The Khaki Avenger reveals softer side

The Khaki Avenger reveals softer side
January 6, 2014, 10:15 pm
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Jim Harbaugh, who is notoriously stingy when it comes to his press conferences, let his guard down quite a bit Sunday in Green Bay. (USATSI)

The Khaki Avenger keeps providing surprises to those who like him to be pigeonholed as Captain Queeg, and none more than his burst of media love after Sunday’s NFC playoff win over the Green Bays. He laid a hug on CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, and more disturbing still, a kiss on the tiny bald head of the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows.

We know that since he came off as a high school dean of students at the Super Bowl, Harbaugh has been trying harder to be softer to the media this year, with middling success. I mean, interacting with the outside world is not considered one of his primary strengths.

That said, hugging Maiocco and liplocking Barrows’ skull is a remarkable turn. How he failed to break into a quick waltz with the Chronicle’s Eric Branch or asked BANG’s Cam Inman to go to the prom with him is a bit baffling, but TKA is new at this crypto-media-guy thing.

But don’t be surprised if he sends flowers and chocolates to the press room next Monday if the Carolina thing works out.

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Wade Phillips, on the other hand, is always a regular guy, in or out of work. The freshly defrocked Houston interim coach and defensive coordinator politely declined an opportunity to renew his Reliant Stadium suite for 2014.

But at least he was nice about it, and didn’t have to resort to eloping with the Houston Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon.

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And while we’re at it, Lovie Smith is winning over Tampa Bay by (a) persistently being not Greg Schiano, and (b) having stories like this to tell, via NBC Tampa’s Jenna Lane on Twitter:

“Media just had a sit-down with Lovie. Began with a story about him fending off wild monkeys with a machete while vacationing in Costa Rica.”

It can only go downhill from there.

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Carolina’s Steve Smith is allegedly unhappy that local icon Ric Flair is backing the 49ers, which is very poor staff work by the Panthers. They should slip a few bucks to Daniel Bryan to support the Cats; he’s way bigger with the kids right now.

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And speaking of the 49ers, as we apparently must do until we’re all sick of them, the weather in Charlotte Sunday calls for 59 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain. Colin Kaepernick should wear sleeves just to screw with all the people who fixated on his bare arms in Green Bay.

And Harbaugh, or as we alternately know him, The Kissing Bandit, should work the sideline in sharkskin cargo pants. Just to see if the wardrobe fixations can be carried to their ludicrous extremes before the conference championship.

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And now, a burst of customer service in a field of business where the customers usually do the serving. After West Ham United flamed out in the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest (Maid Marian with two goals . . . sorry), the club saw a film of a boy sitting in the stands and sobbing and broke into more action than the players evidently did. It offered complimentary VIP match tickets to the poor young fan. The club is trying to find out the lad’s identity, and is just hoping he doesn’t burst into tears again when he sees manager Sam Allardyce.

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And finally, here’s to the end of college football for another year. We highly recommend Every Day Should Be Saturday for your off-season legal, moral and ethical lapse updates. Ask for Spencer Hall. He’ll show you a good time, and then kill you in case you think about repeating what you’ve learned.