For today's lesson in Advanced Harbaugh — Jim Harbaugh 301 — I've prepared a lexicon of his favorite phrases in the interest of better understanding the man.
My premise is that Harbaugh reveals his worldview through his phrases. His worldview is not your mamma's worldview. He lives in a world of heroes and epic battles peopled with enemies constantly attacking him and his few hero pals — the 49ers.
The Niners are heroes but they are humble heroes with good hearts and, although many are millionaires, they act and think just like you and me. The media spies for the enemy by asking questions which, if Harbaugh ever were stupid enough to answer them, would aid and abet opponents. Plus the media never helped win a single game.
Here is the Harbaugh lexicon with occasional notes from me in parentheses:
ON THE HEROISM OF FOOTBALL:
It's a cruel team. (This is the highest praise because football is no walk in the park. Cruel is good. He referred to the Giants as a cruel team. The 49ers are the cruelest team.)
Wicked fight. (This is another form of high praise. "Wicked" is good. Justin Smith has wicked fight. So do the Niners. Sunday's game with the Giants will be a wicked fight. Harbaugh lives for wicked fights. In his day, he must have been a wicked fighter.)
Steely-eyed. (Said in praise of the 49ers or the opponent. It implies eyes of steel, men of steel, Superman times 53.)
We give no quarter and we ask no quarter.
The great thrill of winning. (Nothing equals this thrill.)
This was a great team victory. (No player is bigger than the team.)
ON THE HERO 49ERS:
They're not like you or me. They've got superhuman healing powers. (No mere Kryptonite can stop them.)
They have gifts from mom and dad and God. (They are demigods visiting Earth.)
These players are mighty men.
These players are my heroes.
ON BEING THE NFL'S GREAT BLUE-COLLAR TEAM:
We are a blue-collar team. (Note: In the locker room, the 49ers players wear blue-collar shirts with their names stitched in script near the pocket. The players look like gas-station mechanics. You want to say to Alex Smith, "Hey, bub, can you check my oil.")
ON BEING GENTLE WARRIORS:
And so, we proceed with humble hearts.
ON WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT:
I don't like to compare players. Someone always gets diminished.
I don't know much about music. (He wouldn't compare players, so the media tried to lure him into the battle of the bands by asking, "Who do you like better, the Beatles or the Stones?" He refused to choose. In the Harbaugh World, the Fab Four don't rank with special teams.)
ON BEING MOODY AND COMPLICATED:
I am moody and complicated.
I am not friends with other coaches. We're trying to beat them.
I slept like a baby last night. I woke up every hour crying. (Said in response to some writer asking how he slept before the game against — pick a team.)