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Jim Harbaugh Lets Down His Guard

Matt Maiocco had a fantastic article yesterday in which he pointed out what seems to be a pretty touching moment from Jim Harbaugh's season-ending press conference on Monday. Coach Harbaugh was asked what he did after the game and although he eventually laughed off the question, there was a brief moment where he seemed to show off the pain of a brutal loss. It is hard to see in the video (19:30 onward), but Maiocco references a point near the end.

Coach Harbaugh has had a complicated relationship with the media throughout the season, which can be prominently seen through the eyes of Lowell Cohn of the Press Democrat. Lowell believes Harbaugh acts like an emotional 11-year old and needs to grow up. I view it as Coach Harbaugh not wanting to reveal too much personal stuff to the media but even still having some semblance of humanity amidst the turmoil of a tough loss. Bay Area Sports Guy has a couple of good takes on two Lowell Cohn columns over the last couple of days (one and two).

Coach Harbaugh does have a contractual obligation to meet with the media. It would be nice to hear more and I can understand criticisms if Coach Harbaugh does try to provide as little information as possible. On the other hand, Lowell's latest columns go beyond simple critiques and seem to be personal affronts to Harbaugh's way of doing business.

Cohn said that he believes if Harbaugh grows as a person it would help him in his coaching. However, the 49ers players seem to love the guy they are dealing with on a daily basis. Things are not always going to be rosy for the 49ers, but it seems to me like the team is buying into what Harbaugh is selling in a big way.

While I don't know everything there is to know about Coach Harbaugh, it sounds like he has been the same person from day one with no false pretenses to the team. While Lowell Cohn might question his emotional maturity, it seems to me that it is at a perfectly acceptable level to help this team.

It would be nice to know more about Coach Harbaugh and what makes him tick, but in reality, we kind of are getting an idea of what makes him tick by the way he interacts with the media. It's all about the team, it's all about winning and improving as a team, the rest of the world be damned. That does come across as a bit of a scorched earth policy, but it seems to be working so far.