Editor's note: Unlike the strange circumstances surrounding the acquisition of Tom Brady's cell-phone data, the forces that conspired to deliver us the cover letter sent by Jim Harbaugh to the University of Michigan prior to his hire last December were surprisingly mundane. According to sources close to the situation, Harbaugh faxed the document thinking it was a map to his house, and that The Cauldron offices were, in fact, the home of a mysterious five-star quarterback from Japan named Shogun Katana.
Well, it wasn't. Aaaand it wasn't.
(A True Michigan Man in the mold of so many other great Michigan Men, like Bo and Tom Harmon and Gerry Ford and his beautiful wife, Betty.)
1 Winners Way
^ all 1s. A winner's number ^
December 10, 1 B.C. (Before Championships < ---------- see the plural)
Mark Schlissel < ---------- Gotta change your name. Sounds like a sausage.
University of Michigan
c/o Bo’s Beautiful Ghost
500 South State Street < ---------- We will be changing this road name as well
Some fancy office
Anne Harbor, MI 11111 < ---------- a winner’s zip code
My piles are out of control. So I’m gonna make this brief. Let’s get down to the bare bones. You dumped that sadsack Hoke, and now you need a coach. A coach with guts. A coach who's not afraid to blast his players with a BB gun in practice if it means scootin' him across the gator pond quicker. This is Michigan. Winningest program in history. Probably a bunch of analytics types who don't wanna count all those Ws against Toledo Consumptives House & Primary School. Or even St. Erfyl’s College of Nunnery and Butterchurning. Nine of those wins were after they went co-ed!
What Sarah? Sarah says I should talk about my background. My family’s a football family, from Pappy Jack all the way back to Degory Harbaugh on the Mayflower. Made balls out of dead cod and just bulldozed everyone. Totally unstoppable. Knocked some of the sickly ones straight over the side. Helped thin the herd if you ask me. Coached the Indians at the first Thanksgiving too. Here’s a picture of old Degory.
I grew up all over. But there's only one place I ever wanted to be: Michigan. That’s where I met Bo. My dad made me a man, but Bo made me a Michigan Man. Truth told, he had us doing some pretty crazy stuff. Landmines all over the field. Glued knives on the tackling dummies. One time he and pappy barricaded me in my dorm and piped a whole bunch of scorpions through the window. Didn't let me out for three days.
Had a pretty good run if I do say so. Then the Bears drafted me in '87. We had McMahon at quarterback so I didn’t see the field much at first. But I learned a lot from Ditka. Tough as a Doberman b----- that one. Bite you right in the neck if you so much as looked at his steak. Would take three assistants to get him off sometimes. Anyway, my pro career was what it was. I was good but not great. And I had fun. Honeys hangin' off me like tassels on a parade float. Sarah says I should probably delete that part. We'll just make that between you and me Schpitzle. Man, you gotta change that name.
But this isn’t about fun and babes and taking dumps in Woody Hayes' mailbox. It’s about business. It's about guts. It's about getting this program back on top. It was all downhill after Bo. Moeller was a corncob. Accused me of being some dark wizard for suggesting he run a crossing pattern or two. Lloyd was O.K., but the man wore dentures. How you supposed to give your guys a good gritty toothed snarl when you got piano keys in your mouth? And don’t even get me started on that sad son of a b---- Rodriguez. Probably boiled all his food in his own tears. But that’s all in the past. I’m here to talk about the future.
Far as I see it, The Big 10 is our birth right. Rutgers and Maryland can take a flyin' f--- at a rolling donut all the way back to the Ivy Leagues. I'm going after Meyer, I'm going after Dantony and I'm going after Paterno. We're stealing their recruits, we're stealing their mascots and we're stealing their women. Mercy is for the weak. Michigan is for men. Should put that on a plaque we can slap on the stairs.
I got some other marketing ideas too (NOTICE THE BOLD LETTERS)
A. Keep the classic block M, but put my face in the middle.
B. Free wolverine day. One home game a year we hand out baby wolverines to the first 75,000 through the door.
4. Free season tickets to anyone who can buy a recruit without getting caught.
4. Sell booze in the stadium. Enough of this big daddy government.
C. Shoelace? The hell kind of nickname is that? This isn't Joanne Fabrics.
D. We need nicknames like Bonesnapper and Nuclear Winter and Harboss. That's what sells.
10. Why are we settling for 109,000 seats anyway?
11. I say redraw the lines to make a million. People will squeeze in.
I supposed you wanna see some plays or something. Now I ran out of paper on account of all this legal crap about showing up at funerals to talk to some recruits. Just big daddy government trying to get in the way again. This stuff’s top secret, but here’s what I got in mind on offense.
Forget that twinkletoed run-and-shoot rodeo clown Chip Kelly. This right here is the future. Now how about on defense.
Got so excited I broke the marker on the last one. Had to use a hunting knife to finish the stunts. I think you get the idea. And no, I'm not paying that ticket. Not my fault Arby's doesn't know how to paint handicap spots.
Now I know you think I got baggage. Some say I’m "too intense" or "blood shouldn’t come up when you scream" or "I shouldn’t ride my players around the field like farm animals". B-------. My policies were sound. 49ers wanted me to run a yoga studio or something. You want a yoga pose? I got a yoga pose for you. Its called Take A Lap Corpse.
Far as I see, we do practice right the games take care of themselves. Heres what I’m thinking:
0330: Practice begins (empty standard three .45 magazine clips)
0331: Stadium stairs until someone pukes. Puker gets to be my field horse
0400: Calisthenics (pushups, jumping jacks, pond digging, stretches)
0415: Fill pond with hose water, put gators in
0416: Gatorpond sprints
0430: Gauntlet (standard shield pads)
0445: Gauntlet (aluminum bats)
0500: Scrimmage—no penalties (O1 vs. Navy Seals / D1 vs. 11 F350s)
0530: Break for breakfast (oats in a trough). No water.
*Repeat 2 to 3 more times depending on morale.
Probably better than that Frozen coloring book s--- Rodriguez and Hoke had 'em doing. This is how you build men. Michigan men. Men who will run through that big booster flag thing without having to cut it ahead of time. Men who take the field every week like moose who've been in the rut 1,000 years. Men who go on to be school board chairmen or army pilots or insurance makers or CEOs of pesticide companies. Hell maybe one of them can be coach of Indiana one day.
There's also been a lot of talk about bringing back the helmet stickers. We're not gonna be handing these out for potty training or reciting the alphabet like they do down in Columbus. You want a Wolverine sticker, you gotta do one of the following things: Hit someone so hard his eyes switch sockets, catch a pass with your junk, tell Mrs. Harbaugh she looks lovely in the regulation sized football earings I bought her, or make such a spectacular play I start to cry. That's the list.
Football's who I am. Hell I tried to name two of my daughters Wilson and The Duke after the official NFL game ball until Sarah threatened divorce. Sometimes I try and pay for stuff with play diagrams instead of cash. I’ve been in a footpaintball league since 1991. I blow my whistle during weddings. I watch old NFL Films on a TV in the shower. I once knocked my Aunt Maude out cold doing high knees at a family reunion touch game. Football is my life. Now it’s time for me to come home.
I can’t promise how many national championships I’ll win. Maybe 9 in 10 years. But I can promise you this. If you hire me as your next head football coach, I’ll do everything in my loins to make this program proud again. Even if it means gettin' up in the stands and repainting the seat lines myself.
(How do I mail this?)
(If you haven't figure it out by now, this article was a parody. We hope you enjoyed it.)