The San Francisco 49ers made the bad kind of headlines a couple days ago when it was reported that they were issuing fan surveys that asked fans “How important is winning to your stadium experience?” It’s a terrible question because it opens the possibility that someone in the organization with decision-making power is considering ways to make winning not the primary goal for the team.
On Friday, 49ers general manager John Lynch went on KNBR and expressed displeasure at the survey’s existence and claimed he had no knowledge of it prior to it being issued.
“Someone brought that to my attention, and that’s not something I want reflected in this organization,” said Lynch, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “There’s different aspects of an organization. I can promise you this: It didn’t come from my desk.”
The first part of his statement does make sense: the 49ers are a stupidly large organization with more moving parts than any one of us can really comprehend. This was an ill-conceived question that might make sense to ask internally, but not one that should actually get out in front of people.
There are a few reasons for that. The first is obvious: the 49ers are winless and show no signs of improvement on a weekly basis. The second is also obvious: Levi’s Stadium is a technological marvel that is nearly impossible to enjoy due to the extreme heat for a large portion of the crowd, stupidly overpriced — even by football standards — concessions and a number of other issues.
“I think you put out good work, and people come,” Lynch said. “And you build it, and people come. Yes, winning is everything to us. It’s everything to me. And I’ll just leave it at that.”
Going to a 49ers game in 2017 isn’t a good experience or value proposition. It’s possible to go to one and have fun, but there are a lot of things working against the typical fan’s enjoyment ... including the fact that the team isn’t winning games.