Sunday, January 09, 2011
The Post Mortem: Harbaugh made the right move
The 49ers got their man, Jim Harbaugh, though history has not been good to college coaches making the leap to the pros. Butch Davis, Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Mike Riley and Steve Spurrier are just a few of the names that we unable to make the transition to the NFL.
Lane Kiffin might make the list, too, but he doesn't even qualify as a college coach either.
So did Harbaugh make the right move?
For starters, long-time readers of this space know that I like to invoke the Yasmine Bleeth Rule. In other words, strike while the iron is hot. If Playboy offers you millions to pose, take it. Otherwise, your most famous photo will end up being a mug shot.
And you don't want that.
But maybe more importantly, we get the Harbaugh and Pete Carroll rivalry on the big stage. (Though the NFC West might be a step down from the Pac-10).
We can all agree, however, that this rivalry is just what the NFC West needs. The NFC West has become a punchline and can use a little bit of panache. The NFC West needs more coaches going for the throat in blowout wins, and less sub-.500 division winners, football in domes and John Skelton.
The NFC West needs an attitude era, with a Harbaugh vs. Carroll rivalry to match some of the best in sports — Raiders vs. Chiefs, Lakers vs. Celtics, the Rock vs. Stone Cold.
Unfortunately, Harbaugh was unwilling to bite during his first day on the job.
Harbaugh was asked about Carroll during his introductory press conference, and the new coach danced around the question like Terrell Owens shaking a pair of pom-poms. You know, the last time the 49ers mattered. Instead, Harbaugh just said that he was “excited about tonight.”
Did he just quote the Black Eyed Peas?
Was this the same Harbaugh who went for a two-point conversion in an attempt to hang 50 points on USC late in a blowout win in 2009? The conversion was no good, but Stanford got another touchdown to beat the Trojans 55-21. Carroll was so beleaguered by the move, he asked Harbaugh “What’s the deal?” as the two shook hands at midfield according to Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle.
To which Harbaugh responded, “What’s your deal?”
This move closed the door on the duo’s rivalry. At least on the college level. Harbaugh’s approach might not have hastened Carroll’s defection to the pros, but it left an indelable mark on Carroll’s college legacy. Carroll even said that he won’t forget the incident.
So we have to ask … Harbaugh, what’s your deal?
Where was that Harbaugh who wasted little time igniting Carroll when you first took the Stanford job in December 2006? The following spring, Harbaugh said that Carroll was only going to last one more season at USC (well, he was close) and then knocked the No. 2 Trojans out of the BCS title race with one of the biggest upsets in college football history in October.
Where was that guy, Harbaugh? Instead, all we got as that you were excited tonight, and you will get to work on beating the NFC West tomorrow. Tomorrow? This is the internet age, we want action now. We want predictions of hanging 50 points on the Seahawks in September.
But that’s o.k. Like they say in football, you don’t want to show all of your plays during the first drive of the game. Hopefully this rivalry will be given some time to grow.
Let it be known, however, there are some high expectations for this.
Just so you know the deal.
SPEAKING OF the Seahawks, look like all of that talk about the reseeding is no longer necessary. The NFL playoffs are fine, people. No need to make any drastic changes. And really, with NFL teams being so close, parity wise, why do we need to make any more changes.
No, we are good. Though, somebody might want to cheer up Falcons WR Roddy White.
The holidays have passed. And for most of us, that meant opening up a present from a distant relative and feigning a fake smile while pulling out a gaudy argyle sweater with matching socks to boot. And most of the time you get a little self-conscious because we don’t have the poker face of Phil Ivey, fearing that everybody can see right through the facade.
Well Falcons, you have been potentially handed a gift, and White, your fake smile is not fooling anybody.
Especially since you got exactly what you wished for.
Moments after the Seahawks’ shocking win, White took to Twitter to feign displeasure that the Falcons and Saints will not have a rubber match in 2010.
“I guess we don’t get to play the defending champs,” White wrote.
You don’t get to play the defending champs? Weren’t you the same guy who came out yesterday and said that you wanted to play the Seahawks?
“You really don’t want to play a really consistent quarterback or anything like that,” White told reporters. “Does that answer your question?”
Well, White, after watching Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck torch the Saints for four touchdown, you might want to be careful about what you wish for.
THE RUN by Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch which sealed the team's upset win was not the greatest run in playoff history. Please stop trying to say that it is. Nobody will remember that run after the Seahawks are smoked this week.
And for the record, the best run was Marcus Allen, followed by John Riggins. History people. Learn it.
ANYBODY ELSE tired of the Steelers vs. Ravens matchup? This would be much more compelling if these teams were entertaining at all.
But they are not.
AND FINALLY ...
Gomer once again failed in the playoffs. Think of this, Jets QB Mark Sanchez is 3-1 all time in playoff games. Gomer is 9-10. And while it would have been more fitting for Gomer to throw the game-crippling interception to end the Colts' season. But failing to pick up a first down, to keep the clock moving is close enough.
Adam Vinatieri nearly bailed out Gomer. But the clutchness is being sucked down into a vortex.
Have fun watching Tom Brady win a fourth Super Bowl, Gomer. That will never be you. Even Peter King thinks that the window is closing for Gomer.
When the NFL quarterback's biggest Titleist washer is questioning you, well, then maybe it's time to turn the page.
Gomer won't, though. He will take one more huge payday. And he will get insane money to be competitive every year. But this is your future, Colts fan. Though, you should know better than anybody else.
And one other thing. Why do announcers act like Gomer is the only player in the league prepared to play quarterback? Do the other guys not study? Because they act like Gomer is the only person who puts in the extra time.
If that's the case, kids, don't spend so much time studying. Unless you want to be earmarked for middle management.