Jim Harbaugh tries to flush away NFL rumors once and for all

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh argues a call during the first half of the Wolverines' game against Penn State on Oct. 19 in State College, Pa.
(Gene Puskar / Associated Press)

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is full of ... what’s the best way to put it?

To be safe, let’s use an exact quote from the recent letter Harbaugh sent to the parents of Michigan recruits:

“I am reaching out to let you know that the recent claims that I am ‘pursuing an exit strategy’ are total crap.”

Well, there you go.

In the letter, Harbaugh also stated that such rumors are “an annual strategy driven by our enemies to cause disruption to our program and to negatively recruit.”


Although he doesn’t say so specifically, Harbaugh might have been inspired to write the letter at least in part by a FootballScoop report earlier this week that stated “Harbaugh’s representatives have their eye on getting their client back in the NFL.”

Harbaugh wrote: “By the way, I don’t even have an ‘agent or representative.’”

Before taking the Michigan job at the end of 2014, Harbaugh spent four years as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to three NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. But he doesn’t seem to have any intention of returning to the NFL in the near future.

“I am committed to your sons, their education and to their development as football players and people,” Harbaugh wrote in his letter.

True grit

Mascots Gritty and the Phillie Phanatic are together at last — on Rob Dunphy’s belly.

Photos and videos of Dunphy went viral earlier this fall after he removed his shirt at an Eagles game to reveal a torso covered with all kinds of Philadelphia-related tattoos. The highlight was a full-color image of the Phanatic, with the Phillies mascot’s snout perfectly placed around Dunphy’s naval.

But as impressive as that was, something seemed to be missing. Or rather someone seemed to be missing.

Of course, that would be Gritty, the kind of creepy, yet somewhat adorable Flyers mascot who sort of looks like Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner if his shaggy red beard covered his entire body.

Dunphy attended a recent Flyers game and revealed the newest addition to his belly art — a full-color representation of Gritty wedged nicely between the Phanatic and the Liberty Bell.

Gritty himself assisted with the unveiling, which was followed by plenty of fist-pumping, jumping and belly thrusting by the two local (and perhaps beyond) icons.


Baby makes three

How small do they make soccer balls? Alex Morgan and husband Servando Carrasco are going to need a tiny one real soon.

The U.S. women’s national team captain and the Galaxy midfielder announced Wednesday they are expecting their first child, a girl, in April.

“We are already in love and we haven’t even met her yet,” Morgan tweeted. “Newest member of the Carrasco family, coming soon.”

The tweet included several pictures of the couple, including one of them holding what has got to be the smallest pair of Nike shoes ever made.

Morgan, 30, a two-time World Cup champion and one-time Olympic gold medalist, has previously said she intends to play through the 2023 World Cup. ESPN reports that a source close to Morgan said she still plans to play in the 2020 Tokyo Games next summer.

Poor kid

Mitch Trubisky is having a tough season.

How tough? The Chicago Bears quarterback recently got booed at a game and he wasn’t even in the building. It wasn’t even the right sport.

During the first intermission of the Chicago Blackhawks’ game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, a boy was interviewed by the public address announcer at the United Center.

When asked what he was going to be for Halloween, the child simply replied, “A football player,” according to the Athletic.

Apparently he was afraid to reveal any further details in front of a Chicago sports crowd, but when pressed on the matter, the brave young fan answered honestly: “Mitch Trubisky.”

At that point, the arena was “filled with boos,” according to Kevin Powell of WGN-AM (720) in Chicago.

While it’s never cool to do that to a kid, local fans are justified in being frustrated with Trubisky and the struggling Bears offense. The team ranks near the bottom of the NFL in most offensive categories and is 3-3 despite having one of the top defenses in the league.