Here is a link to my Sunday column explaining why I’m rooting for the Niners to be the Seahawks. The full text runs below:
SEATTLE — I am doing something different in today’s column. I’m rooting for the 49ers to beat the Seahawks, rooting like a madman.
Wow, it felt good to admit that.
As readers of this column know, I am not a sports fan, not in the sense of favoring a team or wearing team colors or being unable to sleep if the Niners/Raiders/Warriors/Giants/A’s lose a game. But I love sports and love writing about the teams I just mentioned. It’s just that I don’t root. As a professional journalist, I need to keep an emotional distance.
The hell with professional distance today.
I’m all in for the Niners.
Why is Cohn being 100 percent unprofessional?
Because I want Jim Harbaugh to spit in everyone’s eye. Today, I am an unabashed Harbaugh fan. It’s so obvious 49ers management wants to kick Harbaugh out the door. The door is open and Jed York has his right foot on Harbaugh’s backside and he’s just about to give him the boot.
I want Harbaugh to reverse that. Or give Jed pause. Make Jed lower the foot.
Is it because I’m friends with Harbaugh? No. I’ve never had lunch with him or a drink or gone anywhere with him. When we’re alone — a rare occurrence — I don’t know what to talk about, unless we talk football.
I think he’s getting a raw deal from the Niners. I root for guys who get a raw deal. Jed seemed to want Harbaugh out before the season even began. Jed seemed to want him out when the Niners’ record was 7-4. Jed sure seems to want him out now at 7-6.
In a fair world — I’m not saying the world is fair — Jed would have waited until this season played out before tweeting crummy tweets and leaking stuff to the national media. I believe Jed is responsible for most 49ers leakage.
I won’t belabor this point, but Harbaugh saved the Niners, helped them build their new stadium. It’s not Harbaugh’s fault the stadium is in the wrong county. Clearly, Harbaugh angered Jed when, in a preseason practice, he pulled the team off the field in the new stadium because the grass was not up to professional standards and put the players at risk. Jed must have gnashed his teeth at that move, at Harbaugh’s implied comment about the stadium.
What Harbaugh did about the grass was “right on” — as we said in the ’60s. Jed seems to care more about the new building than the actual team. And Harbaugh seemed to be saying that.
Harbaugh is a chaos person. He loves chaos. Thrives in chaos. Creates chaos wherever he goes. If the Niners beat the world-champ Seahawks — unlikely — he will create chaos in the NFC West and in the wild-card standings. Not a tremendous amount of chaos. Just enough to keep the 49ers’ season alive another week, just enough to confuse Jed.
And if the Niners win, Harbaugh will spit in the eye of team ownership and everyone who said he’s done with. I even said that. I’m prepared for him to spit in my eye — I hope he takes this figuratively. He is a master of pulling off the unexpected, of winning as an underdog, of upsetting people. All this contrariness is who he is. It’s what makes him good.
We hear from the Niners management through designated national reporters that Harbaugh is impossible to get along with. St. Francis of Assisi couldn’t get along with this maniac, always demanding more from ownership, always sticking his nose into his coaches’ business, never giving it a rest. We hear he wears people out. Sometimes he wears me out, and he’s not even my boss.
This just in. Harbaugh didn’t have a personality change when he became 49ers coach. He always had been this overbearing, tactless, wearing-out man. Jed and Trent Baalke should have known this — if they did their homework. I assume they did their homework.
From what I’ve been told, Stanford did not go into mourning when Harbaugh left. Harbaugh had tested the patience of that university many times. Remember when he demanded and got a private bathroom? Even Bill Walsh didn’t need a bathroom of his own in the Stanford football offices.
So, Jed and Trent knew exactly what they were getting in this manic, insistent Harbaugh. And they embraced him because they needed a single-minded egomaniac, monomaniac for their team to matter again. And now they’re tired of Harbaugh for being the man they needed and hired. Doesn’t seem fair to me.
And there’s one more thing, and this is personal. As a writer, I always root for the unexpected, for the unusual. I root for what is not supposed to happen.
The unusual is more dramatic and leads to better columns. You got that?
Well, the Niners defeating the Seahawks in that insane asylum in the Pacific Northwest would be unusual to the max. It might not save Harbaugh, but it would give him a smile. Or allow him to inhale, pucker up and spit.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at email@example.com.