There was an interesting Sunday Conversation between some ESPN interviewer and Coach Harbaugh recently. I provide I transcript here for your enjoyment. The best part is the end (though it's all pretty interesting). In this Question/Answer session, "Q" means the interviewer and "A" is Harbaugh, naturally.
Q: Jim, there's something you probably have to fight, perception vs. reality. In the public perception of you, you can be brilliant, you can be calculating, you can be down to earth, and you can be a little bit nuts. What's the actual reality; how would you actually describe you?
A: Uh, nuts? I wouldn't describe [myself] as that. Very serious about being good at home, with Sarah, as a a husband, very serious about being a good dad to my kids, very serious about being a good football coach. Pour my heart and soul into those three things.
[Showing video of Harbaugh screaming at referee from last year, with hat falling off]
Q: Is there such a thing as "Harbaugh Light"?
A: Yeah, uh. I'm with myself 24 hours a day, and it would be nice to maybe have some Harbaugh Light, you know, maybe 2 or 3 hours instead of 24. Might be better.
Q: You're reluctant to do a lot of interviews ...
A: [interjects] Peel back the onion ...
[Video showing pictures of Harbaugh with Jerry Springer and Harbaugh's tweet "Great seing jerryspringer at Disneyland. Great guy!" and picture of Harbaugh wearing Lakers shirt and perhaps buying a Sixers uniform with tweet "Last minute shopping in LA. All set for tomorrow, Thx Larry."]
Q: All that, right. And yet you do so many things that draw attention to you. How do you reconcile that?
A: I like to stay busy. I like to do things. The sit down interview, where they take that deep look or whatever, I don't like that as much.
[Video showing of Harbaugh throwing out first pitch at Wrigley]
Q: You are a guy who is known as being ultra-competitive. When you played, when you coach, shoot, you brought your own cleats and your glove to a ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley [field] recently.
A: Who doesn't?
Q: [interjects] Everybody doesn't!
Q: You are the first person in Cubs history to ever have brought your own cleats ...
A: [interjects] I was always trained to bring your own glove to a game; you never know when you could get a foul ball, etc.
Q: But you wore cleats to throw a first pitch!
A: Yeah, right. Ryan, um..., Greg Maddox told me it was one of the slipperiest mounds in the big leagues, esp. at the beginning of the game, something to do with the dirt and the way they water it, so, didn't want to slip.
Q: So you scouted that?
A: Yeah. Well, it came up. I was aware of it.
[Video of rap showing: "Who's got it better than us?"]
Q: OK. You had an offseason to remember. You became the first 52-year old Khaki-wearing rapper.
A: The rap video was awesome. A real toe-tapper.
Q: Toe tapper. Is that a rap term? [sarcastic]
A: That's a music term. [very serious]
[Video with highlights of Harbaugh playing against OSU showing]
Q: OK, sorry, yeah. Do you think you could still play a series today?
A: Yeah, yeah I could do a series.
Q: You could run a ... strap it up, put the shoulder pads on and a helmet, go out there?
A: I believe so.
Q: Would you love to do that, one more time?
A: Yeah. I dream about it still.
Q: Do you? It must be kind of cool?
A: Really cool. I could even smell, smell the grass. I can hear the cleats walking on the cement, coming out of the tunnel. Did I say you could smell the grass? [Q: yeah] The leather, the leather of the ball, the sound and smell, in those football dreams.
[Showing picture from Chris Fowler, who took a selfie with himself, Harbaugh, and Meyer. Tweet reads "OK, this Harbaugh/Meyer selfie is focused better. So I'll share it for posterity, never to be recreated!"]
Q: How would you describe your relationship with Urban Meyer?
A: Good. Professional. Like him, like being around him. Same with Mark Dantonio, feel the same way, respect.
Q: You like competing against those kind of guys....?
A: Well, yeah, I mean you love it, you gotta have it. It's life giving energy. Wouldn't wanna live without it. But you say "Do you like it?" I can tell you, during the competition, I literally stand there on the sideline, it's like being in the dentist's chair, getting root canal done, [Q: Really?] for three and a half hours.
Q: Cause you look like you love it!
A: I love it when we win. You know, I really, really enjoy that.
Q: If you weren't a coach, you would be what?
A: For so long, I've been determined to be, um, I would play as long as I could, and then I would coach, and then die. I knew that was what I was going to do, so... never thought about the other.
Q: Play, coach, and die?
A: [Clarifying] Play, as long you can, play as many years as you can, and then coach, and then die.