Shannon Sharpe is representing the people, and we’re fully on board.
Sharpe challenged Jim Harbaugh’s declaration that Michigan should be considered “America’s team.” The suspended head coach, facing Big Ten discipline over an alleged in-person scouting operation, suggested on Monday that the nation should support Michigan as a team that triumphs against the odds and silences the naysayers.
Harbaugh will be absent for the team’s final two regular-season games due to the suspension.
During Tuesday’s First Take, Sharpe countered Harbaugh’s claim by invoking examples of tarnished reputations in sports, including Lance Armstrong, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and the 2017 Houston Astros. He emphasized that Americans disapprove of cheaters and prefer to believe that success is earned through genuine superiority.
While Michigan’s players, coaches, and fans seem to stand firmly behind Harbaugh, Sharpe questioned the coach’s likability beyond his immediate circle, citing perceived “smugness.”
“I don’t think he’s very likable. That’s just me personally,” Sharpe remarked. “But for him to say, ‘we’re America’s team, and it’s us against the world’ — because you created this.”
Sharpe echoed sentiments expressed by Paul Finebaum, who labeled Harbaugh’s comments as “patently absurd” and likened the coach to a “cartoon character” attempting to garner sympathy.
“He is not a victim. He is the villain here,” Finebaum asserted. “In many ways, instead of being America’s team, Jim Harbaugh has become the Darth Vader of college football. He’s the most polarizing figure in the game.”
Despite the controversy, Michigan achieved a 10-0 record with a 24-15 victory over Penn State last Saturday. However, Harbaugh won’t be present on the sideline for the Wolverines’ upcoming game against Maryland. Sharpe’s candid commentary provides a valuable perspective in the media landscape.