Eddie DeBartolo Jr. elected to Hall of Fame

Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday along with Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel.

Here are quotes from DeBartolo:

(on what being inducted into the Hall of Fame means to him) “First of all, I’m still in a state of shock. It means a culmination of a lifetime of blood, sweat, tears, love for a city, love for players, relationships with media – some good some bad (laughing), we had our times. It means so much because anybody that you ever, like Tony (Dungy) said just think about it, to be in Canton with these icons for what you’ve tried to do with your life in the great sport of football is just beyond comprehension. I’m honored and humbled and I don’t even know what more I can say.”


(on what it’s like being back in the Bay Area for this honor) “It’s just unbelievable. It’s almost like the script was written, having Super Bowl 50 here in the Bay Area after all these years that we battled and played here is something that I don’t know if anybody could ever write a better script. I’ve spent so much time with all the guys, not just this week, but in past weeks, talking and getting together with them. It’s just a dream come true, I guess, if it’s going to happen and I’m lucky enough to be with this elite group here and with these icons in Canton, no better place to do it than where it all started.”


(on who will be presenting him) “Actually, I think my oldest daughter Lisa is going to.”

This article has 27 Comments

  1. It didn’t begin well and it was a bumpy ride at times, but you finally got it right Eddie. For that, you’re to be commended….

  2. It didn’t begin well and it was a bumpy ride at times, but you finally got it right Eddie. For that, you’re to be commended….

  3. About time. Eddie should have been in years ago. Eddie shaped the game. His legacy will truly be timeless. My biggest regret is that Bill Walsh did not get to introduce him.
    Congratulations, it is well deserved.

    1. Cassie -way too late but happy” the snake ” got in as should several other Raiders from that vintage.Very happy for Eddie D !!!

  4. I have a story to tell:

    My uncle worked for DeBartolos in Ohio during the 70s as an engineer in their construction company. DeBartolos were big time into real estate, they were the pioneers of the shopping malls that we see today. My uncle got married in the 70s and he comes to NYC to pick up my aunt from the airport and they were scheduled to fly back to Ohio. Eddie Debartolo is also scheduled to fly to Ohio on the same flight. Eddie sees my uncle and apparently remarks “What are you doing here?”. My uncle replied saying he just got married and this is his wife, so they introduce each other. Later on, my uncle and aunt are seated in the plane back to Ohio. The air hostess comes to my uncle/aunt’s seats and gives them champagne and 2 glasses, “compliments” of DeBartolo. Class Act! I always remember this story when someone mentions Eddie D and the way he went about his business (lets ignore the later issues). All the ex-49ers talk about how great Eddie was as a owner, and how he was the first person to visit them in the hospital when they were injured, and how he always cared about them and their families. Many 49ers asked Eddie to present them when they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. You wouldn’t do it if you hated the owner.

  5. Great news for Eddie long overdue. We all know that if he had stopped being owner for any other reason than the bribe scandal he would have been in already. Which brings me to Terrell Owens. TO is a hall of famer and it annoys the h*ll out of me that the NFL HOF voting committee is starting to act like the baseball writers of America with their misguided protecting the integrity of the game crap. Look at the numbers TO put up. On the field he was a beast and ALLWAYS played and produced. Marvin Harrison played his entire career with a HOF QB and still scored 29 less TD had 1300 less yards and only 24 more catches. But more than just numbers Harrison played like the biggest b*tch in the NFL allways diving to the ground the moment he caught a ball. You could argue that the “show” was only starting once TO got the ball in to his hands while it was unquestionably over with Harrison giving himself up immediately if there was a defender within 5 yards of him lest he take a hit. B*TCH

  6. Here is your opening day 53-man roster. The 49ers will cut Dorsey, Brooks, Bethea, & Brock, freeing up an additional $15M, which brings the team’s total available cap space to $68M. The below scenario spends $57M of that $68M, so there is still room to restructure and/or extend players such as Aaron Lynch, Quinton Dial, and Tank Carradine.

    I researched the compositions of Chip Kelly’s Eagles teams to understand how he employs personnel, and the below represents a 25-25-3 O-D-S split.


