I’ve made no secret of (or tried to make no secret of, anyway) loving the nearly-unhinged intensity that defines 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines. It defined him at Stanford, where he promised he’d devote “enthusiasm unknown to mankind” to the job – and delivered. And when he made the jump to the NFL, he didn’t let the league change his approach. No, the NFL was going have to brace itself for him, not the other way around.
And so far, the manic approach is working. Last year, they went 13-3 and nearly made the Super Bowl, and they began 2012 by beating the Packers at Lambeau Field, which no one had done in the regular season since 2010. With all this in mind – and armed with the knowledge that Harbaugh was in peak crazyman form yesterday – I thought it was time to actually take stock of Harbaugh’s nuttiness week-by-week,* and see how it stacked up. So here goes:
The 2012 Jim Harbaugh Insanity Index, Week 1.
We’ll start with Harbaugh pleading his case to referees:
Not bad, but not totally off the rails. This is a pretty typical coach “WHY ARE YOU RUINING MY LIFE WITH YOUR INCOMPETENCE” pose/yell, not next-level Harbaugh. Let’s try again, try to work up to something special:
Now we’re getting somewhere. Guys going right up to him, trying to explain what’s going on – and do you think that’s going to deter Harbaugh, even for a second? No way. He’s going to keep RIGHT ON YELLING, thank you very much. Still, is there something a bit more… colorful? Via SB Nation:
Oh, now we’re in business. But any coach might be expected to work the refs – what truly sets Harbaugh apart is how fired up he gets around his players. Witness his pregame routine with Alex Smith, for example. What could really put Harbaugh’s Week 1 intensity performance over the top would be if cameras caught him giving an especially impassioned motivational address to his team…
You know, like that. And just in case you’d prefer it in video form…
That’s about all we need to see. Jim Harbaugh’s Week 1 enthusiasm gets a full UNKNOWN TO MANKIND on the Harbaugh Insanity-O-Meter. Who’s got it crazier than he does? NOOOOOOO-BODY!
Getty photos, by Andy Lyons
*I reserve the right to discontinue this feature if Harbaugh doesn’t do anything noteworthy for a while.