San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh can get pretty fired up. Whether his team is losing and he's got half a mind to take a referee to the shed or his team just kicked a last-second field goal to move on to the divisional round of the playoffs, he's no stranger to shouting, turning red, drooling and speaking in hyperbole.
He did all of those on Sunday after the 49ers bested the Green Bay Packers for the fourth time in two seasons, eliminating them from the playoffs for the second time in those consecutive seasons. But one particular bit of hyperbole -- and this is hyperbole to you or I, because nobody should ever presume to understand what Harbaugh is and is not actually thinking -- stood out after the game.
Harbaugh referred to wide receiver Michael Crabtree as the "greatest catcher of all time."
"People talked about cold weather and it would be a tough to catch ball, but the greatest catcher of all time, Michael Crabtree, catches everything," said the 49ers' head coach. "It's unbelievable. In the northern snowlands down to the tropics and sunny scenes, he's catching the football. Wherever they throw a football, he'll be catching it."
Ah yes, the northern snowlands ... we can only assume that here, Harbaugh is referring to The Wall in Westeros from the popular Game of Thrones franchise. Granted, Green Bay, Wis., presently qualifies as "snowlands," but I like to think Harbaugh is just as hooked on A Song of Ice and Fire as I am. Either way, Crabtree was effective on the frigid field at Lambeau, catching eight passes for 125 yards in San Francisco's win.
And it's true that Crabtree does have incredible ball skills. He's one of those receivers a quarterback can just toss a ball up to with a greater than 50-percent chance said receiver will come down with the ball. But the hyperbole comes in when you consider that Harbaugh is currently the head coach of a franchise that was the longtime home to Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver to ever play football.
Then again, Harbaugh's belief in Crabtree was expanded upon in the next sentence: "If my life depended on it and someone had to catch a ball, I'd enlist Michael Crabtree to do it," Harbaugh said.
Well then ... hopefully it won't come down to that, coach, but if it does, there are certainly worse hands to put one's life in.