    Nobody can speak with any certainty about the QB scenario in San Francisco, so I just accept that we keep both Kaep and Gabbert, and bring Adams on board, though I think we could just as easily sign Bradford, drop Kaep, and draft Prescott. Gabbers is safe; at least I know that much.

    QB (3)
    Kaepernick 28
    Gabbert 26
    Adams (R4) 23 $1M

    The OL was a major area of concern; below, you see that Boone has moved on, but that the 49ers have signed younger, cheaper guys in Wisniewski and Schwartz, while bringing back Bam Davis. We now have a young OL with veteran leadership at the Tackle positions, and two veteran centers in Kilgore and Wis who can both play guard. Tiller and Brown have emerged as candidates for the 5th starting position along the line, and this composition will allow Thomas and Martin another year to add strength and prove themselves. If this OL stays healthy, it will be dominant.

    OL (9)
    Thomas G 24
    Tiller G 26
    Kilgore C/G 28
    Martin C/G 22
    Brown RT 22
    Wisniewski C/G 26 $3M
    Davis RT 26 $5M
    Staley LT 31
    Schwartz RT 26 $4M

    The RB position is key, and I have again looked at Chip’s tendencies to determine where the 49ers might go here. I would very much like the team to take Elliott, and pair him with Hyde, but I think we have greater needs elsewhere for our R1 pick. So I will wait to find that R4 draft pick, but in the meantime, the 49ers should pick up Chip’s old buddy LeGarrette Blount, from Oregon. He will be a key bruiser to employ in the second half of games. In a less obvious move, in order to retain Bruce Ellington’s explosiveness, and also in line with Chip’s tendency of keeping a shifty guy (LaMike, DeAndre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner), I have re-classified Ellington as a RB, but he will continue to line up all over the field.

    RB (4)
    Hyde 25
    Rookie (R4) $1M
    Blount 29 $1M
    Ellington 59 4.3 24

    Chip wants guys that are big and strong at the WR position. In the scenario below, Torrey Smith is the shrimp at 6’0″, but the 49ers will sign Marvin Jones or Alshon Jeffery as well. I predict Jones will be slightly cheaper than Jeffery, and also fits what Chip is looking for a bit better. When I started this process, I was shocked to learn that the 49ers have stockpiled 11 young WRs under the age of 25, all of whom are 6’2″ or over. I looked at a lot of tape to get it down to these guys below. Smelter has size and decent speed, with great hands, like Boldin. White was an explosive element on Amari Cooper’s Alabama team. Dres Anderson and Eric Rogers both possess prototypical size and speed combinations, and both were productive at the lower levels. I could see the 49ers making a play for Josh Gordon or taking a huge speed demon in the draft for development; Charone Peake, Paul McRoberts, and De’Runnya Wilson would be good options.

    WR (6)
    Smith 60 4.3 27
    Jones 62 4.4 25 $5M
    Smelter 62 4.4 24
    White 62 4.3 24
    Anderson 62 4.4 23
    Rogers 63 4.4 24

    It’s hard to know what Chip Kelly wants from his TEs, given that he didn’t seem to use Zach Ertz much on the Eagles. I kept Busta Anderson and Blake Bell from the 2015 draft because they both seem very promising with their size and speed; I also kept Vance McDonald, due to the fact that he improved slightly at the end of 2015 and has always been a solid blocker in a versatile, athletic body. I would like the 49ers to make a play for the 6’6″ Ladarius Green from San Diego, who runs a 4.5 and has shown flashes, but I think that would be unlikely.

    TE (3)
    Anderson 64 4.6 23
    Bell 66 4.6 24
    McDonald 64 4.5 25

    25 on O Ave. Age: 25.2 Added Contract Value: $20M


    The defensive side of the ball will belong to Trent Baalke, which is not the worst thing in the world, provided Jim O’Neil is in accord with him, and provided Chip Kelly has the authority to banish Trent from the field if he needs to. Trent is good with defensive personnel.

    Along the DL, the 49ers retain Carradine, despite him being a disappointment so far, because in his new body, he will play fast around the edges. Dial will likely be extended, as he is disruptive and has a mean streak. The team will team Arik Amstead with DeForrest Buckner, another 6’7″ monster who is said to be more NFL-ready than Amsted was. Mike Purcell will emerge in place of Ian Williams as a solid run-stopper and anchor. Instead of keeping Williams, Baalke will go hard after Malik Jackson from Denver, who not only stuffs the run, but also collapses the pocket from the inside. Jarred Reed from Alabama also fits this model, and will be drafted to join the rotation. Notice the youth and size of this group! It needs to be able to really run and dominate. This line achieves that.

