Junior Bryant- 10/06/2000
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Al Gore? George Bush Jr? Given the Presidential candidates, it's a wonder no celebrity has followed Jesse "The Body" Ventura's footsteps in running for office. Quite frankly, there are better leaders in the United States, that could be leading the strongest country in the world. My nomination, Steve Mariucci, head coach of the 49ers. In Mariucci's tenure as the 49ers coach he has lived up to some incredible expectations, and more importantly, he seems to have an understanding of the everyday wants and needs of his people.

Since Mariucci arrived with the 49ers, the team has taken on a new attitude. Players now more than ever step up and fill in the void where others leave off. When a player goes down, there is no discussion about how someone else needs to step up. It is understood. Meanwhile Mariucci has kept his team happy. All the players have one goal in mind and that is to win, and when a player strays from the path, he is immediately reprimanded.

What is an NFL coach if not a politician? Day in and day out Mariucci has to deal with the league (salary cap infringements), his colleagues (imagine working under Bill Walsh), the players (four talented receivers and one ball), the media (need I say more?), the fans ("Winning with Class"? How about just winning?) and even politicians in the Mayor of San Francisco (stadium construction). Somehow, Mariucci has found a way to manage all of these aspects of leading a NFL team, and has done so rather successfully.
  • The league seems determined to punish the 49ers, but why haven't they?
  • Bill Walsh is sticking to his role, he does not come on to Mariucci's field to help coach; as many expected him to do upon his arrival.
  • The youngest team in the NFL has learned to believe in themselves. They realize they have had a spell of bad luck, and want to work even harder to get better.
  • As for the media, he seems to handle his press conferences with professionalism, and his optimistic attitude gives writers something to write about.
  • Fans with high expectations were clearly a hurdle that Mariucci needed to figure out how to leap. Not only are the fans still coming to games, and tuning in, but the faithful are even encouraged with what they see, and happy with improvement

  • Mariucci has shown that he can handle long hours, he can handle extreme pressure. In fact, there isn't much he can't handle. Can you imagine what either of the two candidates would do if they lost the Vice President and Press Secretary in the span of two weeks? Mariucci lost two of his stars in his first year of 'office' and rebounded to take the team to the playoffs. Mariucci has done an incredible job thus far with the team, and though they may not be having a winning season right now, the future is much brighter. Mariucci has the leadership skills to lead the States into the future and that is why if I had a nomination he would receive it. The 49ers had better realize how valuable he is, and not let him get away.
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