Here is he opening to my Wednesday column about Jim Harbaugh’s sideline behavior:

SANTA CLARA — Go on the internet. Look for a video called, “The Best Jim Harbaugh Freakouts.” It’s easy to find.

It shows the 49ers’ coach freaking out on the sideline during games, a wild man throwing his clipboard, screaming at the refs, screaming at who knows who. Just screaming.

If Harbaugh were a child, you’d call it pitching a fit. You’d send him to his room. This I freely admit, the freakout video is funny and there’s something elemental about Harbaugh, even enjoyable. But you probably wouldn’t invite him over for dinner. If he didn’t like pot roast, he might throw it or you out the window.

To read the entire column, please click here.

Be Sociable, Share!



  1. Ryder

    I consider you to be a fair and balanced writer, I’ve read both praise and criticism here regarding Harbaugh and the Niners. As far as this column goes, I get your points, though you go farther than I would with it. But then I can’t separate myself from my bias as a die hard fan. I love Harbaugh and I don’t feel insulted by him. I think there is a method to his madness (though I won’t go into it here).

    February 6th, 2013 9:54 am

  2. Jumbo Shrimp

    Lowell the league pulled a fast one by putting Boger in to ref the game. 7 penalties all game, 5 on the Niners, 2 on the Ravens. Penalties that were called on the Niners and penalties that were not called on the Ravens had a serious effect on the outcome of this game. That Jim was apoplectic this game, of all games, was appropriate. Maybe you ought to analyze the officiating debacle as well as the behavior debacle.
    When Jim is rude to the media, it’s not being rude to the fans; it’s more like when Charlie Sheen punches the paparazzi. I mean lets face it, Lowell, you and Kawakami are pretty much the only real media left. And journalism, real journalism, is as rare today as the Polar Bear.
    Your point about Jim not being of sound mind to call plays seems to have merit, in general. Not that it mattered after the officials blew the obvious pass interference in the endzone, for by that time the game was over. But Jim’s “emotion” rather than his cool was likely bubbling to a fairly froth as Gore ran out of bounds at the 7 to set up what should have been 4 straight Jumbo runs to take the game.
    Your point about the officials being people too is hogwash. These are supposed to be impartial spotters of penalties. The Niners didn’t play any more or less dirty than the Ravens did. Cary Williams punched an official, for Pete’s sake! The officials failed by calling 70% of their calls on the Niners, and doing it in situations that changes the game. Ravens interfered (Smith). Ravens jumped offside (Reed). Ravens held. Officials may have been mad at or hurt by Harbaugh, but they are NFL officials, not peewee kindergartners. Histrionics of Harbaugh ought not to matter to outside forces.
    Jim needs to grow up, needs to put himself in the glass box, to be sure. But aspiring to be Bill Walsh, the most intense person on the face of the earth, so much so that he burned himself out and had to watch Seifert win #4 with Walsh’s team, that’s not right either.
    Lowell, I wish you the best until next season. Lets hope Harbaugh grows up a little bit. Lets also hope that you, the journalist you, not the righteous you who knows Bill is the best and Harbaugh will never measure up, not the you who talks about Jim’s tone, none of those yous, but the you who contemplates matters from ALL sides and brings comprehensive vision, not vengeful indignation, to the table, lets hope that’s the you who reemerges next season.
    Until then, best to the missus.

    February 6th, 2013 10:00 am

  3. MIchael

    Lowell – Jim’s “horrible amnners” are not directed at us “fans”. Sorry, that is just a huge leap of faith. I, and everyone I know that are 49ers fans, find humor in the way he treats you guys in the media. We do not take offense to it. I was very surpsied you put this in print: “his horrible manners, mostly directed at the media. Which means they are directed at you, the fans.”

    Lastly: Based on the comments your articles generate, I think its YOU that is out of touch with “Fans” thinking. Please just go read all the comments from below this artcile for evidence.

    February 6th, 2013 10:01 am

  4. SteveA

    When did it become a requirement in the NFL that coaches have to maintain the demeanor of a librarian? The only thing different between Bo Schembechler and Jim Harbough is that Harbough was quite a bit less vociferous. Of course, maybe you don’t respect Schembechler either. Maybe Goodell will secretly ban intensity.

    A side note on Harbaugh’s comments regarding the officiating — which he really didn’t spend much time on and were initiated by a reporter’s question. As a Michigander with no dog in the fight, I think most fans have a bit of a gnawing feeling in the back of their minds about the game. And I think the head coach had to say something other than ignore it because it was problematic.

