I think the title says it all. ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha put together a lengthy feature article on Jim Harbaugh. As the 49ers have had more and more success this season, the national media has finally started to pay attention to the team. The more they win the better the story becomes, so if they keep up their current run of success it will only get bigger.
This is particularly fascinating in giving us a bit more background on how Jim Harbaugh has become who he has become. Some of it we have heard (e.g. where "Who's Got It Better Than Us?" came from). But it includes a host of little details I did not know.
Coach Harbaugh has struck me as a coach who you don't like when he is coaching the opposition, but you love when he is your guy. That becomes a recurring theme in sports as players and coaches are disliked when they are on the opposing sideline, but you would kill at the chance of getting them for your team.
It really is impressive how driven Coach Harbaugh has been throughout his career:
His brother John, now the Baltimore Ravens' head coach, once told Sports Illustrated that, "Jim is the greatest pure competitor, by far, that I ever met in my life. At everything." Jack Harbaugh added that Jim was just as focused. "He wanted to play at Michigan, have a 15-year career in the NFL and then coach," Jack said. "He had that road map at an early age."
The article points to numerous instances of just how competitive he is. He has ripped teammates for not having the same drive. One of the best lines was this one:
Harbaugh was so committed to winning at USD that 49ers quarterbacks coach and good friend Geep Chryst said, "They had to calm him down at times. He was running the program like it was Michigan."
Jim Harbaugh appears to be so driven by succeeding that losing really is not an option. That has become a bit cliched at times, but in this case I don't think you can really call it that. He appears to be as driven as anybody you can imagine.
The article takes a path through his career to date and wraps up with the start of his time in San Francisco. While we have been able to get a general idea of how he runs the ship, the final segment of the article provides some interesting little details we have not heard quite as frequently. One comment that I recall hearing at one point was brought up by Brian Jennings in the article:
"Coach said something the day after that Detroit game that really sums up his whole approach," Jennings said. "He said, 'If the 49ers' success offends you, so be it.' That's perfect, isn't it? If the 49ers success offends you, so be it."
So, if you get a few minutes, I highly recommend heading over to Jeffri Chadiha's piece on Harbaugh.