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JIM HARBAUGH'S DREAMS HAVE RETURNED

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THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF LEADERSHIP

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh trots onto the field, his team down by five with 1:40 left on the clock. Who's he playing for? The helmets and jerseys just say "US" in large block letters; the opposing team's uniforms read "THOSE ASSHOLES." He looks to the sideline for the play. The coach is a brown bear wearing a camouflage jacket and a pith helmet, and he speaks with the voice of Ted Marchibroda. Marchibearda whispers "astra inclinant, sed non obligant" three times, then beheads the TV timeout official with one swipe of his paw.

The ball is snapped, though Harbaugh doesn't recall giving the rest of the team the play. Somehow, he still knows what each is going to do before they do it. One receiver runs a sluggo route. The tight end executes a perfect eight yard curl. The fullback has a three foot long sandwich in his hands. He holds it to his mouth, and it changes into a soprano saxophone. The fullback swings the saxophone at a defensive end who's breaking for Harbaugh, nailing him square in the solar plexus. The sax turns back into a sandwich, and the fullback offers Harbaugh a bite. He declines.

He scrambles to his right, resets, and throws deep down the field. The ball hangs in the air - not the way a well-thrown pass usually does, but like a bird, riding thermals. It reaches the intended receiver, hovers over him, and then cracks open with a deafening boom. Hundreds of smaller footballs, each about the size of an avocado, spill out. Each one of Harbaugh's teammates catches a few, and runs into the endzone. "US" has won, scoring 602 points on the final play.

The tiny footballs rush towards the quarterback and lift him up, carrying him off the field. "THOSE ASSHOLES" start begging Harbaugh to take him with them, but he ignores their pleas, and Marchibearda begins to devour each one, laughing in between bites. As the mini-football mosh pit carries him into the locker room, the first moment of terror in this dream strikes him, as he sees what waits in the dimly lit stadium depths.

Every time, Harbaugh wakes up and finds that he's chewed a throw pillow in half, believing it to be Butter Urban Meyer's left leg.