"Greatest quote ever," Jim Harbaugh said as he strode through the 49ers locker room around 12:30 p.m. today.
The 49ers head coach wasn't commenting on the interviews that were ongoing. Instead he had just passed the team's quote board, which had a classic from Paul "Bear" Bryant: "Show class, have pride and display character. And if you do, winning will take care of itself."
Harbaugh loves inspirational quotes. He can tick off a half dozen by Winston Churchill at the drop of a hat. The walls of the 49ers weight room and locker room are covered with quotes. He also has the players choose a quote of the day, which gets written on a white board outside the locker room.
Every day, one of the players' names is drawn from a hat, and it's their responsibility to find a quote. "Crab's our official drawer," Harbaugh said, referring to wideout Michael Crabtree.
The Bryant quote came courtesy of nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who said he found it on the Internet. Harbaugh last year said he was impressed by the way Sopoaga takes notes in team meetings, and today he fetched the nose tackle's notebook and showed reporters the intricate detail - it's almost artwork - that fill its pages.
"There's nobody in the history of football that has ever done that with a notebook," Harbaugh gushed.
Sopoaga said he'll typically take eight or nine pages of notes per meeting, something he started doing in 2007. He said he picked up the habit from his uncles, who are ministers in Samoa and who write out their sermons in notebooks.
Back to the whiteboard: It contains a few permanent quotes as well. One of them is from Harbaugh's college coach, Bo Schembechler: "We win as a team ... the team, the team, the team."
Others read: "Who's got it better than us? NOBODY!" and "There is a right way, there is a wrong way, there is a better way, the Forty Niner Way."
Harbaugh noticed that his surname wasn't below the latter two. "There should be a footnote there," he said archly.
-- Matt Barrows