    If you’re going to require the Niners to score a touchdown instead of a game winning field goal (the effective result of the pass interference call on the Niners defense moments before — on less contact) then I think the officials are obligated to hold both defenses accountable.

    February 6th, 2013 10:49 am

  5. Stan

    I read the comments Lowell. And Marco Carvello? Almost word for word says the same thing to me on 415 media blog. From start to finish,almost identical messages.

    February 6th, 2013 10:55 am

  6. Brodie2Washington

    Why do I feel so much better about John Madden’s similar freakouts?

    Maybe it’s because Madden was so much more open and friendly during interviews.

    February 6th, 2013 12:33 pm

  7. CohnZohn

    Brodie, Also Madden did not call the plays and did not require the concentration Harbaugh must have. The plays go through Harbaugh.

    February 6th, 2013 1:19 pm

  8. terryc

    Who cares how Harbaugh reacts on the sideline? He is in the “business” of winning games in the NFL for the 49er organization, period. Just because some idiot internet guy thinks its funny to see Harbaugh react the way he does in this age of stupidity galore, doesn’t bother his players, real fans who want to win, or the 49er organization. The 49ers are in the “business” (there’s that word again) of winning and making money while they do it.

    Sports writers and analysts (especially back East) want to create a negative image of Harbaugh, even though what he’s done with the 49ers borders on the miraculous! Even the Bay Area sports writers love to tear his personality down as if they really know the man.
    Winning is the only thing that counts in the “business” of football whether its the College or Pro’s. I played in the 1960′s and if your head coach didn’t react like Harbaugh the fans and players would of thought he didn’t give a damn!

    I remember a game the Walsh led 49ers played on a hot, Sunday night in Arizona. It was an important game to the team because it had playoff implications. The 49ers fell flat and Walsh was furious. He walked up and down the sidelines cursing the “F” word at the team, coaches, and probably himself. The TV showed his anger and swearing for the world to see. Why? Because he lost that game in the “business” of football!

    So the media gets a kick out Harbaugh dying to win the Super Bowl and every game his team plays. So what? It’s Harbaugh and he ain’t changing for you, the world, or me! It’s all about winning in the “business” of Pro football!

    February 6th, 2013 3:18 pm

  9. CohnZohn

    terryc, If it’s about winning how come Harbaugh lost the Super Bowl?

    February 6th, 2013 3:51 pm

  10. K.G.

    I personally fear for Coach Harbaugh’s health. If Harbaugh continues to perform as he does on the sidelines, he may become a stroke victim. Jim has already had a medical procedure done for related heart issues.

    February 6th, 2013 4:23 pm

  11. Johnc

    Bill Walsh was fun to watch during a game because he always remained stoic and calm. The players respected that because he was in total control. I am sure he was churning up inside when things were not going well. Harbaugh is a different personality and needs to vent his emotions but he needs to reign in his antics in a game because as you pointed out that can be counterproductive when he needs to strategize about the next play during a game.
    Does any body remember Vince Lombardi? He never stopped screaming but he toned it down during a game and picked his spots to challenge officials.

    Harbaugh is taciturn by nature. His wife said that prying information from him during their courtship was like pulling teeth. His treatment of the media is consistent with that. He needs to get better with the press but it is not personal so don’t take it that way.

    February 6th, 2013 6:10 pm

  12. Neal

    Jim has a huge ego, arrogant, and a social moron but he is a good coach, I guess if he won the Super Bowl this would be a non-issue.

    February 6th, 2013 6:10 pm

  13. terryc

    Can’t argue with his record, Lowell. He lost the Super Bowl. Yea! Does that make him a loser in your eyes.
    Just because you didn’t win the Pulitzer Prize, does that make you a loser my eyes? No!
    Despite what you and other writers may think, in the NFL he’s a winner! In the business of the NFL he’s a winner. Not many teams in the NFL that wouldn’t want Jim Harbaugh as their Head Coach. Just ask my brothers in Cleveland!

    February 6th, 2013 8:05 pm

  14. Nancy R

    Hey Jumbo Shrimp I like your polar bears and pee wees…you’re funny. Lowell’s article makes me think of Silver Lining Playbook with all the ranting and raving of a lunatic. The high emotion of Harbaugh didn’t bother me except for the fact that it may have prevented him from having the serenity of mind to call the right plays at the end. And that is a big deal. If he had won it wouldn’t have bothered anyone. I think the person who is grieving most right now is Frank Gore. He could have gored ‘em at the end and given the 49ers a win and he didn’t get the chance because of all the pussyfooting around with runts etc and little baseball pop flies.

    February 7th, 2013 8:06 am

Submit Your Comments


Required, will not be published