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49ers beat writer offers Michigan reporters tips on how to deal with Jim Harbaugh

Michigan fans, alumni, employees, and everyone who is a citizen of the state of Michigan is still in a state of euphoria over the hiring of Jim Harbaugh to coach the Wolverines.  At his introductory press conference, the words “savior” and “messiah” were openly thrown around.  In the Wall Street Journal, John Bacon compared Harbaugh’s arrival to Charles Lindbergh.

I’m surprised the hype machine is so grounded.

As Harbaugh departed the west coast, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee took the opportunity to try to help his reporting colleagues by offering pieces of advice on how to approach their new subject matter.  Below are some of the best tips on the unique experience…

Your Harbaugh does not function like other head coaches. An innocuous query about the weather, for instance, could trigger a florid quote from Admiral William Halsey. And yet a routine question about a running back’s knee injury may cause your Harbaugh to wince, pause and grimace as if a malodorous scent has wafted into the room. Your Harbaugh’s default in this instance is: “We don’t really talk about that here” or “I can’t get inside his body” or “He’s working through something.” This is a design flaw our technicians in California have not yet worked out.

You may notice that your Harbaugh never shuts off. This is normal.

There are still a few bugs in the answer-response system. For instance, you may sense – due to a long pause – that your Harbaugh has completed an answer. You will begin to ask another question. You could be two sentences into your question when your Harbaugh suddenly continues his answer to the previous question. You will feel stupid. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.

Your Harbaugh will be enormously affectionate one day and cold and distant the next. This is normal.

Your Harbaugh will not alter his attire in a 1,460-day span. This is normal.

Harbaugh is a quirky, quirky guy.  Just the facial expressions alone at his press conference was like performance art.  No matter what happens at Michigan, it’ll be quite the ride.

There’s many more tips on how to cover the new Michigan coach that are just like this, which begs the question – is John Harbaugh this weird, too?  Or is it just Jim?

[Sacramento Bee]

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