Monday, December 19, 2011
A Walk on the Mild Side
At about 12:45 p.m. today, the bayfront near the Burlingame/Millbrae border was busy. Jetliners from nearby SFO were landing and taking off in their usual mid-day cadence, a sort of transportation ballet monitored by unseen air traffic controllers. Meanwhile, along hotel row, there was a vague stirring. The San Francisco 49ers were preparing to leave their lodgings at the Marriott and the Pittsburgh Steelers were doing the same a block away at the Westin. Charter buses for the Steelers were slowly backing into the Westin parking lot, blocking traffic on Old Bayshore in the process. The two NFL teams had a date at Candlestick Park at 5:30 p.m. Out on the bayfront trail there was a familiar figure walking in relaxed fashion. Jim Harbaugh looked as though he didn't have a care in the world. He's the head coach of the suddenly-fashionable 49ers, the re-discovered darlings of the Bay Area sporting set. Harbaugh, rather jaunty on a bright, warm December afternoon, nodded as passersby recognized him as the energetic young man who has made the San Francisco franchise relevant again and wished him well. It was the calm before the storm. But it's good to be the king.