenues. DeBartolo was one of 6 owners to kill proposal to grant financial relief, a $238 million rebate, to networks.

    Eddie was part of the contingent that stopped it. Modell thought he could count on the 49ers vote to get it done and he said no. Even though it was not popular with some owners, Eddie saw it as in the best interest of growing the league in the future. CARMEN POLICY, FORMER CEO AND PRESIDENT, 49ERS

    1994: First individual owner to win 5 Super Bowls.

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • THE GOLDSTANDARDDeBartolo has been asked 5 times to present Hall of Fame Inductees. He helped bestow this great honor on Fred Dean, Joe Montana, Bill Walsh, Jerry Rice and Charles Haley, and deeply appreciated the importance of being selected as a presenter.

    Every presenter of 4 or more Hall of Famers has been inducted into the Hall of Fame; except for DeBartolo.

    HOF PRESENTERS

    TOM LANDRY

    DON SHULA

    MARV LEVY

    HANK STRAM

    EDDIE DEBARTOLO, JR.

    PAUL BROWN

    AL DAVIS

    NUMBER OF HALL OF FAMERS PRESENTED987654321

    To be asked to make one presentation is an honor. To be asked to make four or five is a testimonial. It says more about those making the introduction than it does the inductees. And withDeBartolo, it says how respected, appreciated and, yes, loved [he was]... CLARK JUDGE, HALL OF FAME SELECTOR

  • DeBartolo had a comprehensive vision to push both the 49ers and NFL. He was

    the first team owner to charter wide-bodied planes for road games and give

    players their own rooms while playing away games. He was the first to establish

    a partnership between players and that front office. And he hired Bill Walsh

    when many, including one of the fathers of football, Paul Brown, had stated

    Bill wasnt football material. This controversial decision turned out to be the

    correct decision, as it set the table for the 49ers unprecedented run of success.

    To support every player beyond the game, he started a college degree completion

    program and a post-career occupational program. DeBartolo offered a family

    counseling, tax, finance, and investment program, which helped established a

    lifetime annuity for Jeff Fuller, who suffered a career-ending injury.

    DeBartolo also made a commitment to his community, developing the 49ers

    Academy to keep kids on a safe track and in school. With every Super Bowl win,

    he helped lift the spirits of the entire city of San Francisco, bringing each member

    of the community together through both the good and the bad.

    Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.s contributions will forever be part of the fabric that makes up

    the rich history and success of the NFL. He left a lasting legacy on the league and

    the 49ers franchise that his players will never forget.

    I was a beneficiary of one such program and partnered with Bank of America in an internship capacity. Mr. DeBartolos development programs were quickly adopted by the entire NFL community.MERTON HANKS, NFL VP OF OPERATIONS

    Greatness was expected by Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. in all facets of the game. He demanded it from himself, his players, his coaches and its what he gave back to the NFL. He revolutionized the owner-player relationship by creating a partnership between the two. It is a business strategy that Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft have both adopted after their time spent with Eddie.

    DEFINING A DYNASTY

    You tell me what it is you need to be great, whatever it is, and Ill give it to you. But in return, you better be great. STEVE YOUNG REMEMBERING A 1987 DEBARTOLO SPEECH.

  • WHAT THEYRE SAYING

    I played for the 49ers when Eddie had just bought the team and he changed the way owners did things. He was in it to win. The facilities were sub-standard and he made them first-class and made people want to play there. I think he changed the face of ownership in the NFL. He set the tone for the way the 49ers were going to be run and he changed the face of a franchise. He made them a championship team. Eddie DeBartolo showed owners how you could run your team as a business, but also be close to your players and coaches. He did that phenomenally.

    Theres a few of us that really know who did what. If youre taking about the NFL and accomplishments and thats what the Hall of Fame is about, how could he not be there? All of the patriarch owners are in. Hes just the best of the new generation of owners. Some people resent that. The message he sent other owners was you want to compete? Hike up your big boy pants. Tell me who did more? Nobody won more thats for sure.

