Jim Harbaugh has added another item to his signature wardrobe.
The quicky San Francisco 49ers coach, known for donning a cap, a black sweater, a pen around his neck and khakis for each game, is now wearing cleats instead of sneakers. His rationale is part logical, part superstitious.
Harbaugh first wore the cleats for the 49ers' game against the Jaguars in London. That matchup came a week after San Francisco topped Tennessee in a game that involved a scrum between players. Harbaugh tried to break up the fight but had trouble because of the grass.
"No traction," Harbaugh told reporters this week. "I don't want to be caught in that situation again."
Harbaugh wore cleats for the game against Jacksonville in London, and his team won. Then Harbaugh ditched the cleats for San Francisco's next two games, against Carolina and New Orleans. The 49ers lost both games, likely because their coach was back to sneakers.
So for San Francisco's game against Washington on Nov. 25, Harbaugh went back to his black Nike cleats. And the 49ers won. Harbaugh donned the cleats for San Francisco's next games against St. Louis and Seattle, and San Francisco won both games.
Harbaugh, who spent 15 years as an NFL quarterback, generally isn't one for superstitions. But if it works, it works.
"We've won every time I've worn the cleats," Harbaugh said. "There was a time I was superstitious about not being superstitious. Now I'm suddenly superstitious a little bit."
Here's a close-up of the shoes:
Expect Harbaugh to keep the kicks for San Francisco's remaining three games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Arizona.