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Biblical Football Coaching with Jim Harbaugh: Matthew’s Parable Edition

Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Michigan
did you even read the scripture bro
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Good afternoon, I’m Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the MICHIGAN Wolverines. I understand that some of you on this Internet were interested by the biblical inspiration for my decision about quarterback reps.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m an honest, God-fearing MAN WHO ADHeres to the Good Book, and I’m always looking for WAYS to apply the lessons of scripture to my PROFESSION.

As I said, Solomon was a Tremendous football coach, but he’s far from the only great coaching mind you can find in the Bible. For today’s coaching tip, I’m going to the book of Matthew chapter 25.

So on line 14 Matthew has an interesting discussion about talent.

I viewed this parable as a head coach going recruiting during the spring semester while his quarterbacks still have access to the facilities. See, they have different levels of talent, so the coach gives them different levels of leadership and challenge based on their talent. So this one guy is a 5 star talent, he has five talents, he’s a five tool player, and he develops his talents and he gets even more talent and now he’s the equivalent of a 10 star talent because he got in that gym to GRIND every morning. There’s this two star talent, he doubles his talent as well because he has the INITIATIVE to get up and GROW THAT TALENT. But then the other guy in the room is clearly the #3 guy in the quarterback battle, and he was content with his place in the program so he just kind of hung out.

So then the coach comes back and runs some drills. The 5 star guy displays his talents and is stoked about developing new talents. He’s a good and faithful WARRIOR and he enters into the joy of his head coach. The 2 star guy, though, he’s hustled just as hard to develop his talent and the coach is really impressed with his new talents.

But then the last guy? He posts on Instagram that, you know, the coach is just going to bring in guys from the transfer portal anyway, reaping where he did not sow. The coach calls him wicked and slothful, and then what happens is that his talent actually gets taken from him, like in Space Jam? The talent gets taken from him and given to the 5 star guy, and now your third stringer is running stadium steps where there’s much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So the lesson Matthew wants you to take away here is that obviously not every player is going to have the same amount of talent, but what matters is that they’re hustling, they’re doing everything they can to increase those talents. Of course, he’s also saying that if they’re both grinding as hard as they need to be, the guy with more talent has the most room to grow and needs to be given the ball.

But if you don’t have that Enthusiasm? that Drive? that Will To Win? You might as well take your talent and bury it in the ground.

...No, actually, we liked what we saw out of Alan Bowman as well.