During a down period in the NFL calendar where nothing significant is happening or on the horizon outside of organized team activities (OTAs) and the occasional off-field story, Pro Football Talk has decided to fill the gap by unveiling a Mount Rushmore for all 32 NFL teams.
Last week it was the turn of the San Francisco 49ers to have their Mount Rushmore revealed. After many votes cast by 49ers fans, the Mount Rushmore for the 49ers is comprised of Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott.
Certainly and unquestionably, any 49ers Mount Rushmore list will be heavily leaning towards those who were with the team in the 1980s and early 1990s given this was the golden era of the franchise. This is why I fully agree that Walsh, Montana, and Rice are musts on a 49ers Mount Rushmore list. The one where I have to disagree with those who voted is Ronnie Lott.
Certainly Lott is a worthy inclusion and there are arguments to be made for him being on the 49ers Mount Rushmore, but in my opinion there is one individual who also needs to be on that 49ers Mount Rushmore in Eddie DeBartolo.
I would have Eddie D on my Mount Rushmore because he made the success during the golden era possible. All 49ers fans know, or at least should know, that the team was a struggling franchise when he bought the 49ers back in 1977. He then went out and hired Bill Walsh who worked his magic in leading the team to success thereafter.
Aside from hiring the right people to make the football decisions and then coach the team to on field success, Eddie D laid the foundation for that success by demanding excellence from everyone in the organization. He treated the players and staff like family and made them feel beloved and not just some employee.
Thanks to what Eddie D did back when he was the owner, Jed York has used that to serve as his blueprint to bring the 49ers back to prominence. With an influence that ensured success over two decades and the current revival, Eddie D needs to be on the 49ers Mount Rushmore.