49ers, Chiefs Led Back To Super Bowl By Strong Ownership
The state of the 49ers franchise has "never been better in the 20 years under York-family control," as the team prepares for Super Bowl LIV with a roster "blossoming with stars," according to Cam Inman of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Under the leadership of coach Kyle Shanahan, GM John Lynch and the team's business operations staff, an anonymous agent said things are "running pretty smooth right now" for the 49ers. Inman writes Shanahan and Lynch are "harmoniously leading the way," after matching six-year contracts in '17 that were "meant to stabilize a freefalling franchise." The 49ers won the NFC in '12 on their way to Super Bowl XLVII, but two years later they "imploded." CEO Jed York "stuck around, even when media critics called for his ouster." York said of Shanahan and Lynch, "I didn't want them to ever feel the third year was the 'hot seat' year, because we had not done well up to that point. ... They have a runway and I believe in them to rebuild this culture, and they did" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 1/21). THE ATHLETIC's Tim Kawakami notes York would agree that he and Shanahan have "very similar frame of references that tie them together in a way that York was not tied to, for instance," former coaches Jim Harbaugh or Chip Kelly. Neither Shanahan nor Lynch have "even hinted that they doubted York's support over these last three years." York is a "different owner" than he was in the past (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/20).
FAMILY BUSINESS: In DC, Mark Maske writes for Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt, the Super Bowl is a "family tradition." The "one problem was that the Super Bowl had become a tradition that did not include the team the Hunts own." It may have taken a "few years, but Hunt and his team have delivered." On Sunday, the Chiefs had the chance to "bask in the glow of their Super Bowl return." For Hunt, that meant "reflecting on the two decisions most responsible for bringing this about: the hiring of Andy Reid" as coach in '13, and the "bold move to trade up and select" QB Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick in the '17 NFL Draft (WASHINGTON POST, 1/21). On Long Island, Bob Glauber writes Hunt has been a "reliable steward of the franchise," but until now, there had "always been something missing." Hunt said, "Around Super Bowl , after my mom had been to 50 Super Bowls, she said, 'Clark, it sure would be nice if we could play in this game once while I'm still able to go'" (NEWSDAY, 1/21).
50 YEARS OF WAITING: In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff cites Ticketmaster data as showing that fans in Kansas "paid the highest average price for a Super Bowl ticket -- $13,360 -- on Sunday," about 23% "higher than any other state." Fans in Missouri and Kansas accounted for 36% of Ticketmaster's Super Bowl ticket sales on Sunday, with California accounting for 23%. Chiefs fans also are "buying the more expensive club seats and lower-level sections tickets at a greater rate than 49ers fans" (K.C. STAR, 1/21).