The words objective, balanced, and Paul Finebaum — they don’t go together.
The words snarky, unnecessary, and Paul Finebaum — they do go together.
The ESPN college football analyst has loved to throw shade at the Michigan Football program and head coach Jim Harbaugh ever since Harbaugh stepped foot in Ann Arbor.
Finebaum has made it a yearly thing to claim it’s either the last year Harbaugh will be at Michigan, or that Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. Finebaum has called Harbaugh annoying, he said Harbaugh “hijacked college football”. Finebaum said that Michigan fans are “pathetic”, and a “whiny, sniveling bunch”.
Last week Finebaum called Harbaugh a fraud, said Harbaugh makes him sick.
On Friday, Finebaum said Michigan should give Harbaugh the boot just eight days before the season starts. “He’s got no chance. They should fire him today and save the agony of waiting until November,” Finebaum said.
Michigan needs to do better, but no chance? On the brink of a new year with a revamped staff? Slow down, Paul.
Michigan had a horrendous season a year ago, but that was last year. Linebacker Josh Ross said he’s sick of the talk about last year, he’s sick of the talk period, and he’s just ready to go out and ball because he knows what this Michigan team is capable of — a team that will have new faces on both sides of the ball.
Finebaum’s attacks on the Michigan program and Harbaugh extend beyond the reality that Michigan has struggled beating its rivals, his banter goes further than just good humored trash talk. Finebaum has always found a way to make things personal.
Paul Finebaum is a good reason Michigan should be playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Harbaugh, who once called Finebaum the SEC’s water carrier, recently told the media how some of the things said about him and the team remind him of propagandist techniques of old. “People are trying to discourage you. It’s almost like propaganda; ‘let’s discourage him.’ Almost like World War II propaganda machines — ‘quit, no need to try, you’ve got no chance, don’t even try any further.’ We don’t subscribe to that at all,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll try to get to the top. We’re either going to get there, or die trying.”
Ironically enough, a month after Harbaugh said that, Finebaum is literally saying Michigan and Harbaugh have no chance.
The main thing for Michigan is to build upon the approach they’ve built this offseason — there’s a sense of urgency, they are facing their failures. Their approach to Ohio State is different, Josh Ross says they’re preparing for Ohio State every day, they have a banner in the weight room that says “What Are You Doing To Beat Ohio State Today?”. Harbaugh said Michigan is going to beat Ohio State, Michigan State, everybody “or die trying”. What more do you want from the team and Harbaugh heading into the year, Paul?
Let’s just call it for what it is — Finebaum’s obsession with Harbaugh is weird.