Jim Harbaugh is a Michigan Man!
Jim Harbaugh continues to be called to task for his comments regarding the academics of the Michigan Football program. This time it was Mike Hart who chastised Stanford Coach Harbaugh for his comments. On day two of the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Ill., Hart said, "That’s a guy I have no respect for. When you graduate from the University of Michigan and you’re going to talk about your school like that, a great institution like that we have, to say we’re not true student athletes. It’s coming from a guy who, I don’t know, maybe wants to coach here, and is mad he didn’t get a job here. A guy like that I have no respect for. It’s funny to me, because we don’t let great student-athletes in, but he just accepted one of our transfers. What kind of sense does that make? He obviously wants guys like us at his school and he’s mad he can’t get them. It’s nothing against Stanford. I just have no respect for that guy. I don’t know how you can say that. He’s not a Michigan man. I obviously wish he never played here before." (emphasis added)
Mike Hart is definitely the mouth that roars. However, as spirited as he is and as much as the current Wolverines feed off his enthusiasm, Hart is not the definitive authority on who qualifies as a "Michigan Man." Jim Harbaugh was a true blue Wolverine long before Hart was even born. Harbaugh's connection to the Michigan Football program goes all the way back to when Harbaugh was a kid and he served as a ball boy during the Coach Schembechler-era. Harbaugh, of course, went on to become an All-American quarterback for Coach Schembechler and the Wolverines. Famously, Harbaugh guaranteed a Michigan victory over Ohio State during his senior season. He then went out and delivered. The Michigan faithful lauded Harbaugh for his bravura and he became a legend of the program. Now, Harbaugh is getting skewered by the same fans who once hailed him for the same qualities they once praised him for exhibiting. Harbaugh's brashness and willingness to speak his mind was what made him a Michigan fan favorite. It is those same qualities that now make him enemy #1. Harbaugh is Harbaugh. He is no less of a Michigan Man because of his recent comments. He was raised on the Maize and Blue and he grew up under the tutelage of Coach Bo Schembechler. Jim Harbaugh always has been and always will be a Michigan Man. Go Blue!
*Note: Photo of Rick Leach (7) and ball boy Jim Harbaugh celebrating a touchdown during the 1977 Northwestern game from the website Guts 'n Glue
*Note 2: Other posts from around the Michigan Blogoshphere on this topic: MGoBlog, Michigan Against the World, MVictors.com, Autumn Thunder, and Michigan Sports Center.