My mom could tell you the starting line up for the University of Michigan football team since we moved to Ann Arbor. Sometimes, my mom could not remember things about our childhood, but she knew her football information. I once lost a bet about Tom Brady at Christmas time against her. She knew the ins and outs. Explains why I love sports, I had an amazing role model. I have had frequent discussions with my girlfriend's boyfriends about sports. I have to tell them politely, I am not faking it. I love sports, but I love me some football.
We had moved to West Bloomfield and my mom had the Uof M football program. I was 14 and started thumbing through the pages. I came across a picture of a 4th string walk on quarterback, whom caught my eye, James Harbaugh. Wow is he ever cute, I told my mom. She chuckled and said great smile and he comes from a football family. I was 14 who cared, he was cute. My brother Cris was attending UofM, how hard could it be for me to bump into Jim on campus. Ok, remember, I was 14. I would try and think of witty phrases I would say to him that would stop him in his tracks. I wanted him to be interested in my maturity, since I was only a freshman in high school and he a freshman in college.
My mom taught English as a second language. One of her students went on a date with Jim. She told my mom what a gentleman he was and how good looking he was in person. My mom told me part of the story, "He never called dear because she wouldn't sleep with him." I remember thinking, he is a young man, starting quarterback for the UofM, and super cute. It was his secondary job to drop girls that didn't want to sleep with him.
Fast forward to my first job out of college. I was a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. I was on a trip that had a few hours in the Indianapolis airport. One of my gay coworkers and I were walking in the terminal to find something to eat, when there he was. Jim Harbaugh walking through the terminal. Now I was a woman in my early 20's facing him. I didn't repeat any witty phrases I had practiced all those years before. Instead we locked eyes, I smiled, he smiled, and I said hello. Really that is one witty phrase that would totally get his attention. Instead, my gay coworker screamed, "Holy shit that guy is fucking good looking and he just said hi to you go get his number!" When I say screamed you bet it was enough for Jim Harbaugh to chuckle and look back at me.
When I returned home I told my mom the story. She smiled and reminded me of all his accomplishments as a wolverine.
It is a bittersweet day today. Jim Harbaugh is coming back to Michigan as the new head coach for The University of Michigan. My mom will have to watch from up above. She passed several years ago. That is the bittersweet part of today's celebration. I do know she was smiling tonight as I rattled off Jim's collegiate history to my son during dinner. GO BLUE!