Saturday, January 16, 2016

Jim Harbaugh Recruiting

On January 7, Linda and I were joined by two other couples and headed for San Jose to see the Detroit Red Wings play the San Jose Sharks. Dave, also from Detroit played hockey, and was knowledgeable about the game. As a young, impressionable kid growing up in Detroit, hockey was one of the sports that I listened to on the radio. Back then, there were 6 NFL teams. Detroit, Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, MontrĂ©al Canadians and the Toronto Maple Leafs. My favorite player was Gordie Howe. He was a member of the “Production Line” that featured Sid Abel at center and Ted Lindsay on the right wing. Red Kelly was a defenseman, and Terry Sawchuk was in goal. Some of the other legends that I remembered included Jean Beliveau, Boom Gefferon, Maurice Rocket Richard, Pocket Rocket Richard and Bobby Hull. A Toronto Maple Leaf named Eddie Shack used to shadow Gordie Howe. During one game, Shack, seriously injured Gordie. I remembered being worried about Gordy’s health and recovery. Gordie did recover and played and played and played even playing professional hockey with his son’s. Going into today’s game, I admit that I no longer follow hockey nor do I know the names of the current players. Even though I didn’t know their names, of the current hockey players, I was impressed by speed of the game and their skill level. TV does not capture the level of play by these terrific athletes. The Red Wings opened the scoring in the first period, but the score was quickly tied. It looked like the Sharks played superior and had 10 more shots on goal than my Detroit team. Detroit had more penalties, but the Sharks were unable to capitalize. The Red Wings scored in the 3rd period. The Sharks pulled goalie near the end of that third period, but did not score. There was even a fight to finish the game and everyone cheered. Another surprise was when the person sitting behind me said, “There’s Jim Harbaugh.” Sure enough, four rows behind me sitting in an aisle seat was the Michigan head football coach. At the first intermission, there was a line in front of Jim. People are shaking hands, taking pictures, while talking to coach Harbaugh. I waited my turn and went up to him. I don’t think he initially recognized me until I said, I wrote “Bo’s Warriors” and he gave me that grin and gave me his hand. I mentioned to him a number of things such as “you did a terrific job, I was impressed with your Bowl victory.” He replied,” spread the word.” That was a cute response. I also told him that I was happy that he didn’t take the Oakland Raiders job.” He said that this month was key for the recruiting process, which was why he was likely in California . Coach Jim Harbaugh was available to all and has a nice easy-going friendly personality in meeting the public. On the playing field and during games he is much more competitive and intense. It’s obvious that he knows how to relate and is very approachable. I wished him luck. I would not be surprised if Michigan football has even greater success during the 2016 season as many are predicting. Look out, Ohio State University-the Wolverines are close to being back like they were when Jim played for coach Schembechler. Go Blue!

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