one frame at a time
"I've been thinking a lot about this over the last four, five, six weeks," Harbaugh said after No. 4 Michigan's win. "Because I am the football coach doesn't mean I can dictate to people what they believe. I support our guys. I think this is something, it's not going away, it's gonna keep happening."
Jim Harbaugh didn't know ahead of time about the pregame display of unity and strength by members of the football team, but hearing his postgame comments, it's clear his players have his full support. That became even more important yesterday, when racist propaganda was posted around campus, prompting a denouncement of the fliers from the University and a protest at the Fishbowl.
I know how our readers feel about getting politics mixed with their sports, so I'll keep this brief, though as Harbaugh said, this isn't something that's going away. As a human being, I was horrified to see what appeared on campus yesterday; as a Michigan grad, I could not be more proud of the actions and statements from the players, the support and response from the program, and the swift action taken by many on campus. I hope we can all agree that hate has no home at U-M. For far more nuanced thoughts on this, I strongly encourage you to read these pieces by MTV News's Jane Coaston, a Michigan grad, and SBNation's Spencer Hall.
And now, let's see that ref take a football to the face again.
[Hit THE JUMP for the Penn State game in GIFs.]
There's a veritable bounty of GIFs from the Colorado game. First, however, I'd be remiss if I didn't post the Harbaughs's star turn as milk spokesfamily:
And lo, there were GIFs.
— Joe Sports (@joefedewa) September 20, 2016
The full Harbaugh mirror routine is here.
With those early contenders for the 2017 Jim Harbaugh GIF Tournament out of the way, let's move on to the Colorado game after the...
[JUMP like Jabrill Peppers over a prone quarterback.]
This play didn't crack the top five this week. I still want to talk about it, though. Not that you need to be told this, but watch Jabrill Peppers, who starts the play lined up on the block M.
The rest of the defense is caught flat-footed on this play. The D-line is slanting away from the running back. The force defender is nowhere to be found. The playside corner is caught in man coverage and has his back to the play. Peppers's first two steps are towards deep center, then he has to alter his path to avoid running into Delano Hill.
With a speedy running back around the edge unimpeded, this play looks destined for a first down. Peppers not only reads the play and covers a ton of ground to get to the back before the sticks, he cuts down the angle and finishes the play by literally throwing the RB out of bounds.
Savor every moment you get to watch this guy—excuse me, this Dude—play football. He is truly a once-in-a-generation athlete.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the UCF game in GIFs.]
I see you, Bleacher Report. I see you.
[Hit THE JUMP for much more of THAT and the rest of the GIFs from the Hawaii game.]
Home/road imbalance be damned, Michigan-Notre Dame is back, and that is cause for raising your arms in triumph like you're Jim Harbaugh beating the Irish in 1985. Before the 2013 game, I put together a GIFs post of the best moments of the rivalry (from a Michigan perspective, at least), and today marks a great time to update and revisit it.
[For many more GIFs from Notre Dame games of the past, hit THE JUMP.]
Brian is out for the day, so I've moved the next region of the tournament up a day, in part because one more day of voting isn't going to change the results from the Good Times region. Those results:
#1 Harbaugh As Grinch: 5,190 (93%)
#8 Harbaugh Clapping: 375 (7%)
#4 Harbaugh/Drevno Awkward Celebration: 2,374 (56%)
#5 Harbaugh/Drevno Successful Fist Bump: 1,902 (44%)
#3 "You're Really Good": 2,236 (57%)
#6 Rudock Hug-Like Substance: 1,696 (43%)
#2 Spring Game Grin: 3,249 (76%)
#7 Fist Pump: 1,046 (24%)
Those were relatively easy selections; even the dueling Harbaugh/Drevno celebrations had a gap of nearly 500 votes between them. This region should be more competitive; I've seeded (and reseeded, and reseeded) Harbaugh's various sideline blowups for the Bad Times region, and it should come as no surprise that this is the strongest group.
As always, click the stills to open each GIF in a lightbox. Righteous anger, ahoy.
THE BAD TIMES REGION
(1) Rage Stripping vs. (8) Hat Antics
It's great enough that Harbaugh gets so hot under the collar he has to start stripping. I'd like to also draw attention to Kori the Cord Guy, who has to be in the running for most skilled student equipment manager in the country.
It speaks to the brutality of this region that this is only an eight-seed. The GIF begins with Harbaugh already incensed enough that he's removed his hat; I'm pretty sure he momentarily forgot this, as that weird head-rub thing—as you'll see in a few GIFs—is how he angrily takes it off. Otherwise this is a pretty standard Harbaugh-ref interaction until he snaps his hat back onto his head, which takes this from entertaining to mesmerizing. Again, this is the eight-seed.
(2) Slow-Motion Meltdown vs. (7) Intent To Deceive
Magnificent. Every TV outlet needs a dedicated Harbaugh super-slow-mo camera.
To top off Harbaugh's dismissive-turned-rageful reaction to the infamous "intent to deceive" penalty, we catch a glimpse of a very amused Jay Harbaugh in the background right at the end. Yeah, he's seen this before.
(3) WELL OKAY vs. (6) Plea To The Football Gods
After a Florida defender committed an obvious facemask on Amara Darboh, Harbaugh sprinted down the sideline screaming for a call, gesticulating the whole way.
You may note a brave player—by the arm sleeve, I believe it's Jabrill Peppers—tried to get Harbaugh's attention when he reached the offical. Harbaugh, too deep into rage mode to notice, proceeded to scream "HEY, THEN CALL IT. YOU CALLED IT? YOU CALLED IT? WELL, OKAY."
The best moment from a spectacular Harbaugh performance in the Citrus Bowl. There's a little more context provided in the comments of that post; the reason Harbaugh was so upset is the official closest to the play missed the obvious facemask call and had to be bailed out by another official who was standing well clear of the play. In the GIF itself, though, all we see is Harbaugh screaming for a flag that's already been thrown, and that's peak Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh is a living reaction GIF. This is one of the finer examples.
(4) Sheet Throw vs. (5) Rage On The Run
Harbaugh showing off his Maravichian arsenal of rage moves.
If there's a GIF I underseeded, it's probably this one. The technique stands out here. With one deft movement, he removes his headset; with another—the aforementioned back-to-front motion—his hat is in his hand. The rest of the sideline stands back to watch the show. Did I mention Harbaugh had a magnificent Citrus Bowl performance? I did? It's worth saying again.
Voting will stay open until the next region posts, which should be Wednesday or Thursday.