Sign up FAST! Login

Learn to speak Harbaugh: a guide to your 49ers coach and his utterances

Stashed in: 49ers!, Football, Words!, Jim Harbaugh, Stories

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Jim Harbaugh is famous in the Bay Area for his unique and colorful vocabulary, which is kind of amazing considering he is widely considered one of the most tight-lipped coaches in the league.

So many good ones but my favorite is The Olive Jar:

"We’ve been kind of down on getting turnovers and sometimes things just kind of start breaking right for you. Kind of like the olive jar. Everybody’s familiar with the olive jar. You open it up and a brand new can of olives and turn it over and no olives come out. They’re packed in there so darn tight, but if you just get one to come out, just pluck one out of there and then they want to come out, they’re just flying out of the jar. So hopefully that’s the case for us defensively." – Oct. 7, 2013

I also love the Who's Got It Better Than Us story:

"There’s just a little saying around the house that my dad would always use that was, ‘Who’s got it better than us?’ and we’d all respond ‘No-body’. We could be driving in the car or whatever we were doing; he’d say it and we’d respond, ‘No-body,’ and we really thought that. We didn’t think there was anybody else that could possibly have it better than us.

"Then as you get older you realize that other people do have it better than you do. Like, in the case of our house (on Talwrn Court in Iowa City), it was a really small house. I had a chance to go back there and look at it when I was scouting players at the University of Iowa, and it’s like two bedrooms, three kids, mom and a dad, living room, kitchen, all was the same. I don’t know how many square feet it was, but I just looked at it and thought, ‘This is the smallest house I think I’ve ever seen.’

"But we didn’t think so as kids. My dad would say, ‘Isn’t this great, you and your brother get to share the room. You can talk philosophy, you can share each other’s dreams. Who could possibly have it better than you two guys?’ So we thought, ‘No-body!’ That was kind of the idea. Sometimes you’d walk out of the house and there’d be a car there and sometimes there wouldn’t. When there wasn’t, ‘Hey, we’re walking today. Get the basketball and start dribbling it.’

"As you look back on it, I think the message there was that not having things handed to you, things that don’t come easy are really the blessing because you have to overcome some things. And, if it’s harder, then it makes you better in the long run. I told them that I really wanted to be a Major League shortstop growing up. I had a glove. I had baseball diamonds to play on. Kids down in the Dominican Republic were making gloves out of milk cartons. I didn’t stand a chance to be a Major League shortstop. Those guys had to overcome so much more that made them better players in the long run.

"So we just try to find ways to make it harder on ourselves. How can we make things suck more?" – Oct. 3. 2011

You May Also Like: