San Francisco 49ers

On 49ers: Congratulations on the purchase of your new Harbaugh!

Please follow these tips for operating your Harbaugh ...
Please follow these tips for operating your Harbaugh ...

Congratulations on the purchase of your new Harbaugh! It has been carefully constructed in the Upper Midwest and California for optimum football performance. You are guaranteed to have many memorable moments with your Harbaugh, but it is important to note that it is not designed for use beyond four years.

Here are some tips and guidelines to operating your Harbaugh:

▪ Your Harbaugh does not function like other head coaches. An innocuous query about the weather, for instance, could trigger a florid quote from Admiral William Halsey. And yet a routine question about a running back’s knee injury may cause your Harbaugh to wince, pause and grimace as if a malodorous scent has wafted into the room. Your Harbaugh’s default in this instance is: “We don’t really talk about that here” or “I can’t get inside his body” or “He’s working through something.” This is a design flaw our technicians in California have not yet worked out.

▪ You may notice that your Harbaugh never shuts off. This is normal.

▪ There are still a few bugs in the answer-response system. For instance, you may sense – due to a long pause – that your Harbaugh has completed an answer. You will begin to ask another question. You could be two sentences into your question when your Harbaugh suddenly continues his answer to the previous question. You will feel stupid. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.

▪ Your Harbaugh will be enormously affectionate one day and cold and distant the next. This is normal.

▪ Your Harbaugh will not alter his attire in a 1,460-day span. This is normal.

▪ Your Harbaugh will guard his practices like North Korea guards its missile program. He will tell you he’s concerned you will inadvertently leak information that will fall into enemy hands. He will say this with a straight face and will tell you that he mines other teams’ media reports for that type of information. There will be no evidence, however, that he does this or that it has been helpful. You will conclude he is being overly paranoid. This is normal.

▪ Your Harbaugh may arrive one day with a chipped tooth, a bent finger or a gash across his forehead. This is normal.

▪ Your Harbaugh has been programmed for combat and within six months will pick a fight with the biggest, baddest bully on the block. Urban Meyer, you have been warned.

▪ Your Harbaugh often will double-down on words for emphasis: “A-plus, plus,” “erroneous, erroneous,” “wonderful, wonderful.” This is not a glitch. Do not bring your Harbaugh in for repair. This is normal.

▪ Warning: Do not seek constructive criticism on your Harbaugh’s players. He will utter nothing but praise. A rule of thumb for operating your Harbaugh: Players who earn the heaviest amounts of praise often deserve it the least. (See Jenkins, A.J, and Baldwin, Jon).

▪ Your Harbaugh has been designed for offense and will require many high-end parts to run said offense. Yet his defense will be better than his offense. This paradox has not been explained.

▪ You may be tempted to pour Gatorade on your Harbaugh. This is not recommended unless temperatures exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 degrees Celsius.)

You will enjoy your Harbaugh, especially at first. Then you will want to kick your Harbaugh in the shins. In the end, you will realize that your Harbaugh is perhaps the most unique operating system ever created and that you have been lucky to have had a chance to experience it. Some assembly required. Ages 18 and up.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at

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