I’ve been a Michigan fan since the mid-70s. Rick Leach and Rob Lytle were the early Wolverines I was rooting for as a teenager. I’ve had some great moments being a Michigan fan; I’ve had some heartbreaking moments as well. The players that I’ve been fortunate to watch will always be in my memories. Anthony Carter, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Elvis Grbac, Tom Brady, Butch Woolfolk, Braylon Edwards…….the list goes on and on. And yeah, I loved Harbaugh when he was there. He was so much fun to watch.
I was an instant Jim Harbaugh fan when he emerged as the Wolverines starting QB. He was so smooth, so elusive, so good. I followed him to the NFL. Hell, I even had the Captain Comeback poster framed from when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. This guy made things happen on the field. When his playing days were over, I kept tabs on his coaching career. FCS success at San Diego, brought Stanford back to relevance, and took the 49ers to the Super bowl. I was so proud of my guy.
When the Michigan head coaching job opened, I instantly got my hopes up. Could Harbaugh really be coming back to Ann Arbor? This was the guy that could turn the program around and bring some pride back to the football team. This was everything I had hoped for. Or so I thought.
This is season 4 of the Harbaugh era now. The Michigan Wolverines haven’t made progress like we had all hoped. Like all relationships, they go stagnant at some point (we’ve all been there). The proverbial romance had gone out of the relationship. Is it me? Is it him? Is there someone else? Ok, you get it, but we all knew something was wrong. Sometimes we even realized that, had we listened to our inner Spidey senses, we knew something was wrong long before now. Denial is an ugly thing; we’re all guilty at times. I didn’t want Jim Harbaugh to be the reason that Michigan wasn’t succeeding. He was my guy, and still is. But something has to change.
A lot of analysts have dropped the ‘it’s only week 1’ line. But for Michigan fans, it’s season 4. Week 1 is irrelevant to us, we want success now. I don’t profess to know what the answer is, and neither should you. But there’s this thing called a common denominator that we have to inject into our ideals. Something has to change in Ann Arbor before the natives get restless. I don’t want it to be Harbaugh, but it might be.
I’m fortunate enough to not be the person who makes these decisions. I can keep watching each week, keep pulling for my Wolverines, and hope for the best. I’ll never not be a fan of Michigan or of Jim Harbaugh. But I want to win. The championship season of 1997 is still fresh in my mind, but at the same time it seems so long ago. I want that pride back, I want that feeling. I hope Jim Harbaugh is the eventual answer. But the clock is ticking. #GoBlue