Ohio State fans don’t understand Jim Harbaugh ‘third base’ comment


After Michigan football upset Ohio State back in 2021 — the first of three straight wins after Jim Harbaugh lost the first five — the Wolverines head coach made a comment that will forever live in infamy in Columbus.

“Sometimes people are standing on third base and think they hit a triple,” Harbaugh started. “But they didn’t.”

That appeared to be a reference to OSU head coach Ryan Day who inherited a Buckeye juggernaut built up by Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer. Day had said in the offseason in 2020 to his team that they planned to ‘hang 100’ against the rival Wolverines, and Harbaugh’s comment was more about the coaching prowess mixed with inheriting a team that had already been built up. Presumably that Day acts as if he built the program instead of being a steward of that which had already been successful.

But Ohio State fans don’t seem to understand the analogy. They think Harbaugh is attacking Day strictly for ‘standing on third base’ ignoring the rest of the quote: thinking he hit a triple when he hadn’t.

Harbaugh, now departed for the NFL, continues to draw the ire of the self-proclaimed Buckeye nation, this time after making another ‘third base’ comment at NFL executive meetings in Orlando.

Ohio State alum Albert Breer, with MMQB, commented while saying ‘no comment’ after Harbaugh said his piece about the Chargers organization.

Naturally, that has all kinds of Buckeye fans spouting off on social media, exclaiming ‘2-5!’ in reaction. Yet, that somewhat proves Harbaugh’s point. Michigan was struggling, particularly against OSU for nearly two decades. Once Tressel took over in 2002, Michigan won just two contests against Ohio State until that 2021 win. Harbaugh took over a team that was struggling and built it into a national championship winner. He did not inherit a good situation — whether it was at Stanford, the San Francisco 49ers, or at Michigan. He inherits a Chargers team that was in the playoff two years ago but fired head coach Brandon Staley midseason. What he’s saying is that everyone in his organization has (and this is a direct quote) ‘had to work their way to first.’

Yet, all of this seems to go over many Ohio State fans’ heads. They whine and moan and bring up history, when football is all about the here and now. And Harbaugh isn’t even at Michigan.

It’s also not clear that Harbaugh was talking about Ryan Day and OSU this time around. He loves reusing cliches and anecdotes. But that hasn’t stopped thinkpieces from Ohio State fans from proliferating all over the internet since Monday morning.

For Michigan fans, however, they love to see it. Nothing has upset the scarlet and gray more than the maize and blue winning again, and their disapproval is like manna from heaven. As is the constant inability to properly understand Harbaugh’s initial quote from November 2021.



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