Petaluma kid scores interview with elusive SF 49ers coach
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8:43 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 8:43 a.m.
While reporters all over the world have been scrambling for interviews with anyone remotely connected with the Super Bowl, 12-year-old Petaluman Jadon Bosarge scooped them all with a short, but exclusive, one-on-one interview with 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Bosarge's interview with Harbaugh
By JADON BOSARGE
FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER
After a recent away game for the 49ers, I stood outside their locker room while the team loaded onto the bus. Being an inquisitive 11-year-old who's a fan and journalist, I watched everybody and everything. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with an attractive blonde woman. When she found out I was a reporter, she said she would ask Jim to answer a few of my questions. It ended up that the “Jim” she was talking about was the 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, and she was his wife, Sarah Harbaugh. That day it paid for me to be an outgoing, kid reporter.
I quickly grabbed my camera and recorder. I was ready when coach Harbaugh walked up and shook my hand. I could feel my heart in my throat as I forced out my introduction. He settled my nerves with his calm and relaxed demeanor.
We talked a bit about the game the team had just played against the New Orleans Saints, but I really wanted to know more about the man himself and his love for the game. When I asked him about who inspired him to play football, he quickly replied, “My dad and my brother.” The brother is John, the coach he will compete against in the biggest football game of the year — the Super Bowl — on Sunday.
He then went on to name others that had inspired him, like good coaches and teachers. He mentioned his college coach Bo Schembechler, Mike Ditka and his third-grade teacher, Sister Agnes. “Other than my dad and my brother, there are all of those I consider a favorite coach or teacher. Everyone has at least one of those in their life,” he said.
Coach Harbaugh and I then talked about the game of football. He commented, “Football to me is the best game ever invented. It works every muscle in your body and it makes you sleep really good at night. It takes a lot of courage to play football because there's contact — getting hit or hitting somebody. I think it's the greatest sport out there. There are a lot of different positions for all, where different body types can excel at football. You just gotta find your niche.”
I think Coach Harbaugh, his dad, and brother all found their niche. Football fans around the world will be cheering for this family at this year's Super Bowl. Go Harbaughs!
Bosarge explains how the interview happened in his story in today's Petaluma Argus-Courier. What is not explained is the determination and ingenuity that put the Corona Creek Elementary School sixth grader in a position to interview the sought-after coach.
It was his love of football that inspired him to take the initiative to contact 49ers' director of public relations Bob Lange. That led to an opportunity to interview a then little-used running back named LaMichael James and to write a story on the NFL's transition to Nike Uniforms that was published in the Argus-Courier in November.
In October, he contacted Kid Scoop, a monthly newspaper geared for use in classrooms and affiliated with more than 350 newspapers nationwide, and landed a job writing about football.
While Bosarge's family was visiting friends in Alabama, Kid Scoop obtained press credentials for him to cover the 49ers-Saints game in the Super Dome in New Orleans.
“That was really cool,” he said. “The Super Dome was really cool. I've never seen anything like it.”
Bosarge also learned about the power of the press. “There were a lot of security people everywhere, but it was pretty cool. I could walk just about everywhere. I just flashed my press pass.”
After the game, the Petaluman had hoped for a one-on-one interview with a 49ers player, but Lange explained that it couldn't happen because the 49ers had to get on a bus for the airport. However, the Saints permitted him to interview safety Malcom Jenkins. After his interview with Jenkins, Bosarge found himself outside the 49ers' locker room as the players exited to board the bus. “I realized I was standing next to Colin Kaepernick,” he said. Before the young reporter could introduce himself, the star quarterback left and got on the bus.
It was then that Bosarge struck up a conversation with a “blonde lady” waiting outside the locker room — For the rest of the story, read Bosarge's account on page one.
Although his enthusiasm is directed at football, both writing and playing (he is a member of the Panthers' youth football team), Bosarge has many other accomplishments. He is a successful model, appearing in ads for companies such as Old Navy, Honda and Lucas Art. He is in the GATE program for advance academics, plays drums and participates in the Tweens program that provide community service at Petaluma Baptist Church where he and his family are members.
He tried to get press credentials for the Super Bowl, but was told it was well past the deadline for applications, so Sunday he will be at home with his family watching on television. “I'll try next year,” he said. “I never know what I'm going to do, but I'm going to continue writing about football.”
(Contact John Jackson at Johnie.firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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