Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines are in Rome on a tour, and like the old saying goes: When in Italy, go visit the pope.
@UMichFootball @CoachJim4UM @cnalive @espn @SInow @Church_POP @NCRegister .@UMichFootball Coach Jim Harbaugh giving #PopeFrancis a little something from Michigan this morning. @CoachJim4UM pic.twitter.com/K80tIgj2wo— Alan Holdren (@AlanHoldren) April 26, 2017
I watched every episode of The Young Pope. I know how many gifts the pontiff gets. A Michigan helmet and a pair of Jordans are probably among the more curious gifts he’s gotten: a helmet for a sport he’s shown no interest in and a pair of extremely expensive sneakers for an 80-year-old man who’s made a life out of fighting for the poor and income equality. But it’s the thought that counts.
Also, the subtext of the gifts can’t go unnoticed:
Jim Harbaugh giving the Pope a Michigan helmet is perhaps the greatest troll of Notre Dame ever.— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) April 26, 2017
The most fascinating part of all this is that buying apparel for someone like the pope must be weird. Is there an official size guide for the pope? All we know is that Michigan got Pope Francis size 10 Jordans, judging from this picture:
Now, you’d think maybe this was just a ballpark guess. Francis is an average-sized man, so 10 seems like a safe shoe size — but I was convinced that perhaps there was more to this. A 2013 article with the pope’s personal cobbler revealed that he wears a European size 42 shoe and has flat feet — which ends up being between a 9.5 and a 10 in American sizes.
In short: Michigan did its research and ensured they were the correct size shoes for the pope. Well done.