By Sam Farmer (SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Every member of the San Francisco 49erscan’t help but look up to a high school player. That’s because above his locker at team headquarters, each 49ers player has a picture of himself in high school, along with where he was ranked by scouting services at the time. Coach Jim Harbaugh had a laminated sheet made for each player during wild-card weekend, which the 49ers had off, then surprised the players with them when they reentered the locker room after a meeting. The scene was like the day high school yearbooks are distributed, with players going from locker to locker, checking out what their teammates looked like as kids, comparing notes on who had a higher national player ranking, or who was ranked higher in his particular state.
“Coach really wants us to tap into what we wanted to be at that time,” said safety Donte Whitner, whose team plays at Atlanta on Sunday in the NFC championship game. “When you look at this picture, it’s like, ‘At this moment, what did I want to be?’ We all look at this and we understand what we wanted to be, and where we are now.”
Harbaugh declined to elaborate on why he had the photos made, but team spokesman Bob Lange said the coach “wants the players to be able to interpret the reason for it in any way they want.” At Harbaugh’s request, Lange and his staff spent several hours gathering the photos and scouring high school scouting services to find information on all of the players. The pictures from high school effectively connect players with their past, reminding them of their childhood hopes and dreams and…
Boom. Robby Lange coming in HOT! Oh Sam Farmer, you want to know the secret to Jim Harbaugh’s motivational techniques? You want to know what makes the Niners tick? What hidden messages Harbaugh is relaying? Pffft, take a fucking hike bro. You’re on a need to know basis and Clubber doesn’t think you need to know.
Totally aside, do you think Robby has his own Laminating machine? I bet he does. I bet he’s the best laminator on the West Coast.
Now cue the music.
If the Niners win on Sunday I sort of have to go to the Super Bowl right? The question is, do I tell Robby I’m coming so he can get me a ticket or do I just show up at the Niners practice facility as a surprise. I think surprise. My dad loves surprises.