Of Course Jim Harbaugh Idolizes Spongebob

The Michigan football coach is predictably enthusiastic about it, too

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Nov 09, 2016 at 2:30 PM ET

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh does nothing half-heartedly, from faithfully wearing pleated khaki pants, sleeping over and climbing trees on recruiting visits, popping veins while roaring at a pro wrestling match, making as many missionary trips to Peru as he has visits to San Francisco (despite, you know, coaching the 49ers), and playing two-hour-long, no-fouls-allowed basketball with an assistant coach.

These tales—and many more—can be found in a shockingly large catalog of stories tagged “weird Jim Harbaugh.” As a child, he volunteered for a job passing out milk at school so he could drink all the leftovers in hopes of growing more, and he’d consume only whole milk and “not the candy ass two-percent or skim milk.” He is the father who reacts to a rubber toy nearly beaning his daughter by complimenting the young boy’s throwing arm, SI once wrote, and that he was told, by his father, to tackle with “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

It is, therefore, surprising to no one that he admitted on a recent radio show that he, A, has long been made fun of and, B, has strong feelings about cartoons.

In a recent Simpsons episode, Homer calls a young boy “a sports genius who everyone hates,” to which Marge asks, “Worse than Jim Harbaugh?” Homer replied, “Well, not that bad.”

“People have been making sport of me since I can remember,” Harbaugh said, according to the Free Press. “My earliest memories, 5, 6, 7, 8, in the schoolyard. People would make sport of me. But it was pretty high class being on The Simpsons. It’s one of my favorite shows.

The conversation segued into cartoons, generally, and Harbaugh admitted that The Simpsons and Spongebob Squarepants are his “two all-time favorites.” He then called Spongebob his idol.

“I love his attitude, he attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind,” Harbaugh said. “I model my behavior by him. What a great employee he is. He is a go-getter, he’s always got a bounce in his step. He’s got pizzazz, he puts his heart and soul into making those patties. I think he’s awesome.”

Strong emotions of all kinds attract Harbaugh who has, on the other side of the spectrum, referred to Darth Vader as “my guy.”

If there’s anyone walking this planet who can find something redeeming in Vader while still considering Spongebob to be an exemplary character, it’s Jim Harbaugh.