49ers send 'playbook' to season ticket holders


49ers send 'playbook' to season ticket holders

SANTA CLARA -- Jim Harbaugh recently wrote a letter to 49ers season ticket holders. Yes, he really did write the letter, I'm told."Each year in the inaugural meeting of the season, a Playbook is passed out the squad, describing a plan for achieving TEAM success," Harbaugh wrote. "When the 2012 TEAM gathered in April, we passed out our Playbook."Over the past week, the 49ers have issued a playbook of its own to season-ticket holders. And Harbaugh penned the cover letter in which he calls the season-ticket holders the "most valued member of this TEAM."In the past, the 49ers have distributed season tickets like every other team in every other sport. The sheets of tickets were sent via the U.S. Postal Service -- or "snail mail," as it's widely known now.But the 49ers tried something different this year. Last week, 49ers CEO Jed York wrote on Twitter that he wanted to hear from 49ers season-ticket holders about their "box opening experience."Fed Ex packages began arriving on doorsteps last week. I saw the material that was distributed to a season-ticket holder. It includes a black binder "playbook" with a letter from Harbaugh, a fan guide for creating a home-field advantage and individual game tickets that contain a different theme:On the same page: "There must be mutual trust among the players and coaches."
Playing take-away: "Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's unit believes it has the same right to the football as the opposing offense."
Building a winner: "The scouting department is focused 12 months a year on evaluating college players who have what it takes to play for the 49ers."
Impact special teams: "Every yard is important. Every detail can win or lose a game."
Fourth-quarter magic: "The 49ers demonstrated their resilience in 2011 with five come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter."
Pound the rock: "Forging a successful run game requires a certain toughness and tenacity."
Play to the whistle: "All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Smith and his teammates play with a relentless approach -- especially when fatigue sets in and a game can hinge on one play late in the fourth quarter."
Stand your ground: "Forcing an opponent to abandon its run game comes down to technique at the line of scrimmage and a team-wide commitment to swarm the ball-carrier."
From every angle: "Under Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, it's not uncommon to use a defensive lineman utilized in the offensive backfield or an offensive lineman catching a pass on a tackle-eligible play."
Smells like team spirit: "Individual accomplishments and accolades are not what drive the men in this locker room."The 49ers, of course, are in the process of selling season tickets for the Santa Clara stadium, which is on target for a 2014 opening. York wrote Tuesday on Twitter that the organization "wanted the presentation to be great."As of Tuesday, not all season-ticket holders had received the "playbook." York promised all remaining binders were sent via priority mail and scheduled to arrive Wednesday."You'll love them when you see them," York wrote.If you are a season-ticket holder, what are your thoughts?

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.