In his opening remarks of his Los Angeles Chargers introductory press conference, Jim Harbaugh spoke of gratitude. Gratitude for Standford, for Michigan, the Spanos family, the Chargers organization, for Al Davis and later he even said he was grateful for the 49ers and Jed York.
Grateful to the 49ers and Jed York? The prevailing narrative was that the relationship between coach and organization was fraught and that the abrupt end to the partnership was due to a constant power struggle between the powers that were.
Jim Harbaugh Responds To A Question About “Butting Heads” With 49ers Brass
Harbaugh was later asked directly about how he would divide the personnel control between he and Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz in light of, as the questioner worded it, ‘the butting of heads with the front office’ in San Francisco.
Habaugh’s reaction was to rebuff the accusation implied in the question; that the fissure in San Francisco was overstated, perhaps manufactured by the media. “Yeah, I mean, don’t, don’t believe everything you read,” Harbaugh quipt. He went on to describe his 6th grade teacher exposing him to the idea of critical reading. A skill he wondered aloud how many people understood the definition of.
For the record, there are multiple definitions for critical reading. The one Harbaugh is likely referring to is that critical reading involves questioning a text, rather than assuming everything it contains is factual.
He wrapped up his rebuttal by saying, “So, yeah, that was an awesome time in San Francisco.”
Perhaps the subtleties and nuance of the situation were lost in the vast amount of coverage about the dissolution of the 49er-Harbaugh regime, but Harbaugh’s reputation precedes him. Reputations are not defined by the media, those are earned by an individual’s actions. Only time will tell how Harbaugh’s reputation will fit in with the Chargers organization. Maybe it will be as awesome as San Francisco.