PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Jim Harbaugh has driven to the Stanford campus this morning, not unlike thousands of students.
What makes it wholly different is the hybrid bicycle in the office of the Cardinal football coach. That, and the Indianapolis Colts jacket draped over a chair.
|Jim Harbaugh wore five uniforms in a long professional career. (Getty Images)|
Then it hits you. Whatever happens to Stanford football the next few years, it's not going to be boring. You know that if you recognized a 15-year NFL veteran quarterback nicknamed "Captain Comeback" biking 5 miles to the office in the pre-dawn in a jacket he probably wore on the sidelines.
This campus of Masters winners, Nobel Prize recipients and world-class researchers is about to have its Bluto drop in on the faculty mixer.
"Want to hear something kick ass?" Harbaugh said, sliding a CD into his computer.
For the next 20 minutes you both listen to Bo Schembechler's 1988 pregame speech for the Notre Dame game. Close friend Cam Cameron, now the Dolphins coach, recorded all of Bo's pre-game talks for the two years he was on the Michigan staff. Harbaugh was tabbed to make the transfer from tape to CD.
You let the crowd yell. Let Knute Rockne come down from the heavens. You let them all come. You remember, you are Michigan. Bo says, There is no greater tradition in college football today than the uniform that you wear.
"I always get chills up and down my spine," Harbaugh says.
He should. He's a Michigan man, coached by Bo and Mike Ditka among others in his pro career with the Bears, Colts, Ravens, Chargers and Panthers.
Harbaugh seems like the first surfer/coach. A bundle of energy who doesn't care that his players might not remember his career.
"Who remembers who the last five Super Bowl winners are?" he counters.
But when Bo Schembechler died in November, Harbaugh found out via voice mail. "My knees just literally buckled. I was on a sidewalk. I went down to a knee and a hand."