More than anything, I thought this would be a great place for me to vent a little bit about this whole Baalke situation. If it comes across as a disorganized rant, well no surprises here! That is what I expect is about to follow!
Right now, in the midst of a beat-down by the Patriots, with the reports of how poorly coaching candidates are responding to the potential of Baalke as the GM, and with #FireBaalke trending on Twitter for the past few days, I truly am mystified by Shad Khan. The guy is not moron. He is a billionaire who has had ENORMOUS success in the automotive industry, and I have to imagine it means he made good decisions to achieve that success. As different as the NFL might be from auto parts, there are still similarities that Khan seems to be ignoring
- You want to make the consumer happy - If the consumer is not happy with the product, why would they spend money on it?! I do not know whether this is a feasible thing to do, but season ticket holders need to call/email/text/etc. their ticket rep and make it abundantly clear that they will not renew their tickets if Shad does not clean house. I recall reading about 10 years ago how turnout to Chicago Cubs games was unaffected by the performance of the team; good or bad, people would come out in drives and sell out Wrigley Field. If a team is going to make the same amount of ticket revenue, regardless of outcome, what is the incentive to actually put a good team out there? I think the team needs to be given concrete evidence that the fans will not tolerate a consistently embarrassing team.
- You sometimes don't know everything and need to listen to others - The coaching candidates are not thrilled, the media has not reported anything positive about this guy you are infatuated with, and a very knowledgeable fanbase is livid! I am not sure exactly what role "market research" plays in Shad's automotive company, but do some research Shad here!! No one (other than one guy who works for the 49ers) thinks Baalke is a worthy GM. You might value that guy's opinion, but remember it is only an opinion, and when there is overwhelming evidence that this guy's opinion is probably wrong, are you still going to so SO stubborn that you ignore everyone else? Are you that confident that Paraag Marathe is so much more knowledgeable than everyone else?
- Build an appropriate structure within your organization - I do not even want to begin to suggest I know what that correct structure is for an NFL team, but there needs to be a firm chain of command. Jumping from Caldwell/Bradley to Coughlin/Caldwell/Marrone to Baalke/Urban with Shad himself having different levels of involvement in these permutations has me thinking Shad is just not sure what it going to work structurally, and that is problematic! With muddled chain of command that is subject to change, you have a snake like Baalke trying to convince Shad he had nothing to do with this season's debacle (even though he most definitely did). Shad is not Jerry Jones or the Rooneys or the Maras. He is not a "football lifer" who has this game pumping through his blood. He needs someone with a football background to run the football side of things. I have suggested Jim Caldwell before, and I will double down on that now, although that is not the point here! The point is Shad is failing in his role as owner, because he is not building this organization's structure appropriately!