FanPost

Book: Glenn Dickey's 49ers

so I just happened across a copy of the book, Glenn Dickey's 49ers - The Rise, Fall, and ReBirth of the NFL's Greatest Dynasty published in 2000.

I've begun reading it and just wondered if anyone else here has read it before.  What did you think?  Also I'll use this thread to post occasional comments or particularly interesting quotes from the book as I go through it.  I've really enjoyed reading howtheyscored's Year-by-Year posts, so I figured I might as well work on boning up on as much Niner and NFL history knowledge as possible.  Can never seem to get tired of it.

So here's a few beginning quotes -

On General Manager Joe Thomas (who we can thank Al Davis for - he recommended him to then new owner Eddie DeBartolo) who led the 49ers to a 7-23 record from 77-79 -

"[Coach Monte] Clark remembered one telling incident about Thomas at Miami.  The coaches were discussing an upcoming draft and they thought they'd play a joke on Thomas, putting a totally bogus name up on the draft board.  When Thomas saw the name, instead of asking who the player was, he pretended to know, giving the fictional player different attributes ...

In San Francisco, he would hire only coaches who were subservient, and his owner was more than 2,000 miles away.  He had total control and, with that control, he turned a team that was on the verge of making the playoffs into one that was the worst in the league, no better than an expansion team.

His player judgment seemed to desert him.  He released Jim Plunkett, who had come to the 49ers in a costly trade worked out before Clark joined the team; the Raiders picked up Plunkett off the waiver wire, and he later led them to two Super Bowl triumphs.  Thomas gave up five draft picks over a three year period, including his No. 1 in 1979, for O.J. Simpson, whose knee injuries had robbed him of his great ability. ...

Because players knew Thomas had all the authority - he even dictated who should start from week to week - they had no respect for their coaches.  Thomas desperately made player changes, on the roster and in the starting lineup, but nothing worked.  The 49ers got worse and worse, falling from 8-6 in Clark's last year to 5-9 in Thomas's first season.  In 1978, the NFL season was expanded to 16 games, which gave the 49ers a chance to set a franchise record for most loses, with a 2-14 mark.  The frantic Thomas lectured players in the locker room after virtually every loss ...

[Thomas] changed all the locks and put up bars on the windows at 49ers headquarters, and he threw away pictures and souvenirs of anything that had existed before he came on the scene, including the '10-year club' plaque on the dressing room wall, with honoured players who had spent at least 10 years with the 49ers ...

Most fans weren't aware of everything Thomas was doing behind the scenes, but they certainly knew who was responsible for the team's decline.  At every home game, fans put up signs reading, 'Blame Joe Thomas' and 'Thomas Must Go.'  Thomas instructed stadium security men to destroy the signs ...

The barrage of criticism from media and fans along with the realization that the team was getting worse and worse, made Thomas paranoid.  When San Francisco mayor George Moscone was assassinated on November 27, 1978, Thomas became convinced that somebody would try to shoot him as well, at the game scheduled that night at Candlestick Park, and he wanted the game canceled.  The game was played and nobody shot at Thomas.  And, of course, the 49ers lost, 24-7 to the Pittsburgh Steelers ...

After a 49er loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, he charged into the dressing room and told players, 'If I'm going down the tubes, I'm going to take you with me.'

On the dawn of a new era -

Eddie fired Thomas ... As soon as Eddie fired Thomas, he called Walsh to set up a meeting ... Before [Carmen] Policy left Youngstown for the meeting, he had been called into the office of Ed DeBartolo, Sr. 'I want you to watch Eddie to make sure he doesn't offer this coach too much money,' the senior DeBartolo told Policy. 'Don't let him go over $120,000.'

But Eddie had made up his mind before the meeting was held.  After Walsh had talked with DeBartolo and Policy about his plans for the team, Eddie asked him how much salary he wanted.  Walsh said $160,000, more than triple his Stanford salary, never dreaming he'd get that much.  'You've got it,' said Eddie ...

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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