SANTA CLARA – I was standing by myself in the mostly-empty 49ers locker room at lunchtime when Jim Harbaugh walked in eating a hot dog. I had my back turned and didn’t notice when he approached me.
“It’s got to be killing you to be here today,” he said.
“Why’s that?” I asked. I didn’t know what he was talking about.
“Don’t you want to be at the A’s game?!” Harbaugh said in a firm voice.
“Here is where I want to be.”
“But they could make history today!”
I looked at him. “Jim, you could make history in the next five minutes.”
“That’s true, that’s true…” he said, and he looked away nodding, taking a few bites of his hot dog. I thought he was done but he kept going.
“Have you been following what they’re doing?” he asked.
I told him of course.
“You must have been following them your whole life, haven’t you?”
I told him yes, I’m from Oakland.
Harbaugh took another bite of his hot dog and started to walk away. “They could do it,” he yelled back at me. “They could win. They’re good enough to do it.”
He walked over to another reporter and said, “It’s got to be killing you to be here today, right?!”
The one it was killing was Harbaugh. I sure got that feeling.