The San Francisco 49ers were so bad for nearly a decade throughout the 2000s. Then, CEO Jed York and GM Trent Baalke miraculously landed the hottest coaching commodity out there: Jim Harbaugh.
The Niners beat out Stanford, where he’d just led the Cardinal to its first-ever BCS Bowl win, Michigan, his alma mater where he starred at quarterback in the ‘80s, and the Miami Dolphins, who … still had a head coach in place.
Yet Harbaugh took that squad that had long been an NFL bottomfeeder and overnight turned them into Goliath.
For three seasons they soared majestically atop the football universe, but came up just short of securing the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy each time.
Despite injecting a ton of winning into an organization that had long been starving for mere competence, management decided to fix what was the furthest thing from broken — and because of their pride and ego, they sent the entire operation into an uncontrollable tailspin.
Written and produced by Alex Rubenstein
Directed and edited by Ryan Simmons
Motion graphics by Michael Das
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