John Harbaugh is the kind of man who guards his emotions closely. Even though, at heart, he's analytical and intellectual, he tends to speak in measured clichés during his weekly sessions with the media. He does not like to give off even the faintest scent of vulnerability. He likes to project confidence and control.
But my favorite moment of 2010 was a moment that captured Harbaugh in a rare instance of unguarded, unscripted joy, and revealed a tiny slice of who he really is to the outside world.
The Ravens had just beaten the New Orleans Saints 30-24, an emotional victory that came after a week of intense criticism directed at Harbaugh and his staff. Harbaugh wrapped up his press conference, then made a beeline from the podium into the Ravens locker room. He walked into the shower, and let loose a rebel yell that echoed off the tiles and revealed just how good it felt to win a game against the defending Super Bowl Champions when the pressure on his team and his staff had to feel like a vise on his temples.
"HOW 'BOUT THEM RAVENS?" Harbaugh roared.
No matter how you feel about Harbaugh, or the job his staff has done with a talented team, that moment was raw and real and fun to witness.