The Fascinating 49ers
By David Henderson
MARATHE: The American dream, right, start a new business. And we put it to a family vote: my dad was gas station, my mom was party store, my sister and I were pizza. So we bought a pizza restaurant.
DUBNER: And you were eventually running the place, I gather?
MARATHE: I was running the place by the time I was 12 or 13. But it was fun. I had hired a lot of my friends, so we all worked there and we managed a pizza restaurant.
DUBNER: What child labor laws?
MARATHE: Exactly. So I delivered pizzas too, as a high-school kid. So, I know literally every street in Saratoga. In fact, if you gave me a home address, I would probably tell you the phone number, or vice-versa. Seriously.
Marathe is Paraag Marathe, the president of 49ers enterprises and executive vice-president of football operations. Dubner is Stephen J. Dubner of Freakonomics. The above is from Stephen J. Dubner, “How the San Francisco 49ers Stopped Being Losers,” January 29, 2020. The above was something I found particularly interesting because I’m a huge fan of child labor. I learned so much from trying to make money from age 8 on and these lessons helped me be financially independent from age 16 on.
The whole thing is interesting and, indeed, fascinating. It comes out at a good time for 49ers fans.
Also, I found this fascinating:
SHANAHAN: Well, I teach the pass game from 8 to 9, then we teach the run game from 9 to 10. Then our special-teams coach comes in from 10 to 10:45 to teach special teams. Then we go out on the field and we have to walk through all that new stuff we learned. Then we come back in and we eat lunch. Then we go out and have a real practice. Now before tomorrow, we got to go study third-downs. We’ve got to study short-yardage goal line. We’ve got to draw it out, the plan, put them on cards how we’re going to practice tomorrow. We only do red zone on Thursday night. So, Friday, same process, 11 guys versus 11 guys. It’s infinite how many different things you can do and if one guy is off, the play doesn’t work on either side of the ball. And if that play doesn’t work, it could be a hurt quarterback, it could be a touchdown. That could be the reason you’re telling your second-grade daughter that she’s moving next week. Yeah, there’s not many other ways to do it. I know it’s embarrassing. We’re not doctors, we’re P.E. teachers. I don’t try to explain it to people much, because it’s laughable. And—
DUBNER: Has anybody ever tried, has any coach ever said, “You know what, maybe all those hours that we’re working, if we slept more, we’d be sharper and try to make up for it that way?” Has anybody ever tried a totally different approach?
SHANAHAN: Yeah, totally.
DUBNER: And those are no longer coaching —
SHANAHAN: Guys you would never know their name. Because they don’t last long. And, I mean, it’s okay if we’re tired and we barely can function. We don’t have to perform the play. It’s us wearing our brains out all week to put our players in the best opportunity possible for them to be successful. (bold added)
Shanahan, of course, is Kyle Shanahan, the young head coach.