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January 31, 2013
York talks Culliver, NorCal Super Bowl and fateful QB decision


Jed York spoke for 40 minutes at the 49ers team hotel this morning, covering topics that ranged from Chris Culliver's anti-gay remarks to hosting a Super Bowl in Santa Clara to him turning into a werewolf on game days. He also spoke about the pivotal decision his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, made in November at quarterback.

York said he might visit Harbaugh in his office every few weeks or so. He did so before the Saints game Nov. 25.

"... just to see how he's doing and to see if he needs anything," York said. "And it's one of those (moments), and I said, 'What's your gut on this week? What are you thinking?' And he said, 'My gut's Kap.' And I said, 'Ok.' I can argue it either way at that point of the season. I understand what you're doing and I support you. I said, 'Is there anything you need from me?' And he's like, 'Nope. Let's go see how he plays.'"

York said one of his uncle Eddie Debartolo Jr's best pieces of advice was to stay out of the way and let the football experts handle that part of the franchise. He said Harbaugh didn't ask his opinion on the matter.

"And I wouldn't have said one way or the other," York said. "He's our head coach, he's going to make those decisions. And obviously it was a controversial decision at the time. But that's what leaders have to do. You have to make decisions that don't always make sense to everyone else in the moment, because they're looking three or four chess moves down the road. And that's what Jim was thinking about. And I think it's paid off, and we'll find out even more on Sunday."

* York said he met with Culliver, who he said was contrite and who stressed to York that he was not prejudicial against any groups.

"All I said was, it's up to you to live up to your apology," York said. "... He made a very bold statement that he wants to get to know the LGBT community. And I said, 'It's up to you. You can either live up to that, and if you don't, people are going to vilify you and probably rightfully so.' And I don't think that's what Chris is going to do. I think he's going to step up and be a man about it."

* As far as hosting a Super Bowl, the 49ers are in the running for Super Bowl 50 or 51. The NFL will decide on both in the spring. York said that San Francisco would be the focal point of the event but that other Northern California cities would play a role. He said that Great America theme park, which is next-door to the stadium, could be opened for the event.

* York said he didn't know whether DeBartolo would be on hand for the Super Bowl. It might depend on the hall-of-fame vote, which will occur on Saturday. He did say that if his uncle did attend, there would be no way they could be in the same room together. York said he starts turning into a Werewolf the night before the game and that DeBartolo is similarly animated on game days.

"That would not be a good thing," he said. "There's way too much nervous energy. The time continuum would explode."

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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