It will be interesting to see how the “M Go Blue” crowd spins the Jim Harbaugh returning to Michigan story. Will they lie to us and tell us that Harbaugh turned down the Minnesota Vikings job and that Michigan was his first choice all along?
Here is the bottom line.
Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wanted Jim Harbaugh to be the Vikings next head coach.
He believes the organization lacks an edge and Harbaugh was the man to give it that. He just could not convince owner Zygi Wilf or others in the management team that it was the right move. They wanted peace and tranquility between coach and management. Mensah, 40, is young and aggressive and previously worked with Harbaugh with the San Francisco 49ers. He was willing to roll the dice on a man who often rubs folks the wrong way.
The big boss said no. And the big boss usually wins. When the boss said no that officially ended Harbaugh’s flirtation with the NFL – for now. Harbaugh tried to strike while the irons were hot, but his prickly personality did him in. He returns to the University of Michigan with his tail tucked beneath his legs.
Jim Harbaugh thought this was his time to strike.
He finally beat Ohio State, won a Big Ten title and took the Wolverines to the College Football Playoffs. There is no telling when that might happen again. Harbaugh tried to escape to the NFL, but he could not find a team to love him just the way he is despite taking the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl.
It only takes one to love you to get one of these coveted NFL jobs. Unfortunately for Harbaugh, it was the wrong one who loved him.
In this case, Mensah did. Despite that, Wilf and his boys did not.
Harbaugh strung out the university he professes to love. He was willing to leave if the Vikings wanted him. Now Michigan turns from his “dream job” to his second choice. If you are a Michigan fan you have the right to be upset and angry. Harbaugh played at the school. However, it was business.
Even Bo Schembechler flirted with another school when Texas A&M offered the old Michigan coach the richest contract in college football history and pizza franchises to be the head football coach and athletic director. There was tension in Ann Arbor until Bo announced money was not his driving force and decided to stay at Michigan.
People forgave Bo because Michigan won Big Ten titles. The same should happen to Harbaugh if he can win more Big Ten titles and carve out victories over Ohio State and Michigan State. The NFL is a big lure. Coaches don’t have to worry about recruiting or about the chaos the transfer portal has caused.
However, Harbaugh’s mission at Michigan is easy to achieve. He essentially has a two-game schedule. Can he beat Michigan State and Ohio State? The rest of the Big Ten is easy to navigate.
If you are a Michigan fan, I cannot tell you whether to cheer or jeer.
This is a business. Coaches threaten to leave all the time. The bottom line is, can he provide what you want as a Michigan fan.
Follow Foster on Twitter at TerryFosterDet.