Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's still The Game in these parts.

This great ESPN retrospective on Jim Harbaugh's "Guarantee Game" in 1986 shows why.

I genuinely feel for other sports fans who don't have a strong tradition of college football--you are definitely missing out.

After winning their first nine games in Harbaugh's senior season in 1986, the Wolverines were in the thick of the national championship race.

Then the unimaginable happened: No. 2 Michigan lost to unranked Minnesota 20-17 at home on Nov. 15, 1986. The loss not only knocked the Wolverines out of the national championship hunt, but it also put them one game behind the Buckeyes in the Big Ten standings.

Two days after the devastating loss, Harbaugh met with reporters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When Harbaugh was asked how the Minnesota loss would affect the Wolverines as they prepared for their final game against Ohio State, he delivered a stunning answer:

"I guarantee you we'll beat Ohio State and be in Pasadena."

* * *

[Then-Sports Information Director Bruce] Madej: Jim Harbaugh was probably the last player who talked at the press conference, and he was the last guy you would think would do anything out of the ordinary. He always said what you would expect him to say. All of a sudden, he comes out and guarantees a victory. My neck could have had whiplash I jumped up so quick.

After Jim said it I knew that Bo had to know about what was going on. I literally caught him coming through the room where the service employees were. I was really scared to tell Bo what Harbaugh said. I looked at Bo and said, "I better tell you something right now. Jimmy guaranteed a victory over Ohio State." I expected him to explode or get a little testy, but he didn't. He walked up to the podium and didn't say anything about it until a question was asked. The only thing he said was, "I'm glad he said it. What else would you expect your quarterback to say?"

Schembechler: I said to him, "Jim, are you crazy? Did you really guarantee a win to the press?" He said, "Yeah, I believe it." I said, "Well, damn it, you better be right."
And, yeah--it's safe to same I'm a Jim Harbaugh fanboy. In addition to having conniption fits on the sidelines, he does things like this.

1 comment:

  1. On a related note. I couldn't believe how good the Lions looked yesterday. Lions PLEEEESE keep Matthew Stafford!