When San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York saw Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh — the brother of the man with whom York used to work — at the NFL’s owners meetings, John suggested that York sit down and have a bite with Jim Harbaugh at some point to clear the air.
York told The MMQB’s Peter King that he’s open to the idea.
“I said, ‘I’d love to do that.’ I’d love to get together,” York said. “And I think enough time has kind of passed where you can let whatever issues were there be buried and just truly be thankful for three great years when nobody expected us, certainly in 2011, to beat the Saints the way we did, to get close and, you know, be two muffed punts away from going to a Super Bowl in ‘11.
“Just all the things that happened — and I’d love to sit down with Jim. Not in front of cameras, not in front of anybody else, but just share an evening with him and truly say, ‘thank you,’ and wish him the best of luck. Not obviously when he plays Notre Dame, but for the rest of the season, wish him the best of luck.”
This is interesting to read given all that happened between York and Jim Harbaugh before and since he left the 49ers to go coach at Michigan. But time heals all, and as some famous, now probably dead person once said, “let food be thy medicine.”
So when and where should they eat? Well, given that all that has transpired over the past 30 or so months since their final days together, Harbaugh has thrived and York has been the one who has seen his franchise go into the dumps, even with some optimism. Short of the most improbable Super Bowl run in history forthcoming, we suggest York fly to Michigan for the repast. After all, he has the private jet.
Our suggestion: Roast, a Michael Symon restaurant that has earned high praise and is regarded by Zagat reviewers as being both “hearty” and a place that will “reward your inner caveman/cavewoman,” which we suspect might make Harbaugh happy.
Now, what should they eat? Here’s how we’d plan the meal:
Starter — Ceviche
Look, it hits on all the themes. Harbaugh could make a disarming power play by ordering this (revenge is best served) cold dish, which also features lime, red onion, cilantro and chilies for that perfect balance of spice, tart and bitter — a nice summation of the relationship between York and Harbaugh back in the day.
Salad course — Caesar
Keep it simple and classic. The themes are impossible to overlook. The salad was named after Julius (right?), and his life was all about power struggles. If Harbs was Julius Caesar, then York must be Cato the Younger, yeah? It’s too perfect.
Steak — *Dry Aged Porterhouse for two
* please allow 40+ minutes
Seriously, that’s what the menu says. This is pretty funny on multiple levels. First, Harbaugh once said that his favorite Thanksgiving dish is steak, which is the most Harbaughian thing ever. He also said he considers steak to be a daily supplement, so there really would be no other protein choice here. “I take a vitamin every day,” Harbaugh once said on his radio show. “It’s called a steak.”
Second, the idea of these two sitting there, patiently rehashing the past for 40+ minutes, is just poetic. Someone will crack before the cow hits the table — guaranteed.
And, third, super awk watching them fence with their utensils over a common plate of beef.
Side — Whipped Potatoes
Does York send his potatoes back if they’re not whipped to the right consistency? We’d pay to know this information. Plus, we’d need something smooth during this portion of the meal; after all, as recently as March, Harbaugh took a shot at York (and others) by telling Sports Illustrated that “the people that are doing the micromanaging … what they know could not blow up a small balloon.” We’d want these potatoes so light and fluffy, they could blow up a balloon.
Dessert (if they make it this far without one storming off) — The Nutty Professor
This perfectly named dish features the key ingredient of peanut butter, which once got Harbaugh all hot and bothered.
And you best believe this bad boy would not be served with a nicely decanted tawny port, but rather with an ice-cold goblet of whole milk. This dessert also contains “banana caramel,” which is good because we know he once ate something similar in one of his now-famous sleepovers with one of his recruits.
Plus, you know the name of it just fits. Harbaugh is kinda nutty. York is professorial in his look. (We have no idea what foods he eats because he just doesn’t vamp with the media the way his former coach does).
Would this be enough to get them to be chums again? Oh, who knows … but at worst, they’d have a damned good meal. Why it’s important for York to make amends with his former coach — noble as the idea might be — we’re not certain. Maybe he just wants to draft some of Harbaugh’s quality football players.
After all, perception never has seemed all that deeply important to the CEO. Or maybe he’s just sick of eating humble pie and wants to try something new.
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