    TONY DUNGY, HOF FINALIST (2014, 2015, 2016)

    BILL PARCELLS, HOF (2013)

    I feel the greatest influence Eddie DeBartolo had on the game and owners is exemplified in his taking an all-around interest in the welfare of players, thereby setting a new standard for owner/player relations. He was the first owner that humanized the players...Eddie DeBartolo should be inducted into the Hall of Fame because of the great success of the 49ers under his ownership, and the loyalty, love and respect that the players had for him.

    JIM BROWN, HOF (1971)

    A lot of the leagues success today was forged through the improvement of the relationship between owners and players. For years, it was broken. Eddie was the one who broached that subject and changed the dynamic, making it forever better. And for that reason, you cannot exclude him.

    STEVE YOUNG, HOF (2005)

    I can tell you this, he made everybody in the entire league work a lot harder.GIL BRANDT, VP OF PLAYER PERSONNEL, DALLAS COWBOYS (1960-1988)

    In football, we win or lose as a team, and no one understood that more than Eddie. He did more than help build a winning franchise. His ownership practices and methods set the gold standard of excellence for almost two decades. Eddie was the architect of the 49ers, instrumental in recruiting the best talent from the coaches to the water boys. A perfect example is the vision he demonstrated by taking a chance on Bill Walsh and helping to build out the coaching staff responsible for the legendary West Coast Offense. By putting his faith in the coach the Bengals had just passed over, Eddie helped build a legacy that resonates throughout the Hall of Fame to this day. He changed the way we watch and play football, and he deserves to be in Canton alongside the same people whose careers he helped form.

    JOE MONTANA, HOF (2000)

  • They can all be encapsulated in the single example of a player who suffered a cataclysmic injury at a time when benefits, pension, insurance and help from the League or Union was almost nonexistent. Eddie took it upon himself to design, establish and fund a program that would take care of this player for the rest of his life. The plan was studied by the NFL and the Union, and it became the model to be followed in the future.

    The examples of how much Eddie cared for this entire organization and their loved ones are legendary.

    CARMEN POLICY, FORMER CEO AND PRESIDENT, 49ERS

  • MARVIN LEWIS, HEAD COACH, CINCINNATI BENGALS

    Ill always be grateful to Mr. DeBartolo for his strong support of the 49ers Minority Coaching Fellowship program. I came in the second year they did it, and the opportunity was tremendous. I got to learn principles and techniques from the some of the best coaches in football, and I also got a close look at the administrative side of the NFL. The program could not have run so smoothly without the full support of ownership.

    When I came back to Canton this year and attended the Nitschke luncheon with the other Hall of Famers, and held casual conversations,it became even more clear to me why Eddie DeBartolo belongs in the Hall of Fame.Hall of Famers from the different dynasties, particularly,theSteelers, were all talking about their coaches and the impact they had on them. The 49ers players, talkedabout the championship environment created by the owner, Mr. D.He changed the game, but to hear the testimonials from his players, he changed their lives and continues to do so. In my humbleopinion,he was the first owner to make the players and management feel as one team and that translated into success.

    DERRICK BROOKS, HOF (2014)

    Having played for great owners, I understand the impact ownership can have in a successful organization. In my Hall of Fame speech, I mentioned the importance of ownership and the players being in it together as one family, which is what we had with the Giants. I played against Eddie DeBartolos 49ers teams and we had some great battles. I know those guys would have done anything to win for Mr. DeBartolo because he ran that organization like a family. Congratulations on being a Hall of Fame finalist and I look forward to welcoming him in Canton.

    Eddie D was not really the owner of the 49ers, Eddie D was your father.

    MICHAEL STRAHAN, HOF (2014)

    RON FERRARI, 49ERS LINEBACKER

    Mr. D is an owner every player would want to play for. Whenever in his presence, he treated me as if I were a 49er. He respects players and truly loves the game.

