Jim Harbaugh Michigan class

Think Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is down after losing to Ohio State and getting fined by the Big Ten for criticizing officials? Think again.

Harbaugh has apparently moved on to attacking guest speaking slots at Michigan classes with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Here’s video of him giving a speech on philosophers, birds (Heisenberg’s bird?) in hand, and more:


“The simple question they put to him was they said, ‘Young, up-and-coming philosopher, in my hand I hold a small bird. Can you tell us if the bird is dead or alive?’ The young philosopher, detecting their trickery, their treachery, knew if he said the bird was alive, he would crush it in his hands and prove him wrong. And if he said the bird was dead, he’d open his hands and the bird would fly away. So the young philosopher said, ‘The fate of that young bird is in your hands.’ The lesson I always take from that great story is that our fate is in our hands, your fate is in your hands. That’s all I’ve got.”

That’s not a bad story! (It’s apparently from an Indian folk tale.) However, the lesson Harbaugh cites seems highly ironic to tell at this point in time, where Michigan football’s fate is anything but in their hands. They’re fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings and just outside the playoff picture without any further games to play, so they’ll be watching and hoping that teams ahead of them go down in this weekend’s conference championship games. Also, that seems to tie into the story; it’s not really in the young philosopher’s control if the bird lives or dies, especially after he gives the answer he does. So perhaps Harbaugh is taking the wrong lesson from that, or at least stating the lesson he takes from it wrong. In any case, Jim Harbaugh telling stories about birds and philosophers to Michigan classes makes for a fun video.

[Braden Harward on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.