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JIM HARBAUGH ADOPTS A KITTEN

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YOU HAVE NO WAY OF PROVING THIS DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAPPEN

[Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and assistant coach Chris Partridge drive along a snowy country road in New Hampshire]

[Lindsay Buckingham's "Holiday Road" plays on repeat on the radio]

PARTRIDGE: Jim, why are we listening to this?

HARBAUGH: It was in the rental when I picked it up. I fell in love with it immediately. It's a great song. Reminds me of all the things I found out long ago. Like persistence. Fortitude. Determination. Stick-to-it-iveness. Gumption. Efferves-

PARTRIDGE: [turns up radio]

LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM: OOOOOO-OOOOOO-OOOOO-AAAAAD

HARBAUGH: EFFERVESENCE. THE POWER OF A BALANCED BREAKFAST. FISH OIL.

PARTRIDGE: I don't even understand why we're in New Hampshire. It's not a fertile recruiting ground.

HARBAUGH: I saw it on the news recently. They call it the Granite State. Their motto is "Live Free or Die." Rocks and potentially fatal ultimatums. I love it. I might buy a maple syrup farm. You know you can just drink it straight from the tree? You just have to bite through the bark hard enough, and-

[swerves to a tire-skidding stop, jolting both of them]

PARTRIDGE, spilling coffee on self: DANGIT JIM WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING

HARBAUGH: Look at that, Chris!

PARTRIDGE: Free kittens? Jim, we're out here to speak to recruits, not to find-

HARBAUGH: Chris, you have to take a wide view. Recruiting's about taking every advantage you can. This is total war, and if you intend to compete nationally, you leave no stone unturned and no brass ring ungrabbed. Free things are magnificent. I lived inside a Costco for four years, subsisting entirely on free samples.

PARTRIDGE: That simply can't be true, you've been a public figure for your entire adult life, we would've known about a gap in your-

HARBAUGH: Fantastic Swedish meatballs. C'mon, let's go up to the house.

[Harbaugh knocks on the door to the surprisingly-clear rhythm of "The Victors"]

FARMER: Ayuh, ya heah about ther kittens?

HARBAUGH: Yes, sir, it's fantastic to meet you. I'm Jim Harbaugh, Head Football Coach at the nation's premier academic and athletic university, this is my associate Chris, and we'd love the opportunity to demonstrate to you the environment, training and results we can provide to your fabulous feline friends.

FARMER: Ya can just take one 'a them, theah's a box right theah.

HARBAUGH: I thank you for welcoming us into your home and allowing us to make this presentation. It is my mission in life to show you how dedicated I am to developing this raw talent into champions.

FARMER: Theah's the box right theah.

HARBAUGH: Sir, I want you to believe that we are providing the finest in mentorship and leadership training. I'm going to spend the week here. I will live as a part of your family, because we are family now. I will be a father to this kitten, a faithful son to you, a Cousin Oliver to your Brady Bunch. [looking around wild-eyed] I will re-paint this house. Do you have crops you need me to harvest?

FARMER: Ayuh, now, it's February, son.

HARBAUGH: I don't believe in being restricted by less than ideal growing conditions. I once survived on Mars for four years by growing potatoes in my own feces.

PARTRIDGE: Jim, that was "The Martian," I took you to see it last month. We've talked about confusing your life with movies.

HARBAUGH: You sound like the crewmates who once abandoned me in the wilderness to die alone.

PARTRIDGE: That was "The Revenant."

HARBAUGH: It was San Francisco, and who's left who for dead now? Now, sir. Back to it. Please introduce me to these future Conquering Heroes.

FARMER: Ayuh. Theah's fou-ah left in thah box.

HARBAUGH: Hello, young leonine leaders.

KITTEN #1: [mewls hungrily]

HARBAUGH: Hunger is a powerful quality to have, but we must use the hunger to our advantage and not let it consume us. Whining never accomplishes goals. I'm deeply disappointed in you.

KITTEN #2: [plays with a ball of yarn]

HARBAUGH: Son, with that unfocused attitude you might as well just go play for Illinois now. We're looking for young men who are committed to delivering championship results.

KITTEN #3: [nuzzles Harbaugh's sleeve]

HARBAUGH: Affection is the provenance of weak minds, young man. If you want to win you have to embrace distance. I haven't seen my wife since early January. It makes me stronger.

KITTEN #4: [hacking up a ball of hair]

HARBAUGH: Now this one's showing some passion. You there, what's your name?

KITTEN #4: [does not respond, as he is a kitten]

HARBAUGH: That's fantastic. What position do you play?

KITTEN #4: [does not respond, as he is a kitten]

HARBAUGH: That's not a position of need for us, are you willing to change?

KITTEN #4: [does not respond, as he is a kitten]

HARBAUGH: Terrific, we look for team players at Michigan. You're not coming just to play football, you're coming to be a part of a century-old tradition of excellence. It will not be easy. It will not be fun. It will be the hardest you've ever worked and the most challenged you've ever felt. Are you prepared to accept this charge and dare to be great?

KITTEN #4: [scratches Harbaugh's face]

HARBAUGH: Fantastic fighting spirit. I'll take him. Thank you, sir.

PARTRIDGE: Look, I'm really sorry about him, he's just... passionate.

FARMER: Ayuh, it's fine. We've had plenty of assholes through heah lately.