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Big 10 coaches Lovie Smith, Pat Fitzgerald, Kirk Ferentz, P.J. Fleck, James Franklin and Jeff Brohm sitting around a table when Jim Harbaugh runs in a dead sprint toward the group. He’s carrying a baseball glove and a half emptied gallon of whole milk, his upper lip bleached white. His cheeks are burning red as his lungs appear about to explode. Pat Fitzgerald stands up and intercepts him.
Pat Fitzgerald: Whoa. Slow down there, Jim. Where are you off to so quickly?
Jim Harbaugh: I’m going down to the Circle K. [He coughs up some warm milk] Gonna throw me one of those simulated games where I throw a “damn near perfect game” that somehow has runners on 2nd and 3rd. Us Tigers are about to beat the Indians in the World Series.
Pat Fitzgerald: Okay, but you’ve gotta take it easy.
Lovie Smith: Also, the Tigers can’t play the Indians in the World Series. They’re both in the American League.
Jim Harbaugh: YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP, LOVIE SMITH. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. IN THIS ALTERNATE REALITY, JIM HARBAUGH HAS FORGONE FOOTBALL TO DEDICATE HIMSELF TOWARD BASEBALL, AND IF YOU’D ACTUALLY BOTHERED TO LISTEN, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT AFTER 25 PERFECT OR “NEAR PERFECT” OUTINGS AGAINST CLEVELAND, THE INDIANS LOBBIED TO JOIN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE. NOW I’M OFF TO FACE THEM IN GAME SEVEN OF A SWEEP. YOU ASSHOLE.
P.J. Fleck: Language.
Pat Fitzgerald: Hey, Jim. Why don’t you just take a minute. You don’t want to cramp up against Cleveland in the big game, do you?
Jim Harbaugh: I guess not.
Pat Fitzgerald: Come on. Have a seat.
Jim Harbaugh: Oh, I nearly forgot. See, um, you guys know about the multiverse theory. Where like, every time a decision gets made, there is an alternate universe where the opposite decision was made and that separate reality has to go on forever as a result of the difference.
Scott Frost: Jim, how warm is that milk?
Jim Harbaugh: Shut up, Scott.
Pat Fitzgerald: You mean like how in this world you’re the coach of the Michigan Wolverines, and in the other you’re the pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
Jim Harbaugh: Exactly.
Lovie Smith: Even in that universe you’d still be a 54 year old man. For Christ’s sake.
Pat shoots Lovie a look.
Pat Fitzgerald: Go on.
Jim Harbaugh: Well in another universe I became an artist. I saw it all is if it were a dream. All my passion. All my energy. It was right there in my fingertips. Guys, there is another reality where I am quite possibly the greatest artist to have ever lived. And I wanted to know if it still exists. It has to, doesn’t it? So I drew pictures of all of you.
Jim reaches into his backpack and pulls out folded pieces of looseleaf paper. He hands them out to the coaches.
Jim Harbaugh: I wanted you to have these. TAKE CARE OF THEM.
Pat Fitzgerald: Oh Jim, that…great?
Lovie Smith: Um…mine is just of Calvin peeing on my face.
P.J. Fleck: Mine as well.
Jim Harbaugh: Yeah. They’re all of Calvin peeing on your faces. It’s fucking great, right?
Scott Frost: You don’t typically see Calvin’s penis in on the stickers. It’s so…you really spent a lot of time on the veins, huh?
Jim Harbaugh: I spent five hours on each one.
James Franklin: You gave me hair. White people hair.
Jim Harbaugh: Yeah. I copied Steve Perry. You know, from Journey. Pretty sweet, right? In that alternate reality, you have long flowing locks. Thank the multiverse. Anyway, I can’t wait to see the look on Urban Meyer’s face when I show him his picture.
Everybody begins to look around uncomfortably.
Jim Harbaugh: So when is Urban coming by? Where is he? I want to give it to him. I know. He’s in his office.
P.J. Fleck: UM, JIM…He’s…not in there.
Jim Harbaugh: Oh. Then where is he?
Scott Frost: Jim, don’t you remember we told you? Urban Meyer retired. He’s retired.
Jim Harbaugh: Oh yeah. I remember. Well, I’ll give it to him when he comes back for camp. I know we still haven’t beaten that son of a bitch, but 2019 is going to be so goddamn sweet.
Jeff Brohm: Jim, Urban Meyer’s not coming back.
Lovie Smith: At least not for a Big 10 school, that’s for damn sure.
Jim Harbaugh: Why not?
Jeff Brohm: Jim, when people retire, they don’t come back.
Jim Harbaugh: Ever?
Lovie Smith: Oh my God, this is like his seventh retirement.
Jeff Brohm: No, never.
Lovie Smith: He’s going to be back in a week. This whole sketch is so stupid.
Jim Harbaugh: W-w-w-why not? He can still coach. He’s just…not coaching? I don’t understand.
James Franklin: Well Jim, they’re retired. They can’t come back. They have to spend all that time with their families.
Jim Harbaugh: Well he-e-e-e’s gonna come baaaack. I still haven’t won the big game. Who’s gonna anger up my blood in March? And who’s gonna be the face I hang in my bathroom mirror so that when I hate-masturbate I have a purpose in life.
Ryan Day: Jim, I’m gonna coach Ohio State. Urban Meyer left it to me. And…whatever you do in your bathroom, that’s ah…that’s your business. You’re gonna be okay.
Jim Harbaugh begins pacing, huffing. He karate chops a tree, shattering two of the metacarpal bones in his hand.
Jim Harbaugh: Well…it won’t be the same.
P.J. Fleck: You’re right Jim. It’ll never be the same around here without him. But you know something? We can all be very happy that we had a chance to coach against him, to know him, and to have plausible deniability about the things that may or may have not gone on in that program.
Ryan Day: ABSOLUTELY.
Scott Frost: And Jim, we still have our memories of him.
Jim Harbaugh: Yeah. That’s right. Memories? That’s how I drew Calvin pissing into his mouth. And I can remember him, and remember him, and remember him.
Jim stuffs his hand down his pants
Jim Harbaugh: As much as we want to.
Pat Fitzgerald: Jesus, Jim, there are children around.
Jim Harbaugh: It makes me sad. I don’t understand. Give me one good reason.
James Franklin: Jim, it has to be this way…because. Just because.
Jim Harbaugh: Because…he was afraid of how badly we were going to beat him next year, right? This counts as a win for Jimbo, yes? I am a good boy, right?
James Franklin: Sure, man.
Jim Harbaugh: You know…I’m going to miss you Coach Liar.
Jeff Brohm: (Wiping tears from eyes through laughter) That’s Meyer, Jim. Coach Meyer.
Jim Harbaugh: Right. (looks at glove) Well, I have to go win the World Series now.