Get to know Jim Harbaugh, via Sean Payton

Get to know Jim Harbaugh, via Sean Payton
August 27, 2012, 5:50 pm
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A great deal of time and energy has been spent trying to figure out Jim Harbaugh, and why he does what he does, and says what he says, and is what he is. Its supposed to be some fascinating study in human behavior, impenetrable to all but the keenest observers.Well, it isnt, and much as I know youd like me to explain it to you, there is actually everything you need to know about Harbaugh in a video running about the Internet of Sean Payton talking to the University of North Texas football team nine days before its opening game against LSU.
It is pure football. It is salesmanship. It is mind control. It is youre special and the outside world is filled only with enemies. It is everything Harbaugh is professionally, and it takes less than 20 minutes to get it all.Payton, as you know, was the worlds greatest football coach a couple of years ago. He revivified the New Orleans Saints. He won a Super Bowl he wasnt supposed to win. He created one of the greatest offenses in NFL history. He overcame Hurricane Katrina and saved New Orleans from everything but the actual job of rebuilding the city.He even survived a Vicodin theft scandal and is now sitting out a years suspension for the Saints bounty scheme. He is what you call monomaniacal, a football first and only guy, which is considered good in this profession.Are there other parts to Harbaugh? Away from the field, perhaps. He doesnt share much, nor does he have to. He benefits from the caricature, he believes in it, and he is providing that and only that. Hes not reaching to you unless he actually needs something you have. Typically, it means you buying tickets, making noise when youre supposed to, and providing unconditional love for his team and players. The rest of the time, hed rather be left alone.And thats fine. Its the educated choice he made, and hell live with whatever benefits or consequences ensue.And yes, when Payton is talking about giving 60 plays to his sons sixth grade football team, that is Harbaugh. And yes, when Paytons son says there are too many words in the plays and Payton dismisses it by saying he cant understand his sons school work, that is Harbaugh. And when he talks about salesmanship and hating the sight of outsiders on the field before a game, that is indeed Harbaugh.Indeed, this is the primer on Harbaugh, and most football coaches with a resume worth caring about. There are worse ones, and there may be a few better ones, but this is the profession theyve chosen, and this is the code by which they live.So as you watch the video, just slap Harbaughs head on Paytons body, and dub in Harbaughs voice over Paytons. This is Jim Harbaugh. And if you hear someone complain that Harbaugh isnt this or that, keep this speech in mind. This is Harbaugh, and you make of it what you wish, take it or leave it.Of course, if North Texas gets routed by LSU, which is a 43-point favorite, it wont mean the speech was bad. It only meant that it didnt help its audience defy the laws of physics.Oh, and dont get all bent out of shape about the 49ers after three exhibition games either. That has nothing to do with Harbaugh, but its just stupid, and people will think youre monomaniacal and not in a good way.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com