Jim Harbaugh Bucket List Keeps Getting Smaller

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JIM HARBAUGH BUCKET LIST
AP

SANTA CLARA -- Not much seems left on Jim Harbaugh's bucket list, aside from the obvious.

"Win a Super Bowl," Harbaugh said of his top priority entering Year No. 3 as the 49ers coach.

Harbaugh has had more whimsical wishes come true thus far than most. The most recent was his proverbial jury duty on Tuesday's episode of "Judge Judy." .

Pressed on what remains to be crossed off from his bucket list, Harbaugh offered up a surprise desire: "Get a mobile home."

Like the temporary trailer the 49ers stash the media away in near the players' parking lot? Turns out, Harbaugh meant a "motor" home. Harbaugh has only driven an RV once, and he fondly recalled doing so years ago in Ohio for a two-hour drive to a hockey game.

That's not to say Harbaugh is averse to roughing it as a camper. Last weekend, his family camped out ... in the backyard of their Atherton home.

Harbaugh's seemingly charmed life as the 49ers coach has seen him live out many dreams. Let us count them up:

-- Drive the pace car in last month's Indy 500. (Harbaugh has been a co-owner of a racing team since his late-1990s playing days with the Indianapolis Colts.)

-- Meet baseball idol Willie Mays. He did so last year when Mays attended a 49ers practice (and later hosted Harbaugh and his father Jack at his house to watch a Giants game).

-- Play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He's done that the past two years, even placing a

respectable 13th this year with partner Jason Day.

-- Receive inspirational speeches from military heroes, including Gen. Martin Dempsey (Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman), Marine Corps Col. Jim Minnick, four-star Army Gen. Bob Cone, Sgt. Dontae Skywalker (at Arlington National Cemetary) and an anonymous Navy SEAL.

-- Moonlight as a team manager at an Indiana University men's basketball game, which he did last year for Hoosiers coach (and brother-in-law) Tom Crean.

-- Have his silhouette depicted on a T-shirt. OK, he never publicly opined for this, but Nike has come out with a $28 shirt featuring a side view of Harbaugh in a black top and khaki pants.

-- Phone into John Madden's daily radio segment, which he did in January for advice on being a first-time Super Bowl coach.

Harbaugh's 49ers went on to lose 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII to older brother John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens. So a Super Bowl triumph remains on Jim Harbaugh's to-do list.

He also still yearns to meet Muhammad Ali, a treat his father Jack and brother John got to enjoy last year.

Such high-profile, bucket-list items overshadow good deeds the 49ers coach quietly does off the field. A year ago, he attended the high school graduation of a paralyzed student (Tyler Schilhabel of Bakersfield), whom he befriended when coaching at Stanford. Since 2009, Harbaugh has made summer pilgrimages to Piura, Peru, where he's helped build houses with friends from his church.

Two seasons into his five-year contract, Harbaugh indeed has built the 49ers into a perennial contender.

They've won NFC West "diplomas" -- his word -- each season. They've reached two NFC Championship games. They've lived up to a blue-mechanic-shirt mentality. And they've given Harbaugh plenty of opportunities to shout his "Who's-got-it-better-than-us?" victory mantra.

A health scare interrupted last season's run to the Super Bowl: Harbaugh underwent a Nov. 15 cardioversion on an irregular heartbeat. A happier hospital visit came some two months earlier: his wife Sarah gave birth to their son Jack Jr. a few days before the season opener at Green Bay.

Yes, a lot has happened in Jim Harbaugh's life during his 49ers tenure. But that hasn't diminished the thrill he experienced by meeting (and playing cards with) with Judith Sheindlin, aka "Judge Judy."

"I've never seen her adjudicate one improperly," Harbaugh said of attending the episode which was taped in April in Los Angeles. "She is so smart. She is so good.

"It's fun to watch just somebody that does their job well. I could watch people play football that do their job really well, people that direct traffic. I get a real kick out of watching people that are good at directing traffic do it. I've done it for hours, watched it.

"But, I like football the most."

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman. ___

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