Monday, January 28, 2013
Jim Harbaugh steps up his media game
By Mike Sando
NEW ORLEANS -- Looks like Jim Harbaugh needed less than 24 hours to get the hang of this Super Bowl media thing. The San Francisco 49ers' coach was a star Monday.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh laughs at several of the questions asked of him during Monday's news conference in New Orleans.
Harbaugh, sometimes master of the awkward moment during his two-year run as 49ers coach, became master of Super Bowl ceremonies during an entertaining 20-minute session at the team hotel. He was at his best after Fox Sports' Nancy Gay asked Harbaugh a serious question about health dangers associated with football. She noted that President Obama recently questioned whether he would want a son to play the game.
"I have a four-month-old son, Jack Harbaugh, and if President Obama feels that way, then there will be a little less competition for Jack Harbaugh when he gets older," Harbaugh replied, stirring the room into laughter.
Great answer, and Harbaugh wasn't finished.
"It's still early," Harbaugh continued. "Jack is five months old but he's a really big kid. He's got an enormous head. We don't have a 40 time on him yet, but his wingspan is plus-one. As soon as he grows into that head, he's going to be something. It's early, but expectations are high for young Jack."
The answer revealed where Harbaugh stood on the matter. It also revealed a lighter side that Harbaugh used to his advantage throughout this session.
Harbaugh feigned injury to his pride when a reporter innocuously used the word "necklace" to describe the rope from which Harbaugh hangs a pen during games.
"Well, I take great offense that you call it a necklace," Harbaugh said. "It's a whistle. It's a coach's whistle that coaches have long worn. Every coach should have a whistle. It would be hard to go down to practice without a whistle."
Harbaugh beautifully captured his former college coach, Bo Schembechler, when asked about the University of Michigan legend's influence upon him as a coach.
Harbaugh had called Schembechler right after becoming a head coach for the first time, at the University of San Diego. From the top, Schembechler made Harbaugh take an oath to old-school football before the conversation continued.
"Jimmy, tell me you are going to have a tight end that puts his hand on the ground on every snap, tell me you will have a fullback who lines up directly behind the quarterback, and a halfback in the I-formation," Schembechler said, according to Harbaugh.
Of course it would be that way.
"Good," Schembechler said, according to Harbaugh. "Then congratulations on getting the job."