I wasn’t in attendance during Saturday’s 49ers practice, and now I really wish I had been. Near the end of the session that evening, Jim Harbaugh decided to jump in and take part in a fake field goal drill. According to another reporter who was on the scene, Harbaugh was running as hard as he could. As he reached out to grab the pitch (a pitch that wasn’t all that accurately thrown, according to the same reporter), the San Francisco 49ers head coach lost his footing and took a pretty violent tumble to the turf.
Here, he explains what happened and the thinking behind what he called a “teachable moment.”
Most people don’t think “comedian” when Harbaugh comes to mind, but I have to say I appreciate his timing here.
Harbaugh isn’t afraid to get dirty
The whole thing reminded me of a Stanford game I covered back in November of 2010.
It had been raining in the Bay Area for a good portion of the week leading up to a home game against Oregon State. As a result, the area in front of the tunnel leading to the Stanford locker room was a mixture of mud and kitty litter spread around the area by the grounds crew in order to soak up some of the moisture.
Harbaugh brought his team out of the tunnel, and just before heading on the field turned around and started yelling and pushing his players, including Owen Marecic. I was standing about 10 feet away, taking in the scene. Harbaugh was bouncing around as if in his very own mosh pit, when his feet slid out from under him due to the muddy conditions and he hit the ground. He bounced up pretty quickly this time (I heard that on Saturday evening he stayed on the ground for at least five seconds, taking inventory), and got back into his players’ faces while the kids themselves struggled not to laugh.