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Tuesday, June 16, 2015
JIM HARBAUGH HAS BEEN ISSUED A "FREE PASS"
(originally published on 2-3-15, one day before NLI Signing Day)
The moment that Jim Harbaugh was hired as Head Football Coach at the University of Michigan, he was proclaimed the SAVIOR of UM, well on his way to GOD-LIKE status. An invisible countdown-clock began the inevitable march towards National Letter-of-Intent "Signing Day". Expectations of another mythical "recruiting championship" were stoked and blazing.
After the initial frenzy of Harbaugh-Love began to simmer down, reports began to flow in regarding The King's every move. He wears Khakis, he eats cereal with fruit juice, he once attacked Jim Kelly, and so forth. All of the Blue Faithful were counting on a big victory for Michigan on February 4.
We saw reports of Harbaugh criss-crossing the country, offering to poach every highly-ranked verbally-committed player from every program in the land. It was believed that getting a call from The New Elvis was tantamount to seeing Ed McMahon on your doorstep with an oversized check in hand. To be visited by The Great One was like getting an audience with the Pope. A UM offer was considered to be blue gold.
But here we are, less than 24 hours from the grand event, and the Lord of Ann Arbor has openly received only three verbal commitments, including one from a 3-star player who "flipped" from Connecticut. He's also seen his staff given the bum rush while on the recruiting trail, and watched while another recruit seemed to flip-out after the UM pitch, wavering wildly between schools on public media.
So where does that leave Jim Harbaugh today? We got our answer when we saw articles popping up in the last 48 hours that are pre-absolving the Great God of Football, just in case the massive gold-rush to Wolverine Country doesn't actually get started just quite yet.
In other words, he's great if he does well,
and he's still great if he doesn't do well.
This is truly "The Michigan Difference". The rest of us have to actually do great things to be considered great, but where UM is concerned, they like to think of themselves as great, either way. No further evidence is needed beyond that one letter of the alphabet. This is the same syndrome that has projected a halo over John Beilein's head as his team struggles to avoid the N.I.T.
Perhaps Harbaugh hits the mother-lode on Wednesday, but you can see that he is now covered if he doesn't. The national sports media has tilted the landscape of public perception to protect their hero from harm in the event he doesn't actually perform like a hero.
Jim Harbaugh has been given a "free pass",
as he is no longer expected to perform like a deity
in order to be viewed as one.
By the way, did you notice that Mark Dantonio often wears Khakis, too?
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