Yesterday, an account belonging to Jim Harbaugh's son James (one of Harbaugh's three children from his first marriage) posted a message to 49er Faithful Forum, a Facebook group/message board for 49ers fans. The message was deleted fairly quickly, with Harbaugh claiming his account was hacked, but you can read the full text of the message here:
This may be a long read, but it will be worth it. I promise.
By all I'm sure you've all heard the news that we won't be back in SF next season. My dad was told the Monday following the loss in Seattle that he would not be back in 2015. I wish you could've been told then. It obviously wasn't my place to break the news. I know there have been months of rumors and speculation leading up to this over the course of a year so I just want to make sure you all know the whole story.
You need to first realize that my dad loved this city and team. He chose to coach here for a reason 3 years ago. He believed they could go far. It's why leaving is so difficult. You also need to know that he would've stayed if he could have. Unfortunately, he wasn't given such an option, and was disappointed by that.
There have been hundreds of reports from journalists each with varying reasons on why he was leaving/what the locker room atmosphere was like. Those people know nothing more than the average person about what goes on behind closed doors. They're in the business of looking for drama and stirring up controversy. I can't blame them. It's in their job description. That being said, I've yet to see a single article that truly depicted the real story.
Last summer a story came out about a potential head coach trade with the Cleveland Browns. If that seemed like it came out of left field for you, it did for us too. It was brought up by someone in the Browns front office who we knew, but it was a one sided conversation. The idea wasn't even entertained. Yet the media fed off of it, and created a story line where there was no story, and thus, we came into the current season with questions regarding my dads future with the team. Like the trade rumors, reports of locker room discontent also came as a shock.
Nothing I saw in 3 years of being at the facility, on the team plane, and in the locker room at games ever even suggested anything of the sort. I don't care to point fingers because in the end it doesn't really matter who planted the rumors. The mere fact that they existed is enough.All I'll say is it wasn't a player or analyst as most have said. Look up what happened with Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys for reference.
This is a talented team, and I believe they can still win. Injuries plagued us in a year that could've been special. The fans have sometimes forgotten that, and placed too much unnecessary criticism on the players we did have that stepped up or played through injury. However, there are still deep rooted problems in SF that need to be fixed to win the sixth Super Bowl. I'll just list a few of them to make this brief.
1. The front office
We were aware and were told about the reputation of the teams front office when we came...we are well aware now.
There was no consistent home field advantage at Levi's stadium this year. I desperately wanted there to be one, but honestly, if I were on any other team, I'd love to play against our team there. You can blame the design, but it really starts with the fans. If you ever want to win at home next year and beyond YOU HAVE TO STAY IN YOUR SEATS IN THE SECOND HALF AND BE LOUD THE WHOLE TIME, NOT JUST ON THIRD DOWN WHEN THE TEAM IS AHEAD. It was dead silent at times when the opposing team was on offense. Trust me, u despised teams like the Seahawks and Saints, but their fans are loud from start to finish. They really do make an impact. It's possible here too.
3. Keep Frank Gore
No one wants to win/cares as much about football as much as Frank. He was my favorite player on the team. Sign him.
4. The front office
We were aware and were told about the reputation of the teams front office when we came...we are well aware now. I have respect for everyone there don't get me wrong, but I don't feel the season needed to end this way.
Lastly I just want everyone to think before you point fingers and blindly just throw criticism around. Everyone in the 49er organization had the same record for the past 3 years. Winning or losing is a team effort, and can never be put on a single person. All of this stuff you've been saying around around about the unwillingness to fire assistant coaches leading to us leaving and my dad losing interest to coach just isn't true. He fought with maximum effort and intensity till the very end.
I always tell my dad about the good things you all have to say. Your support doesn't go unnoticed. I wish you all the best and I hope the team be successful in the future for the sake of the fans. This city deserves it.
Thank you for a four amazing years.
WHOS GOT IT BETTER THAN US?
After deleting the post, the account posted this status update:
It's hard to believe someone would 'hack' the younger Harbaugh's account just to post this message, and nothing here contradicts against any of the information we've received about Harbaugh's chilly relationship with his bosses. It's much more likely that Harbaugh senior (or another family member) saw the post and advised that it be taken down - having family members take parting shots at the 49ers isn't a good look, no matter the circumstances. Take this with a grain of salt, like anything that comes from Facebook, but it's hard to see this as anything other than more evidence that the problems in San Francisco start in the front office.
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