Considering that NFL head coach is one of the most difficult positions to successful fill anywhere in the world, it’s simply mind-blowing that what passes for the 49ers brain trust decided to get rid of Jim Harbaugh:
As expected, the Jim Harbaugh era has ended in San Francisco. The team has announced that Harbaugh and the franchise have mutually agreed to part ways after four years together.
“Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions,” CEO Jed York said. “We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best.”
Per a league source, the mutual parting makes Harbaugh free and clear to take any other job, including another NFL job, with no compensation to the 49ers. So despite multiple, persistent reports that Harbaugh would be traded, the two sides ultimately decided to walk away, with no strings attached and no further obligation.
However, it is an eloquent lesson on the way in which the bureaucratic elements of an organization always prioritize submission over all else, including both talent and performance. Keep this in mind if you think you’re safe in your workplace simply because you do a better job than your co-workers.
If you don’t kowtow to whatever regime controls your organization, they will do their damndest to run you out, no matter what the cost to the organization. This may seem irrational, but actually, it is your assumptions that are incorrect. They don’t care what happens to the organization, at least, not as much as they do about controlling it in an unchallenged capacity.
Most of the 49ers fans I know are in despair over this; one is even considering changing his allegiance to the Oakland Raiders. And frankly, I can’t blame him, considering that the York ownership is shaping up to be even more disastrous in the long term than the Snyder ownership in Washington.
On a tangential note, I’m sorry to see the Marc Trestman era come to an end in Chicago, as he’s the friend of a friend. But unlike the San Francisco situation, it’s impossible to question that decision. Trestman’s failure with the Bears is proof that sometimes, intelligence and hard work simply isn’t sufficient for success.