SAN FRANCISCO – Janie McCauley of the Associated Press and I just spoke with 49ers owner John York on the side of the field.
You should have seen the smile on his face. The official adjective to describe him is “giddy.”
Here’s what he said.
Q: We haven’t had a chance to talk to you about your team’s transformation.
JOHN YORK: It’s been absolutely exciting, wonderful. We’re very pleased with the way the players have performed, Coach Harbaugh and his coaching staff, and everything that Trent Baalke has done with bringing players both in the draft and free agency. Trent took some shots about no big names. Nobody’s complaining about the defensive backs now.
Q: And you guys gave Alex Smith a second chance, and that’s working out, too.
JOHN YORK: I think all of us bought into that, but I have to say that that was all Jim Harbaugh. That was his quarterbacking experience, his previous coaching experience. Alex, I think, owes a lot to Jim, and Jim now to Alex.
Q: Did you see this happening? A chance to clinch the division the first weekend of December.
JOHN YORK: There’s two sides to that. First, if you think you can predict the future, that’s a joke. But at the same time we felt like we had the talent in most areas of this team to win the West and to do well. But we hadn’t done it until Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff got here, so there’s a combination of things that came together.
Q: Did you always feel like it would take this run of success before you would get the sufficient funding for your new stadium?
JOHN YORK: No. The 49er fans have been so solid. It’s wonderful that there’s been more enthusiasm and more excitement, but in terms of the stadium we were on track with that. This just adds to it.
Q: What does this level of success feel like for you?
JOHN YORK: It’s fun. If I’d have known it was this much fun we would have done it ten years ago.