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JIM HARBAUGH PARDONS A TURKEY

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THERE IS LITERALLY NO RULE THAT SAYS I CAN'T WRITE ABOUT THIS MAN AS MUCH AS I PLEASE AND WHO ARE YOU TO STOP ME

MICHIGAN SID: Coach, are we ready? The camera crews are waiting.

JIM HARBAUGH: Ah, good. They're here to film my morning routine of shadowboxing and milk. It will be an instructional video for the nation's youth, shown in their health classes and drill -

SID: That is absolutely not - where did you get that - [sighs] look, it's been on your calendar for weeks.

HARBAUGH: [befuddled, flips through desktop page-a-day Far Side calendar]

SID: Your Outlook calendar.

HARBAUGH: My outlook is domination of the day with vigor and firmness of spirit.

SID: [mumbling] this job was so much easier when I was just getting yelled at for Dave Brandon's bullshit [normal voice] On your computer. The event. It's a local media PR thing, with the Ohio State game falling on Thanksgiving weekend, we thought it'd be cute if you pardoned a turkey, like the White House does each year. It's from an Ohio farm. Get it? You'll pardon him, grant him honorary captain status, and they'll take a few pictures and it'll humanize you a bit.

HARBAUGH: I have aggressively humanized over numerous respawns and -

SID: It'll take fifteen damn minutes, Jim. Just go smile with the turkey.

HARBAUGH: Might I have a few moments alone with the turkey? Before I bestow any honors on this young man I must consult with him. Test him. Understand the depth of his commitment to the values and virtues of this program. Open a window into his soul and see if he possesses the indomitable perseverance of will to-

SID: I'm going to go smoke a cigarette and cry in my car, I'll be back for you in ten.

HARBAUGH: Good day, turkey.

TURKEY: [is a turkey]

HARBAUGH: Fantastic. So I am told that you have decided you'd like to be a part of this program. This is the noblest goal one can strive to, but one only a select few can achieve.

TURKEY: [blank stare]

HARBAUGH: It says here that you were born in Ohio. Some around here might consider this a character flaw, but I consider it a character-building obstacle. You see, Ohioans are born, but Michigan Men are molded. I myself was born there. My mentor, the great Bo Schembechler, was himself born in the state of Ohio. Your pedigree is not your path, young man. Ohio State may seek to keep the best within their borders, but we at the University of Michigan seek to make the best through our labors.

TURKEY: [pecks at ground]

HARBAUGH: Magnificent, yes. We keep our heads down and focus on today's task.

TURKEY: [eats acorn]

HARBAUGH: My god, we've got so much in common. As a young child, I began eating acorns myself. I believed that if I ate them, I would grow into a mighty oak tree myself. I still believe this and eat a handful every morning.

TURKEY: [scratches at ground]

HARBAUGH: You're thinking of the 1973 game, which was fought tooth-and-nail under brutal conditions, and ended in a controversial tie. Many believe that Michigan was unfairly denied a well-deserved Rose Bowl trip because of that game. It haunts me every waking moment, as I see it does for you.

TURKEY: [gobbles]

HARBAUGH: And now you're thinking of 1986, when we would not be denied our due, as I led us to a thrilling comeback victory in Columbus and a Big Ten championship!

TURKEY: [flaps wings, gobbles loudly]

HARBAUGH: [beats chest, screams]

[ten minutes later, outside]

HARBAUGH: I was skeptical of this plan at first, but that young man convinced me. His character and fortitude represent the values of the University of Michigan perfectly, and I was honored to bestow him with official Michigan Man status. I even declared him an honorary team captain, as his sacrifice will inspire this great group of men to victory this Saturday in Columbus.

SID: Great, great - wait, uh... sacrifice?

HARBAUGH: [eating turkey leg] I need protein when I think about 1973. No one is bigger than the program, son.

SID: We're losing again this weekend, aren't we.

HARBAUGH: [crunching mouthful of beak]