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Jack Harbaugh Recalls Memories On Weekly Podcast, Jim Gives Parental Advice

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Michigan finished No. 14 in this year’s AP poll.

Lon Horwedel

This week’s ‘Attack Each day’ podcast wasn’t a new episode, but instead featured a compilation of some of Jim and Jack Harbaugh’s highlights from the past year.

The segment focused on the latter, though the former did give some outstanding parental advice to those with sons who play football toward the end.

We have the highlights below:

Jack Harbaugh, discussing his favorite win(s) of all time:

“My usual answer is ‘the next one.’

“Every single win you ever have, though, is truly a victory. When you start a ball game and you think to yourself why you work so hard to feel so miserable, you understand why when you look up at the scoreboard at the end and get the feeling of victory.

“There is one, however, that stands out to me, and it was on Dec. 20, 2002. We started the year rough at Western Kentucky, but then ripped off a winning streak.

“We wound up facing McNeese State for the national championship, and they had blown us out earlier in the year and had only lost one game.

“We beat them, though, and won the national title.

“On the ride home, you often think about the journey it took to get there, and not necessarily the game itself.

“I was so thrilled with that victory, that I decided to move away from coaching and retire after the game.”

Jack Harbaugh, on how football formations have evolved over time:

“I’ve learned that there is never anything new in football. The single wing used to be the primary offense, and then someone came up with a T-formation under center, and people thought taking the snap that way was revolutionary.

“Splitting ends to make a wide formation then became the next big thing. Red Hickey once came out with the shotgun look and they laughed at him.

“He took it to Dallas with the Cowboys and Roger Staubach, and people said it had no chance of catching on.

“People take snaps from the shotgun more now than they do from under center.

“Michigan’s Mad Magicians teams coached by Fritz Crisler used a bunch of deception. They’d snap the ball to the fullback and he’d spin around and guys would cross behind him, all while his back was to the line of scrimmage.

“They did great jobs of faking, and that made it a fascinating offense.”

Jack Harbaugh, on significant historical events during his lifetime:

“I remember hearing about Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, and I didn’t know what it was.

“Harbor? Harbaugh? I thought Pearl was a relative, and figured it was strange I’d never met her and that she’d never come to the house before.

“I was never able to connect the dots until years later, after it had kept pounding away at me that she was a relative.

“The JFK assassination was another big one. I remember it being on live television, and recall watching the whole procession funeral on TV.

“I remember 9/11 as well. I was at Western Kentucky and we were getting ready to play Wisconsin, and was in the middle of a football meeting.

“The secretary came in and told us something had happened, but we just kept on with our meeting. She later came in and told us the buildings had been hit again, and that’s when we realized the magnitude of it.

“Those three things really resonate with me in my lifetime.”

Jim Harbaugh’s list of 10 do’s and don’t’s he recited to parents with sons who play football during a speech to the Michigan chapter of the National Football Foundation:

“No. 1 — Be positive with your son. It rubs off. If you complain about why he’s not in the starting lineup, he’ll do the same.

“No. 2 — Be realistic. The Good Lord gave us all certain abilities, so accept your son as he is. Know his limitations.

“No. 3 — Don’t knock the coaching staff. How can your son perform to the fullest if he only hears negativity about his coach? Ridiculing him would send the wrong message.

“No. 4 — Support the other players. Treat the other players as if they were your sons. Don’t dislike a player just because you dislike his parents.

“No. 5 — Don’t be a know-it-all. Be a good role model and let the coaches coach.

“No. 6 — Be an active parent. Monitor your son’s academics and insist he study and get good grades. Putting academics first will assure more success for your son.

“No. 7 — Have an awareness for your son’s social activities. Monitor his friends, hangouts, curfew, language and rules. Talk about drugs and alcohol. The wrong people could influence him in the wrong way.

“No. 8 — Be unselfish. Don’t use football for the wrong reasons, and let him play because he loves the game.

“No. 9 — Don’t baby your son. Cut the umbilical chord. Let the coaches push your son and make him tougher mentally.

“No. 10 — Don’t live through your son. You had a chance to be young, and now it’s your son’s turn. Don’t force football down his throat.”

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