The courtship between the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh sailed smoothly along most of Wednesday, then fell apart around dinner time when Harbaugh went fishing for mo’ money. The Niners are offering $5 million per year, twice what Mike Singletary made, but the Dolphins are now said to be making a last minute offering of $7 million per year. We’ve gone from all about football to a pissing match between billionaires. Yech.
Now its ugly, folks. And it’s going to get even uglier. The question now is, which franchise is going to end up looking ridiculous? Probably both.
The Dolphins haven’t yet fired their coach, Tony Sparano, and haven’t conducted a Rooney Rule interview. But their owner flew cross country to San Jose last night to beg for Harbaugh’s services. This is already a classless maneuver and screams of desperation, but if Harbaugh says no, what are the fans in Miami going to think? I know. Who cares?
The Niners, on the other hand, said money was no object and now, well, money is an object. If they don’t land Harbaugh because of the money, Jed York will have turned his best hour into his worst. Somebody needs to tell Jed to stop shooting his mouth off, because it always ends up shooting his foot off, too. The guy is either a slow learner or he hasn’t yet escaped from the Singletary blow hard shadow.
In reality, Harbaugh could go to Miami and find out he’s no match for the Patriots and the Jets, and end up scratching on the windows of Michigan in three or four years. And the Niners might settle for Hue Jackson and end up owning the NFC West. Well, maybe that’s not reality, so much as strange shit happens. But life has a lot of strange to it, so it’s pleasant to think this way for the moment.
Not that Niner fans will be inclined to consider this possibility. No, no, baby. If Harbaugh goes to Miami, Jed York is going to reap a public relations disaster. See above, shooting mouth off. Combined with hiring Trent Baalke as GM, the blogosphere this coming off season will be one long nasty sumgum.
I’ve been known to be a glass half fuller guy, but starting the off season with a highly publicized pratfall, following directly upon a highly publicized failed season, might just get me to finally kick the Kool Aid habit. Can’t these dopes get anything right?
I suppose there’s a chance the York’s could pony up another million and Harbaugh could accept it and all will be well in Ninerville today, leaving the Miami owner to a long flight home with a plane load of red ass, while York salvaged his rep and the fans all cheered. That was the original scenario, minus the Miami interference. And whipping Miami would even add to the fan glow and Jed’s hubris. But the whole “it’s all about the money” gig always puts a puke smell in my nose. The fact that Harbaugh opened the door to Miami at the last moment, abandoning a hand shake deal, just because of the extra money, really takes the shine off this guy for me. Hey dude, if you’re any good, there will be plenty of money coming down the pipeline. Why not earn it, if you’re so damn confident you’re the ace of spades.
As you can see, the thrill is gone, baby. Gone away from me. You know you done me wrong, baby. I hope you get hit by a falling tree. Oh, yeah, baby. Go drown in a Dolphin sea. Ooooooh, baby, . . . . .