Harbaugh-Urban Selfie Breaks Kayfabe


Rarer than a clear photo of the Loch Ness Monster, Chris Fowler posted a Harbaugh-Urban selfie to his Twitter account late Friday night. Kayfabe in college football is dead.

For those not hip to the lingo, kayfabe comes from the colorful world of wrestling, describing the veil of fiction masking reality. For fans of pro wrestling, the Harbaugh-Urban selfie is their “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan-Iron Sheik arrest.

The two bitter enemies in the WWF were pulled over and arrested for drug possession in 1987, just as they began a story-line feud. The national headlines forced both out of the company for a period, and struck a damning blow to wrestling in its attempt to maintain legitimacy.

The side-by-side smiling visages of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer crushed similarly many dreams of those hoping for a feud on par with that of Harbaugh and former USC head coach Pete Carroll. Harbaugh and Carroll shared a palpable dislike during the former’s tenure at Stanford, which famously played out in an on-field exchange in 2009.

This offseason stoked the flames that have long burned between Michigan and Ohio State. Harbaugh took a shot at Gene Smith on Twitter. Harbaugh’s efforts to move recruiting into New Jersey were met with retaliation from Meyer, whose former assistant, Chris Ash, is now Rutgers head coach.

Ohio State and Rutgers are co-hosting a camp while Michigan holds its own satellite camp in Paramus.

Incidents aside, one photo suggests a relationship that’s more Schembechler-Hayes than it is Harbaugh-Carroll.

Fowler, to his credit, attempted to downplay it, even putting heat on himself for staging the Harbaugh-Urban selfie.

Perhaps I’m a Selfie Truther, but ask yourself: How many images of Harbaugh and Carroll beaming next to each exist? Smartphones were prevalent in 2009.

Ohio State and Michigan will remain fierce competitors on the field, but I feel validated in my belief that a strong, mutual respect exists between Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer. You can go on buying kayfabe.

It can still be real to you, dammit!