It doesn’t matter who, what, when or where, if you poke Jim Harbaugh, he’ll find out and poke right back.
The latest example comes one day after CBS Sports radio host Jim Rome criticized the Michigan coach for leaving a news conference early on Monday after he refused to explain why three players were missing from a team photo. Harbaugh responded to “The Jim Rome Show” like he often does anyone who calls him out: with a tweet. He referenced former Purdue and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jim Everett, who flipped over a table during a television interview with Rome in the 90s.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Harbaugh walked out of his Monday night press conference with reporters after he was asked about three Michigan freshmen missing from the team photo on media day and their status. Harbaugh said two were suspended, but did not clarify which two, how long the suspensions were, and said it would be handled internally.
Rome mocked him on his show the next day.
“Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coach, is already in midseason form,” Rome said. “He stormed out of a media session. Kind of shocking. Shocking that Harbaugh would get fed up, irritated, aggravated, in a media session. But he did so because reporters had the nerve to ask him a real football question. He pulled his walk off when reporters pressed him about three players that were missing from a team photo.”
Rome continued, really letting Harbaugh have it, as transcribed by the Free Press.
“With that walk off,” he said. “With that line of questioning. That is not an unfair question. What that is a jerk move by the coach. That is not an unfair question or an unfair line of questioning. Like coach, you have multiple players unaccounted for, nobody knows where they are or what happened to them.
“You know why they want a second question, a third question Jim? Because you didn’t answer the first question. If you answered the first question, there would be no need for a second question, a third question a fourth question …
“Maybe you forgot over the summer that it’s their job to cover your team, not ask you what your favorite Drake album is. Just like they’re not there to write another tired story about your latest throwback jersey, or your Walmart khakis, or your latest shirtless photo from satellite camp, or another crackback on the SEC. They’re not on your staff, they do not work for the university. You preside over an alleged national power. If you suspend guys, reporters are going to ask you about it. They’re just doing their job, so you should do yours and answer the question.
“If anybody thought this was going to be a kinder, gentler Harbaugh since he went home to Ann Arbor to rescue the football program, make no mistake, it’s the same exact guy. Nothing’s changed. Same guy. Same insanely intense dude that got run from Frisco, because he was miserable. He runs way too hot and he was wearing people out. Don’t get it twisted now. Great coach, unbelievable coach, I’m sure he’ll do a great job there. But when you have a coach who wins as he wins and nobody is ever sorry to see him leave, that tells you a little something about that guy.”
“So with that 10-win season in the rear view, God help anybody who asks him who his starting quarterback is gonna to be. Or how come he can’t beat Urban Meyer, or when he’s going to beat Urban Meyer, or why he pulled a scholarship from a recruit. Good luck with any of that.
“Michigan fans will love this guy for winning. They’ll love him even more if he gets around to beating Michigan State, and even more than that, if he can finally find a way to get over Ohio State. But anybody who thinks that Harbaugh is wired to grow old in that job is kidding themselves. Enjoy it while it lasts, because even though it’s his alma mater, it probably won’t. This cat runs way too hot. If he can’t get through an August press session, media session, when they’re asking him about guys that are not in a team photo, this guy’s not going to last long.”
Harbaugh does have a history of awkward interactions with radio hosts. Remember when he was first hired by Michigan and went on Colin Cowherd’s show when he was still at ESPN? Harbaugh wasn’t actually one of Jim Rome’s guests, but the interaction remains uncomfortable.
Update: Rome has seen Harbaugh’s tweet.
Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll