When we think of hypocrites, parents, politicians and sports writers may come to mind—but head coaches?
Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat accused Jim Harbaugh as such, noting how the San Francisco 49ers leader:
- Criticized the Seattle Seahawks for several PED incidents and demanded that the 49ers be “above reproach,” before the team traded for, waived, and then re-signed alleged PED user Eric Wright.
- Never punished starter Ahmad Brooks for attacking teammate Lamar Divens with a glass bottle in July, despite being “above reproach.”
- Claimed Alex Smith was still the starter in 2012 when he was injured and already lost the job to Colin Kaepernick.
- Stressed having a “humble heart” despite his regular overreactions on the sidelines.
So yeah…Cohn’s list seems contradictory.
But fortunately for Harbaugh, he gets paid to win football games, not to be ethical. And in that sense the coach can defend his actions.
Any team would love to wield a talent like Wright or Brooks in appropriate situations, and creating uncertainty over the coming week’s starting quarterback is a sound strategy to disrupt opponents’ preparation. Harbaugh isn’t very humble, but you have to have something resembling an ego to survive the cut-throat reality of professional sports.
Is Harbaugh a hypocrite? Yes. But so are all of us when you start to overanalyze. There are environmentalists who drive Cadillacs and alcoholics who refuse to eat red meat. Get my drift?
What we and Harbaugh should do is strive to be less hypocritical. Reflect on your discrepancies and try your hardest not to repeat them again.
For the good of the world and NFL, that’s not too much to ask. Right, coach Harbaugh?