Student/Athlete/Kid Reporter

After a recent away game for the 49ers, I stood outside their locker room while the team loaded onto the bus. Being an inquisitive 11 year old who's a fan and journalist, I watched everybody and everything. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with an attractive blonde. When she found out I was a reporter, she said she would ask Jim to answer a few of my questions. It ended up that the "Jim" she was talking about was the 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and she was his wife - Sarah Harbaugh. That day it paid for me to be an outgoing, kid reporter!

I quickly grabbed my camera and recorder. I was ready when Coach Harbaugh walked up and shook my hand. I could feel my heart in my throat as I forced out my introduction. He balanced out my nerves with his calm and relaxed demeanor.

We talked a bit about the game the team had just played, but I really wanted to know more about the man himself and his love for the game. When I asked him about who inspired him to play football, he quickly replied, "My dad and my brother." (The brother that he will competing against in the biggest football game of the year – the Super Bowl)! He then went on to share others that inspired him like good coaches and teachers. He mentioned his college coach Bo Schembechler, Mike Ditka and his 3rd grade teacher, Sister Agnes. "Other than my dad and my brother, there are all of those I consider a favorite coach or teacher. Everyone has at least one of those in their life."

Coach Harbaugh and I then talked about the game of football. He commented, "Football to me is the best game ever invented. It works every muscle in your body and it makes you sleep really good at night. It takes a lot of courage to play football because there's contact - getting hit or hitting somebody. I think it's the greatest sport out there. There are a lot of different positions for all, where different body types can excel at football. You just gotta find your niche." I think Coach Harbaugh, his dad, and brother – all found their niche! Football fans around the world will be cheering for this family at this year's Super Bowl – "Go Harbaughs"!!!