Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:13 PM
Are_grits_groceries (14,916 posts)
Give SF 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh a cheer!
Several years ago there were very few women covering sports teams in Chicago. Jeanne Morris for television, Linda Kaye for the Chicago Tribune and me for WMAQ radio. Neither Jeanne nor Linda were going into the teams' locker rooms. Chicago locker rooms were a territory just beginning to open up to women reporters. I was beginning that obstacle alone and meeting some challenges along the way during the early to mid-'80s.
The problem happened during the practices the week before games.
My role at the station changed and I was sent to cover the team during the week for their “open” locker room time. On Wednesdays and Thursdays the players were made available to talk to reporters before practice. This was the season following the Bears Super Bowl victory, which I did cover in New Orleans.
The media relations person at Halas Hall announced that the locker room was open. There was a group of reporters, (very small compared to the numbers now) and I walked in the middle of the group. That is when I was greeted by angry, hurtful words and loud obnoxious screams. It was evident it was directed at me and the reporters all stepped away as I took the abuse. At that point, the Bears media person told me I had to leave and would not have access.
The Bears drafted Jim Harbaugh, a young quarterback out of the University of Michigan, during the 1987 season. A few weeks into the season I asked to talk to Jim as I sat on the floor. The media person went into the locker room and brought the rookie out for me. Jim looked at me and then said to the media person, “Why can’t she go in the locker room like she does after games?”
He wasn't kidding. Jim had the firm look he shows now as San Francisco's coach. There was no answer that would be satisfactory to Harbaugh. There was more to the conversation, but for me, his first words were the most relevant. Until that point, no one else had even challenged or really cared about my situation. Jim and I talked, and we walked into the locker room. There were no angry voices, there were no insults. (Now there was no red carpet or rose petals thrown either.) At times there were some other incidents, but this was a huge change at Halas Hall.
He may act crazy, but he was raised right!
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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Original post)
Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:18 PM
Wait Wut (7,800 posts)
1. He's the only reason I'm taking the 49ers.
48 years as a Bears fan...I'll take what I can get.
He's a good guy and has turned out to be a great coach. His parents (the same parents of the other coach ) seem like really good people. Must've rubbed off.
Honestly, I'm just glad I'm not their mother. What a rough position to be in.