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Input from his uncle Eddie D. blends with CEO's own approach to building franchise

  • Forty Niner CEO Jed York talks about the teams future, Thursday Jan. 31, 2013 at the team hotel in New Orleans. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

NEW ORLEANS — When Jed York attended his first football game at age 3, he had already developed an eye for watching the way his uncle ran the San Francisco 49ers during their glory days.

Nearly three decades later, the Niners are York's team — and he is trying to build something just as special as the dynasty Eddie DeBartolo Jr. had when the franchise won five Super Bowls in as many tries.

That first game was in Cleveland, "sitting on Jennifer Montana's lap," York recalled Thursday. "I traveled with my family a lot to go see games. When you're a little kid and you watch how Eddie was with the players, it's just, 'that's how you do it.'<WC><TH>"<WC1>

York has some catching up to do.

He can count the good seasons by his San Francisco franchise on one hand. That's why he keeps the comparisons between him and his uncle — "he was the best ever" — to a minimum.

"We're short, we're unathletic ... grew up in Youngstown, Ohio," York said of him and DeBartolo, who is up for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I think we both dress very well."

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