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Flying High, An Exclusive Interview - By Bryan Hersh Dec 14/2007

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1) This week a story broke that you had organized a group of fans to pay for a "Fire Nolan" banner to be flown of The 'Stick between 5:45 and 6:00 PM PST during this Saturday's game. Obviously, the team's performance this season was enough motivation, but was there one thing in particular that sparked you to organize this event?

A) Well, I have to give credit to Robert Morris, a longtime 49er fan who told me (and many other fans) that we should get together and purchase a banner ad during a 49ers home game. I took his idea and ran with it, spreading the word everywhere I could and soliciting donations to help cover the cost of the ad. There are many reasons to want Nolan fired but if I had to pick a recent example it would be our loss to the Panthers. NolanÕs refusal to accept the 5 yard penalty against the Panthers which would have given the 49ers 4th and 2 at the Panthers 40 yard line is what pushed me over the edge. The 49ers were behind by multiple scores at the time. Nolan was so upset that he didnÕt get the 15-yard penalty from the refs that he bypassed an opportunity for the 49ers to get back in the game. He has always been a poor game manager and it appears he is not learning from his mistakes. The Panthers went on to beat us 31-14. They last won a home game in November 2006 before the 49ers came to town like cattle to a slaughter house..

2) Why fire Nolan instead of an offensive coach, or two, or three. Or perhaps a player?

A) Nolan bought the groceries and did the cooking. He hired all of the coaches on the team and drafted/signed the majority of the players. There isnÕt a single coach or player on this team that Nolan doesnÕt want here. I want the entire group fired. It was too expensive to put all of their names in our ad. We want Nolan and his staff GONE!

3) Firing a coach will certainly set the team back, perhaps another 3 years, wouldn't it be better to give the coach a bit more time to get an offense going?

A) IÕm not sure that I agree with that point. The 49ers have some talent. After another draft and another round of free agency there is no reason a strong HC couldnÕt come in here and have the 49ers competitive rather quickly. Nolan has brainwashed so many fans into thinking it still takes five years to build a team that competes for the playoffs. Not a Super Bowl contender mind you, just a contender for the playoffs. This is a poorly coached and unprepared football team playing in the weakest division in all of football. If you feel Nolan is not the right coach for the job then why wait another year before attempting to find the right man to lead us back to the Super Bowl. I prefer to start the search now instead of suffering through one more losing season before searching.

4) With the public dispute between Alex Smith and Nolan, do you think either could return next year?

A) I think the 49ers will be forced to bring Smith back due to the cap. Nolan could return but the rift between he and Smith will still be there.

5) Do you have a coach/timeline in mind to replace Nolan?

A) First and foremost I want a strong GM hired. There are several good candidates and even ex-Niner Mike Holmgren is rumored to be on his way out of Seattle. You must have solid football executives in the front office. We have Jed York, isnÕt that impressive? I would like to see the 49ers bring in a HC who has proven he can win games and get his team to the playoffs. Cowher or Marty would be two options with Holmgren also being a possible candidate for HC if he leaves the Hawks. The bottom line is that the 49ers have had enough of a coach that only talks tough. We need a HC that can back it up.

6) Tell us about the group of fans that worked with you on this event:

A) I often post on a site called newcafe.org. They have a forum called Sports-Bay area where diehard 49er fans have gotten together to talk Niner football for over 10 yrs going back to our days on sfgate. This site has some of the most knowledgeable 49er fans you could ever hope to meet. One poster, Robert Morris (aka Phoenix) suggested we purchase the aerial ad as a way of showing our displeasure with Nolan and any intentions the YorkÕs have of bringing him back in 2008. So far at least a dozen fellow posters on the site have sent in donations. IÕm also working with fans from 49ers Webzone. The fans on the zone are energetic and will give you straight answers for better or worse. Have all of them been happy with our effort? No, but the majority of them support what we are doing and some have even sent in donations.

7) What made you choose this medium?

The aerial banner is the best way to reach the most people for moderate cost. Again, credit should go to Robert Morris.

8) Do you think the banner will have any effect on the team, the owners, the fans?

A)This is a way for fans to vent their frustrations and nothing more.

I appreciate the time you spent with us today. I know that 49ers fans are split on how the future of the 49ers should proceed, but one thing is certain, change is needed. Thank you.

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