It is 11:46 AM Eastern time on December 29th.
At 1:00 PM, Jim Harbaugh and his family will board a plane bound for Ann Arbor, Michigan.
On Tuesday, barring the Chicago Bears offering him a live bear and $12 million per year in gold bullion, Jim Harbaugh will be announced as the next head coach of the University of Michigan. For the more NFL minded, this is insane. For the college football fan, this is bizarre.
But for Michigan fans, this was how it had to be. It was going to be Harbaugh, or it was going to go to hell.
There was no Les Miles and no Dan Mullen and no David Cutcliffe. This was always about Harbaugh. When interim athletic director Jim Hackett (who, if he pulls this off, will probably no longer be 'interim') started talking about "swim lanes," Michigan fans started talking about Harbaugh. When NFL reporters talked up Harbaugh heading to Oakland and refused to pay attention to the possibility of a move back to college football, Michigan fans tracked Jim Harbaugh's parents' real estate transactions because fuck FlightAware, man. That shit's for squares.
Last thing: The fan fervor for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan cannot be duplicated by the NFL or many actual religions. This I can attest to.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 27, 2014
(A quick reminder: Michigan fans aren't above anything. You question the fanbase on Twitter, you get hate mail. You say that Michigan is no longer "elite," someone from Ypsilanti threatens to shove a Blimpy Burger into your rectum. No matter that no one knows what "elite" means anymore, no matter that Michigan hasn't won a Big Ten title in over a decade. Michigan fans are college football fans, and college football fans are demanding, petulant, and obsessed. The only reason we aren't poisoning trees or calling Paul Finebaum names is because it's cold and we don't want to go to East Lansing.)
Michigan fans’ dissent into FSU Twitter levels of "IF YOU REPORT SOMETHING I DISLIKE YOU ARE A LIAR AND A CHARLATAN" was fast.— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) December 29, 2014
But we did it. Michigan fans and boosters and alums and Charles Woodson all wanted Jim Harbaugh, and goddamn it, we got him.
So now what?
Michigan has the coach its fans have wanted since 2007, a coach whose blend of complete insanity and total obsession mixes perfectly with the university that created the Peace Corp, Ann Coulter, Darth Vader and the Unabomber. A coach who has won everywhere he's coached, who won at Michigan as a quarterback, who promised a win over Ohio State and delivered.
So now what?
When do we get to get mad at him? When do we get to complain? First game? Fourth game? Are we happy now? Can we stop threatening NFL reporters (who, despite their impressive and thorough wrongness and use of 'sources' as a veneer over being wrong, are probably very nice people who were just wrong)? Will he stay around? Can Michigan keep him happy while simultaneously requiring, at the very least, a Big Ten title and a place in the College Football Playoff and perfect graduation rates and a puppy for everyone? Will he assault Urban Meyer at midfield? Can he still recruit? Will he be as good as we think he could be?
Can he give us what we want when what we want is, well, everything?
The plane to Ann Arbor should be in the air soon. Seems as if most everything else is, too.