    WARREN MOON, HOF (2006)

    All the guys...talked about the tremendous relationships they had with him. I got to experience that in Joe Montanas flag football game, the final event in Candlestick Park, as they brought in a bunch of guys. The final touchdown pass, there were probably 30,000 people in that stadium viewing a bunch of old guys playing a flag football game but to see Joe throw to Ed for the final touchdown there and to hear the fans go crazy and to see the admiration from these former players like Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana; that to me was impressive...to me, thats what its all about. Im excited as someone that played in this league to see that he is up as a contributor and for what he did, Im looking forward to congratulating him in August, next August as a member...I just believe he should be in.

    Eddie DeBartolo is a pioneer in the development of NFL players off the field with programs focusing on continuing education and post-playing career development. I was a beneficiary of one such program and partnered with Bank of America in an internship capacity. As one of the greatest owners in all of professional sports, Mr. DeBartolos development programs were quickly adopted by the entire NFL community. The impact of Mr. DeBartolo is equally as impressive and impactful to players today as his leadership in winning 5 Super Bowl Championships with the San Francisco 49ers.

    ANTHONY MUOZ, HOF (1998)

    MERTON HANKS, NFL VP OF OPERATIONS

  • Eddie stepped up to the helm of our citys beloved franchise at a time when both San Francisco and the country were at a turning point. As mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988, I can say from first-hand experience that the city lived with the 49ers through good times and bad. In the wake of the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the Niners helped a broken city heal. When the 49ers played, the city came together. I can truly say that the first Super Bowl victory in 1981 united a fractured city. In addition to transforming the 49ers into a formidable force, Eddie worked U.S. SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN (CALIF.), SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR (1978-1988)

    to reverse long-standing prejudices by advocating a Minority Coaches Internship Program which illuminated the skills of minority coaches that been long ignored. His creation of the 49ers Academy reached out to San Franciscos youth to provide a stable, healthy environment to encourage educational and career development. His victories rejuvenated a city jolted by political and social changes; under his guidance, the 49ers left an indelible mark on San Francisco.

  • Best owner, in the National Football League.BILL WALSH, HOF (1993)

    RICHARD DENT, HOF (2011)

    This is perfect timing to bring Eddie DeBartolo to receive this recognition in his teams home town. He deserves to receive this honor at Super Bowl 50.

    I have heard it said by some detractors that all he did was write checks. That is absolutely not true. I know because I was there since 1979 in various capacities including general manager, and saw Eddies management skills, knowledge of the game, and his motivational style produce results in the pre-salary cap days and in the salary cap years. The reason for the success of the 49ers is because of Eddies involvement in every major decision on and off the field. Eddie and Bill Walsh talked by telephone at length nearly every day. Eddie was not, and is not, a self promoter. Mr. D preferred to work behind the scene and quietly allow his head coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert to be the face and public voice of the 49ers. JOHN E. MCVAY, VP/DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS,

    SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1980-1996), NFL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR (1989)

    RANDY CROSS, 3-TIME ALL-PRO LINEMAN, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

    He belongs in the Hall of Fame right next to the other owners who have won 5 Super Bowl championships. That would be none.

    You could not write the history of the NFL without including Eddie DeBartolo...I played for four owners in my long career, including one who is already in the Hall of Fame, and I understand the influence the owner can have on an organization. I can say without a doubt, that Eddie DeBartolo is the greatest owner of his era.

    JERRY RICE, HOF (2010)

    Eddie D was one of the best owners that I wish I would have had the opportunity to play for.

    ERIC DICKERSON, HOF (1999)

    Im absolutely positive of this: hes going to try to defer to other people, to deflect to other people. But he belongs in Canton. I went in the same year as Mr. Rooney, and you would like to think that the attributes that he has are the same as what Mr. DeBartolo has.

    RONNIE LOTT, HOF (2000)

    He was an owner who tried to find ways to accommodate his players and coaches with resources to be their best.

    DAN MARINO, HOF (2005)

    When you think about Hall of Famers, you think about winning. So if thats the standard, why is he not here? I pray that Mr.D gets in to the Hall of Fame sooner than later.

    CHARLES HALEY, HOF (2015)