    DL (7)
    Armstead DE 21
    Carradine DE 25
    Dial DE 25
    Jackson DT 26 $9M
    Buckner/Nkemdiche (R1) DE 21 $2M
    Purcell DT 24
    Reed (R3) DT 24 $1M

    No position group looked more barren to me than the ILB group, upon early inspection. Willis is gone, and suddenly Bowman without Willis isn’t that scary. Gerald Hodges was a great pickup midseason, because he is young and athletic, and can learn the position. Baalke will sign Danny Trevathan from Denver as a plug and play 3-down ILB. He is solid against the run and ranks 6th among ILBs against the pass. There is a trend in the NFL to go lighter with the weak side ILB in a 3-4, as evidenced by how guys like Tartt, Chancellor, and Bucannon are utilized. I could see Baalke drafting either a prototypical bigger ILB or go with a taller, faster prototype to round out the group.

    ILB (4)
    Bowman 27
    Hodges 25
    Trevathan 25 $5M
    Rookie (R5) 22 $1M

    Ouch. OLBs are so expensive. Von Miller will collect at least $15M next season. Lynch will need to be extended this offseason or next. Fortunately, the salary cap is jumping by $10M per season until 2018, so we can plan accordingly. Baalke should kill 2 birds with one stone by taking Bruce Irvin off Seattle’s hands. Baalke wanted to draft him, but Seattle jumped him. He can get payback now, and get a cornerstone of his defense for the next 5 years or so. He should use Irvin like Seattle uses Michael Bennett, inside and outside and all over the line. Lemonier has been released, for obvious reasons. Noah Spence will be available in the late 1st or early 2nd round, and Baalke should do whatever it takes to get him. With Lynch, Irvin, Amstead, and Spence playing alongside Malik Jackson, with Bowman and Trevathan flying around, opponents will be in trouble. Ray Ray Armstrong is an interesting physical specimen, with great pass coverage abilities from the OLB position.

    OLB (5)
    Lynch 22
    Spence (R2) 21 $2M
    Harold 22
    Irvin 26 $8M
    Armstrong 24

    This is the team’s strongest position group, even without Bethea. Reid is training and studying with Ronnie Lott. Ward is Earl Thomas in waiting, and covered the slot better than any other DB in the NFL at the end of 2015. He is Earl Thomas/Tyrann Mathieu, and Baalke should get his due for this pick. Tartt and McCray (who seems to have been here forever) round out the position group with great speed and physicality, and Tartt seems to play with considerable ball skills as well.

    FS/SS (4)
    Ward 24
    Reid 24
    Tartt 23
    McCray 24

    The CB group is exciting. I remain loyal to Acker and Reaser (though it was difficult to go with him over Cromartie), because they are still so young and physically promising. If Ward falls back to play FS, Reaser can fill in at the slot better than Cromartie. Dontae Johnson will become our shutdown corner in 2016, and Baalke has again hurt our divisional opponents by taking two of their highly talented, young prospects. Trumaine Johnson from the Rams is 6’2″ and has ball skills, but the Rams will be focusing on signing Janoris Jenkins. DeShawn Shead came out of nowhere at the end of last year playing safety for the Seahawks, but he has great size and length, and acceptable speed, coupled with above average ball skills, to play on the outside. Both come cheap, and are young.

    CB (5)
    Acker 60 44 24
    Reaser 510 4.3 24
    Johnson 62 4.3 24
    Johnson 62 4.5 26 $3M
    Shead 62 4.5 26 $3M

    25 on D Ave. Age: 23.9 Added Contract Value: $34M

    Pinion 21
    Tucker 26 $3M
    Nelson 29

    Please comment. I’d be interested to hear where you all think the 49ers might spend their draft capital and their additional salary cap money, if they choose to spend it.

    1. I like this plan very much, but I don’t see Spence or Reed available in the Rounds you specified. Not sure Tank makes the team either….

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