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Saturday, June 27, 2015
TOPLESS HARBAUGH INCIDENT REMINISCENT OF LARRY HARRISON SAGA
Do you remember Larry Harrison? Can you recall the last things he did to get in the news? We think not, that's why we're writing about him today. If a Spartan did what that Wolverine did, only a decade ago, everybody would be very familiar with the story.
But let's start with Jim Harbaugh. He publicly disrobed, going topless with plenty of folks around, only to be hailed as an over-exuberant, playful, life-loving football fanatic who exudes a boyish charm. Right?
We know that a man going topless is not illegal, but in the annals of college football history, we can't name any other major college coach who took his shirt off in public, can you? No doubt, it's a least a bit odd. And there is certainly nothing meritorious about it, especially considering the pasty-white flab shots that were transmitted across the Internet for weeks.
Our point about Harbaugh in this incident is that he did something completely weird and at least a bit anti-social, and his adoring fans in the sports media cut him yet more slack for a really questionable decision. Even in an impromptu game of "shirts-vs-skins", he had all of the authority necessary to quickly and quietly decide that his team would be the "shirts" before going forward with his fun and games. Nobody would have questioned it, and perhaps more importantly, nobody would have noticed.
Are you getting the idea that Harbaugh likes to be noticed?
He is an attention-diva.
So the sports media reports on and interprets an unprecedented and borderline anti-social body exposure incident by Harbaugh as unbridled enthusiasm for his job. Would the same behavior by Mark Dantonio draw the same media response? Hmmm.
Now back to Larry Harrison, by now you're wondering who the heck that guy is, right? Okay, we will tell you, with supporting links to prove we're not making this up.
Larry Harrison was a University of Michigan football player with NFL aspirations who also decided to take off some of his clothes. Okay, maybe all of his clothes. And he played a game while undressed, but his game had only one player, and the player's name was Peter. The audience was not nearly as large as Harbaugh had, and it was comprised only of college-age females who were in their own house during the show.
Please read the stories that are linked (above) to get all of the details, as we don't plan to list them all in this article. Then ask yourself, what if the football player in this story was from Michigan State, would the sports media ever let us forget about it?
Consider if a current MSU football player with NFL aspirations did the same thing as Larry Harrison. Do you really think the story would be swept under the carpet as the media did on behalf of the UM player?
Sure, there were stories and a few reports, we're not saying it was a "cover-up", but the professional sports media is required to publish those basic stories when the events happen. We're talking about the media narrative that permeates our cultural consciousness, leading most people to think things and even believe things based on "what they hear" on a regular basis. (This may sound like psycho-babble, but at least it's not complex psycho-babble. This is pretty basic stuff.)
There are currently three Spartans who are reportedly on their way to the NFL. Pick any one of those three, imagine if they pulled "a Larry Harrison" around the MSU campus, and consider the media fire-storm that would have ensued. This type of behavior goes well beyond a couple of wild pitches in batting practice, and look what the sports media did to MSU over that one.
So Harbaugh catches yet another break from the sports media, while nobody notices how totally strange he behaved that day, and the UM player who did so much more gets lost in the dusty sidelines of sports history. The sports media treatment of Michigan, especially by comparison to Michigan State, has formed a distorted public viewpoint about the two schools for decades.
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