John Harbaugh: A Fan's Coach

Matt KnowlesContributor IJune 5, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 04:  Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a 27-9 AFC Wild Card victory over the Miami Dolphins with fans on January 4, 2009 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This past Friday, I was lucky enough to be at Camden Yard to witness Matt Wieters make his major league debut.

And although Wieters went 0-for-4, it was an amazing game.  The crowd was electric, Luke Scott hit two home runs including a grand slam and one of the Oriole's young arms, Brad Bergesen, pitched a gem for eight innings before handing it over to Jim Johnson to close it out for a 7-2 victory.

But as impressive as the Orioles were that night, there was something else that caught my eye and made me proud to be a Raven's fans.

Around the fourth inning, John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, made his way down the aisle of the section I was sitting.  As he walked to his seats with his wife and daughter, more and more people began to realize who it was a round of applause broke out from the surrounding sections. 

Harbaugh acknowledged the claps with a nod and a smile before sitting down.

As the game progressed, I guess word got around that John Harbaugh was at the game and fans made their way down to his section.  Before I knew it there was a line of people going up the aisle all waiting to meet Mr. Harbaugh.

Immediately I thought to myself, "Oh great, just what he wants a million people asking for pictures and autographs while he is trying to watch the game with his family."

But to my surprise, he greeted everyone with a smile and a handshake.  He stood up to take pictures if someone asked him and he took the time to meet with everyone that stopped down to see him.

Around the seventh inning, the Orioles announced that John Harbaugh as at the game and flashed his picture up on the jumbo-tron.  Applause and cheers broke out through out the stadium. 

Coach Harbaugh stood in recognition, smiled and gave everyone a wave of thanks.  It seemed pretty clear to me that he was genuinely touched by the appreciation he was receiving from the fans.

As he was leaving in the eighth, Harbaugh received more cheers and applause from the sections around him and again he smiled graciously and gave a little wave.

Although I am sure it was annoying to miss about three innings while he signed autographs and took pictures, never once did he seem irritated or aggravated.  He smiled, he chatted, and made time for the Baltimore Ravens fans. 

I was very impressed with the Raven's Head Coach and it made me proud that he was representing the city of Baltimore.


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