Usually I’m not a fan of assholes, because, well, they’re assholes.
But every rule has its exception, and mine is Jim Harbaugh, who is such a dick that it’s cool.
Sunday’s ballyhooed postgame incident with Lions coach Jim Schwartz is merely the latest in which Harbaugh has come out looking like a jerk, yet I still find myself rooting for him in said scenario.
Schwartz, who acts like he’s just ingested two liters of Mountain Dew: Cocaine Edition before each game, really has no room to talk about Harbaugh’s overly aggressive backslap/half-assed handshake following the 49ers 25-19 win over Detroit on Sunday. He basically saw the West Coast version of himself in the mirror and didn’t like it.
Harbaugh has come out the victor in other incidents where he has shown a flair for douchery so awesome that we are left with no choice but to admire it.
In 2009, he went for a 2-point conversion late in a 55-21 Stanford win over USC. (It should be noted that Schwartz went for 2 late during a blowout win over the Chiefs earlier this season. Mirror, mirror on the wall!) This prompted Trojans coach Pete Carroll to ask “Hey, what’s your deal?” during their postgame handshake.
Harbaugh’s response: “What’s YOUR deal?”
Priceless! When’s the last time responding like such a prick came off so endearing?
Maybe it was in 1997, when Harbaugh responded to then-NBC analyst Jim Kelly calling him a “baby” by punching Kelly in the head during an NBC production meeting with the Colts. The punch broke Harbaugh’s hand, so I’m not sure if that proved Kelly’s point or disputed it. All I know is it was awesome.
Harbaugh appears to have San Francisco moving in the right direction, just as he did with a once-moribund Stanford program. It helps to be able to back up your behavior with results, and he has.
I eagerly anticipate Harbaugh’s next move. Like a lot of other people in America, I imagine, I’m thinking a Lions-Niners rematch on Wild Card Weekend would be a pretty good stage.
PS — Audience participation points if you can name some of your favorite assholes! We’ll publish the best results. And the worst ones, since all of your comments will show up anyway.