I just walked into the house after the long drive back from Ashland. I fired up the computer and lo and behold, I read that Jim Harbaugh addressed my criticism about reporters not being given a good view of practice. Harbaugh said reporters — me, I assume — should not have a knee jerk reaction. They should know the deal. Harbaugh said, with the new construction, the Niners have lost field space and must keep media away from certain practice fields for the safety of players and reporters. He said media will be given a good view 50 percent of the time — when the team practices on certain other fields.
I gladly accept that explanation. I am glad I pushed the issue so that Harbaugh felt the need to explain. I envision him talking to me in Oregon from Santa Clara. It’s always nice to have open dialogue with the coach — it’s something we rarely do although we’ve known each other a long time.
I want to point out that Jim learned a lesson. As we used to tell Grant in preschool, “Use your words.” Jim learned to use his words. If he had explained about the fields BEFORE seemingly banishing the media, there would have been no confusion or misunderstanding. Eric Branch certainly misunderstood. I read Eric and I also misunderstood. Jim needs to learn to explain things in an honest and straightforward manner — it’s in his own best interest.
I’m glad I could mentor Jim on this key point, even if the mentoring was long distance. As I know more about the media that he does — and as I’m older — I will be happy to mentor him in future on dealing with the media to avoid similar misunderstandings. He only needs to ask.