Jim Harbaugh is very likely to win NFL Coach of the Year when the league announces its awards on Super Bowl eve. He deserves the award.
That doesn’t mean Harbaugh is above a little criticism in San Francisco for how he’s handled the aftermath of the 49ers loss Sunday.
Harbaugh’s invocation of the tuck rule was the most headline-worthy moment from his media session Monday, but we wanted to mention an odd exchange that ended the press conference. Harbaugh was asked how he spent his time after the game. Harbaugh giggled.
“Is it just California that everybody just wants to know how you feel? Care about what you thought, what you did, how you felt, how your pinky feels. Is that just a California thing? Back where I come from, nobody really cares.”
As Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat describes it, a reporter reminded Harbaugh of all the time the coach has spent in California. Cohn asked if Harbaugh wanted to answer the question.
“You demand an answer to the question?” Harbaugh said.
“I’m requesting,” Cohn replied. “I would never demand from you. Share with us what you did last night if you feel comfortable doing it.”
“I don’t. I don’t feel comfortable,” Harbaugh said.
“Is that a California thing?” Cohn asked.
“It’s a Midwestern thing,” Harbaugh responded before leaving the room to enter the offseason.
We don’t relay this transcript as breaking news, just an interesting look at the man who leads the 49ers. We admit to enjoying Harbaugh’s feistiness; he keeps things interesting.
Cohn’s theory is that deep down, Harbaugh is an 11-year-old. Cohn tries to paint concept that in a somewhat positive light, but that’s tough to pull off. The writer connects Harbaugh’s lack of introspection to his inability to be self-critical.
“Nothing about the loss to the Giants was Harbaugh’s fault. He and his coaches did just fine,” the column finishes.
The honeymoon isn’t over for Harbaugh in San Francisco. But a column like this indicates there will be some fireworks in the years to come between Harbaugh and the local media.