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Six things we learned about Jim Harbaugh on HBO's Real Sports


Jim Harbaugh has been the most talked-about, most written-about coach in college football since his return to Ann Arbor in late December, but still the fascination with Michigan's head coach grows. The more we learn about the man, the more fascinating he becomes. HBO's Real Sports sent Andrea Kremer visited with Harbaugh recently and found that he's even more true to his character than we could have imagined.

Unfortunately the video is not embeddable, but you can watch the piece here.

1. Harbaugh ran on the field during a Michigan-Ohio State game as 13 year-old. A young Harbugh idolized Wolverines quarterback Rick Leach and, as a football-obsessed son of a Bo Schembechler assistant is wont to do, watched games from the Michigan sideline. On a Leach touchdown run that spurred the Wolverines onto a 14-6 victory over the hated Buckeyes, Harbaugh, carried away by the moment, ran onto the field to celebrate with Leach and the Wolverines. "There was a picture in the newspaper," Harbaugh said. "I cut that out and put it in my locker."

2. Harbaugh's fanatical will to win wore on his peers from an early age. The power drill personality that would later make an NFL locker room tap out was honed on the playgrounds and ball fields of Ann Arbor where Harbaugh, with no friends willing to play with him, trekked to a local strip mall to play baseball against himself. "That must be true, yeah, sometimes I'd wear out my welcome," Harbaugh said when asked by Kremer if his competitive streak wore through his school-age friends. "People just don't want to be around you after a while."

3. Harbaugh's comp car game is on point. He drives the blue Ford F-150 pictured below:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 9.17.19 AM

4. Harbaugh's will to win even allowed him to beat genetics. As a third-grader Harbaugh was already determined to play quarterback in the NFL but, hailing from a family where no one was taller than six foot, knew his genetics were against him. "I had heard that if you drink milk it builds strong bones and convinced myself I was going to drink as much milk as I possibly could drink. Prayed about it a lot, 'I want to be 6-2, I want to be 6-2.' And then when I went to school here at St. Francis Elementary school I got a job as the milk distributor. So we just started delivering all the milk every day and we got one free milk for delivering all the milk. But every kid that was absent, that tray would go back to the little milk room and I would just drink as much milk as my belly could hold. I drank a lot of milk, Andrea. A lot of milk. Whole milk, though, not the candy ass two percent or skim milk." Harbaugh stands 6-foot-3 today.

5. Harbaugh loves football, but doesn't think it's fun. "It's not a fun sport, but what you come to love is the struggle of it. I love football. Love it. Love it. I think it's the last bastion of hope for toughness in America in men, in males. I want to do it for as long as I'm good at it, and I love Michigan."

6. He called his future wife nine times before she agreed to go on a date with him. Harbaugh met his wife, Sarah, at a restaurant, but not in a fashion you've ever seen depicted in a movie. "Sarah was there getting takeout," he said in a bonus clip. "When I saw her getting takeout and leaving I went up to her and asked if I could meet her... She gave me her phone number. I didn't believe her at first, I thought that was one of those fake numbers she was giving me, but I called her multiple times, nine times, before she returned my call."

Watch the entire piece here.