Ann Arbor — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is all about having his players experience the world. On Monday, he had them experience the universe.
Harbaugh gathered his team, staff and family members at Michigan Stadium to view the solar eclipse together from outside the stadium and on the field. The eclipse also was projected on the two large scoreboards over the end zones.
Coaches, staffers and players donned protective glasses and looked upward to see the first total solar eclipse to cross the country since 1918.
“It’s a phenomenon and we want to be part of it,” Harbaugh told The Detroit News outside Michigan Stadium. “When you really start thinking about it, this happens because the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, and the sun is 400 times further away from the earth and the moon.
“And it’s the only place in the galaxy that’s known that has those dimensions of a planet, a moon and the sun with those dimensions. It makes me think there is a creator. It’s not a coincidence. It’s just perfect in that alignment.”
Harbaugh had done his research and enjoyed sharing his tidbits of eclipse trivia.
“This is the first time that there’s been totality through the United States and only through the United States since 1776,” he said.
he players said viewing the eclipse together was a welcome break from preseason camp.
“It gets your mind off football for a couple moments,” defensive lineman Carlo Kemp said.
Chase Winovich, a defensive end, wasn’t sure what the experience would hold.
“It’s a lot cooler than I first anticipated – ‘OK, let me look at a sliver of the sun, basically,’” Winovich said. “But it was pretty cool knowing it happens once a century, really.”
Kemp is looking forward to the next eclipse.
“It’s way more interesting and cool when you get to look at it,” he said. “I’m kinda jealous now – I want to see a total.”
Harbaugh is one for collecting experiences and sharing them with his players. Viewing the solar eclipse Monday fell in that category.
“They happen a lot, but totality coming completely through the United States and 80 percent here in Michigan, we want to be a part of it,” Harbaugh said. “We wanted to learn about it.”