I had a chance to watch 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh speak to the media today in the regular day after game press conference. You can view the press conference over at the 49ers.com Video section (the sound is broken for now). We'll have a transcript of this later in the afternoon, but for now I wanted to touch on a few points from the press conference.
It's safe to say that Jim Harbaugh went to the Bill Belichick school of media handling. It wouldn't surprise me if it had as much to do with Harbaugh's former status as a player as much as anything else. He was there to answer questions, but he did a pretty impressive job of giving away as little information as possible. For example, at one point he was asked a question about a given scenario and his response was, "I wouldn't agree or disagree. I wouldn't say you're on the right track or not."
As long as the 49ers are winning ball games and executing on the field, I can live with Coach Harbaugh handling the media however he sees fit. I'd argue it's kind of amusing at times the way he plays things out. It does seem to irk some folks as would be expected, but there is a certain entertainment value to it.
Arguably the most open he got was when he discussed national media and the 49ers. He mentioned how after the game he was watching some of the highlight shows and he saw nothing about the 49ers. While there was reference in some respects to Ginn's record-setting performance on Sunday, there wasn't much other discussion of the 49ers victory. And Harbaugh wasn't surprised by the lack of coverage. While 49ers fans have their own perception of the team and the coverage it deserves, that does not necessarily match up what the rest of America thinks. Harbaugh's best comment about that was simple, "Do something about it."
That really is the best comment you can make about perception. If you want to get on the highlight shows on a regular basis, you have to prove yourself, plain and simple. Wins are all that matters in the big picture, but perception does matter to many fans, whether we care to admit it or not. Nobody wants their team to develop into a running joke and the 49ers have reached that point a bit too frequently in recent years. Let's hope they finally do actually do something about it moving forward.