Jim Harbaugh on Rome Trip: “have the whole world be your classroom”

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jim harbaugh rome

Friends, Michiganders, countrymen, lend me your ears, I come to report on Jim Harbaugh, not to praise him.

Although to be fair the coverage we provide of Harbaugh will in fact be a form of praise. He took his Michigan football team on a trip to Rome in April where they held three spring practices and also had numerous unique cultural experiences.

It’s hard not to praise his idea, especially when you consider how Jim Harbaugh himself said “it’s the best thing he’s ever done personally as part of a football team.”

jim harbaugh

During their trip to Rome, the Wolverines saw numerous world famous tourist attractions, including: The Colosseum, The Forum, The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s, The Vatican and Piazza Navona. 

When navigating the tedium of coachspeak and other press conference pablum at a given preseason media day, all roads lead to Rome for a more unique Media Day story idea.

“It’s incredible to connect with somebody from a different country, to see something you’ve never seen before, taste food you’ve never tasted or hear a language that you’ve never heard and then experience it together as a team,” Harbaugh said at B1G Media Day.

“To be able to experience as a group makes it so much better, 900 times better as you’re getting not only your own experience but the others in the group. And, yeah, it’s a chance to put the college back in college football.”

Next off-season Harbaugh is planning on taking his team to Paris, Normandy and London. What a game-changer this novel concept is from a recruiting standpoint.

jim harbaugh

“It’s a chance to have the whole world be your classroom. And not all learning is done in a classroom or on a football field. It’s out there living, out there seeing and doing. So I would recommend it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done personally as part of a football team.”

“It was very interesting to watch our team do six hours of sightseeing one day where we’re walking through old Rome and then in the afternoon we’re at the Colosseum, at the Forum, and you learn so many things along the way,” Jim Harbaugh continued.

“Colosseum has been around for 600 years, it’s been active for 600 years. Around here, 30, 40 years as a stadium and they tear it down. Amazing, really.”

“The Forum, to see how much Washington D.C., our own Washington D.C., was designed around Rome and even our political system, much patterned after Rome.”

rome colosseum

Michigan also interacted with members of the AS Roma football club (soccer) team and held their final practice at Stadio dei Marmi, the historic venue adjacent to the club’s stadium. The Wolverines returned the favor when AS Roma was in Detroit last week preparing for their international friendly against Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

The old catch-phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” might apply to this year’s Wolverines team as well, with Michigan expected to take a slight step back this upcoming season from where they were the past two campaigns.

We had three really good practices over there. But then to flip the switch and be back to football and go out and practice and understand that it doesn’t matter where we are, in Ann Arbor, in Rome, in some other place,” Jim Harbaugh continued.

roma

“Now it’s time to do what we do in football, and do it as a team.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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