How To Never Be Wrong Comment Count

Ace December 18th, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Heads up, Rap.

Last night got a little wild when a bunch of NFL reporters "reported" or "confirmed" Michigan's 6-year, $48 million offer to Jim Harbaugh. This prompted something of an about-face from a group that had poo-pooed the notion an established, successful coach working for The Shield would deign to consider a college job.

That doesn't mean these reporters were wrong, though! Work the narrative hard enough and such a thing is impossible. Here's the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, circa December 7th:

So he's wrong, right? Think again. The situation simply changed drastically once Michigan realized a key factor in contact negotiations is, um, offering a contract:

Jim Hackett was "rebuffed," you see, and just spent the last two weeks begging for spare change and allowing other viable coaching candidates to land elsewhere in the hopes that Harbaugh would completely change his mind. Yeah. That's it.

Rapoport was far from the only NFL guy to make this mistake. CBS Sports's Jason La Canfora, December 7th:

While many are connecting Harbaugh to the opening at Michigan, where he was a star quarterback, sources close to the coach maintain he is not interested. Harbaugh's family has close ties to outgoing Michigan coach Brady Hoke and Harbaugh is much more interested in NFL possibilities.

Yesterday, La Canfora somewhat acknowledged Michigan's offer, only to suggest that the Raiders would easily beat it because the Raiders did what now?

Quite a convenient time to report this, considering Jon Gruden signed a lengthy extension with ESPN three days ago.

ESPN's Adam Schefter at least acknowledged the remote possibility that Harbaugh would consider Michigan, though he didn't "see that happening," and his explanation for why Harbaugh is now considering M is laughable:

Asked why he was considering it now, but hadn’t been previously, one person said now that the 49ers are out of the playoffs, it was possible for Harbaugh to at least consider it.

That's quite an interesting interpretation of Harbaugh saying he wasn't discussing any future job prospects while he still had a job with the 49ers. Yes, San Francisco getting officially eliminated from playoff contention meant Harbaugh almost certainly wouldn't be coaching on that particular side of the Bay Area next year, but it's rather hard to believe he woke up after losing to the Seahawks and realized at that moment he should probably start considering his future in private.

If only someone had reported that Michigan aimed the proverbial money cannon Harbaugh's way earlier. Someone like, say, Wolverine247's Steve Lorenz, on December 3rd ($):

I believe we were the first to report this, but we've been saying for a while that money was not going to be an issue for Michigan in this coaching search. This is almost certainly a combination of the highly profitable Michigan athletic department and donor/booster Stephen Ross, who will play a role in a potential Harbaugh hiring.

Around 9:30 this morning, I got a message from someone I consider a reputable source that echoed the 8 million/year number that has been bandied about.

The DSR's Jeff Moss reported similar that day, saying that Michigan had offered Harbaugh a financial package that would make him the highest-paid coach in the sport. The crew at Go Blue Wolverine has long maintained that money wouldn't be an issue in M's quest for Harbaugh ($). Same goes for Chris Balas at The Wolverine ($).

Unlike the NFL guys, the Michigan insiders have been open in acknowledging the nature of their sources and the fluidity of any coaching search, especially one that—in this case—is centered on a currently employed coach with a year left on his contract. They also had last night's suddenly groundbreaking info weeks ago. Funny how that works.


matty blue

December 18th, 2014 at 11:27 AM ^ why trying to read tea leaves on this shit is completely pointless onanism.  99.9% of the "info" out there is fabricated out of whole cloth, "i think this" disguised as "sources."

wake me when it's over.


December 18th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

I have been apoplectic about the "news" surrounding this.  Hackett and UM are trying to do this the way it is supposed to be done, respectful, quiet, and giving Mr. Harbaugh (messiah) all the time he needs.  The media doesn't want to allow them.  It feels like the media (particularly the ESPMZ folks; yes, its a cross of ESPN and TMZ) are basically trying to get this coaching search to be run through them instead of just being the fly on the wall and reporting, of which there has been nothing to report until last night

That being said, I have officially allowed myself to entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, we can start having nice things again.  I have gone from "it's not happening" to "It's Happening?!?!!"


December 18th, 2014 at 11:31 AM ^

The NFL "reporters" stance that no coach would EVAR leave the NFL for college, then backtracking once real news comes out, is both hilarious and a bit annoying/nauseating to me.


Also, Jason, from whom did you hear the Raiders had this astronomical pile of money for Gruden?  Pretty irresponsible there.


December 18th, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

Awesome work Ace. And now would be the time for all MGoBloggers, in a show of solidarity for all Michigan insiders, to spam the respective timelines of Rapaport, LaCanfora, and Schefter with this article. They deserve ridicule for this but will most likely continue on as if they were 100% correct from the get-go.


December 18th, 2014 at 12:34 PM ^

I don't know whether he's been anti-Semitic or not (although it wouldn't surprise me), but Moss has been so hateful to so many people for so long that I can't take anything he says seriously at all and won't read his stuff.

The quality and quantity of terrible things he'll say at or about people he doesn't like -- which basically includes everybody in Detroit with a sports media job at which he thinks he'd be better, plus pretty much every member of every team's front office -- is astounding. Ever since Tom Kowalski (RIP) passed, he doesn't appear to have anybody who can tell him to take a breath and maybe not wish quite so many people dead for being bad at their jobs.

Hardware Sushi

December 18th, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

Glad you posted a summary, I hope you mentioned all these asshats when you tweeted it out.

Harbaugh may not end up at Michigan, but "How to never be wrong" is just a microcosm of how modern reporters, in general, use twitter and their audience's short attention span/incomplete information to spin a story to make themselve omnipotent.


December 18th, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

gave you the job. These people actually used to be reporters, who, you know, were actually good at reporting so they would get inside information. Now, you get a bunch of guys who look from the outside in, throw a bunch of crap around and I don't think have the respect of the people they are covering so they never get a real scoop.


December 18th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

lead us to believe that things are being heard concerning rumors about grumblings in accordance with a report that several people agree with about whispers on word that the suggestion of tidings dispatched by several reputable but unlisted people close to the situation have proof that something may be in the works.


December 18th, 2014 at 11:38 AM ^

What is the possibility that the Miami owner is pushing JH to UM for 6 and then giving him the open door for a job when the program is turned around after the 6 years. Seems the best of both worlds. Miami can build from the draft a little longer and then hire him on after he grooms a qb at UM. Long shot I know but it would work wouldn't it?