Friday, March 13, 2015

Jim Harbaugh's Challenge at the University Michigan

Jim Harbaugh’s been involved and around sports, throughout his entire lifetime. Jim’s father Jack was a football coach at various colleges and universities. In fact, when Jim was about 10 years of age, father Jack was hired by Bo Schembechler to be his position coach for the University of Michigan’s secondary.  It was not an uncommon sight to observe young Jim being around [retrieving footballs, etc.] college football players, college coaches and other personnel associated with big-time college football at the Big House. It was an unique and wonderful experience for Jim, to say the least, and it foreshadowed the stage for things to come in Jim’s bright football future.

Being and associating with young athletic and older role models became routine or familiar, but not ordinary for Jim. No doubt, precocious Jim had an opportunity and practice to become at ease and develop interpersonal social skills with these giants playing a game that they loved. Jim observed their mental and physical toughness, their skill, their dedication and their focus regarding practicing with passion the love of the game. He also observed that the adult coaches could be warm, caring, but also extremely verbally and physically tough on the players when necessary. Perhaps, he was frightened at first by the rough language exhibited by these coaches. Perhaps, perhaps not, he became more comfortable, over time. It’s safe to say that he became familiar, and learned how to treat and interact with young athletic men in the process. Jim Harbaugh’s personality was shaped, molded and tweaked by his athletic father, both at home, and certainly by his experience with other coaches in the football milieu.

As an adolescent, Jim was a star athlete at the two high schools [in Michigan and California] that he attended. Attending the University Michigan, the setting that had tremendous influence on his personality, he received multiple honors. Further, Jim was exposed to the limelight of big-time football, which affected his character development along with his narcissism. He was told by many in various ways and received awards that indicated and interpreted that he was both extremely special and unique. Further, he played in the NFL, which further reinforced that he was different from the rest of the crowd. Being the quarterback was the epitome and he reached the top of the pyramid as far as star status was concerned. Gathering and garnishing even more celebrity attention, Jim became an extremely successful football coach at Division Level 1 in college. And then a brighter star shone when he became the head football coach for the San Francisco 49ers, while still in his 40s. Nothing in the Milky Way galaxy could dim his brightness.

Currently, he has been appointed to one of the most prestigious positions [Winningest football team] in college football-at the University of Michigan also known for its academic excellence. Jim Harbaugh is basking in the limelight. Even before he has been credited with winning one football game, he has garnished the love and attention of the 500,000 or so Michigan alumni [in our star struck culture] as well as the excitement for those others who follow Michigan football. In an extremely short time, he has shined at press conferences, has been a buzz on various social media outlets, and even coached first-base [in desert like conditions] for the Oakland A’s at their spring training facility in Arizona.

 We are observing an unheralded preoccupation with a college football coach on our planet. This ongoing excitement reinforces Jim Harbaugh’s narcissism and self-importance. It’s of course important for a football coach at any level to have a proper amount or necessary level of narcissism in their character. Hopefully, Jim Harbaugh will not allow himself to be blinded by the adoring shades of light. Let’s hope that “all” can remain rational in viewing the drama that lies ahead of us, and evaluate Jim Harbaugh the man. He has not yet attained legend, nor savior status.

Go, Blue!

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