Regner: Jim Harbaugh is living dream for many Michigan fans

Jim Harbaugh is living my dream, too.

When I was 11 or 12 years old, I received the best Christmas present a kid like me could receive — a real Michigan football helmet.

My uncle somehow was able to acquire the helmet and when I opened up the gigantic box he wrapped it in, I was speechless — absolutely speechless.

It wasn’t just a football helmet; it symbolized everything that I wanted from my life.

As a boy, I always daydreamed of hanging out with the Michigan football team and palling around Ann Arbor with Bo Schembechler.

When I graduated from high school my plan was to play quarterback for Michigan with Bo as my coach.

After Michigan, I would settle into a QB role with an NFL team. Once my pro career wrapped up, I would give back to the school that gave me so much by becoming Michigan’s football coach.

Seriously, as a kid, I really did dream about this as being a viable lifelong path.

But as I became older, my athletic ability leveled off while my love for Michigan kept growing. I was fortunate enough to get accepted into Michigan and I have always been proud to call it my school.

Today in Ann Arbor, when Jim Harbaugh addressed the assembled crowd at his introductory press conference as Michigan’s head football coach, I was a boy again.

Harbaugh talked about Michigan the way I feel about Michigan — with reverence, passion, and the school’s unyielding desire to strive for excellence.

You could tell that this wasn’t a job, but his life’s calling coming to fruition.

As Harbaugh talked about his father, I remembered my dad, who always stood whenever he heard The Victors playing.

When he reminisced about being a kid in Ann Arbor, I thought about all the football Saturday’s during my childhood I spent with family and friends.

And when he became reflective about seeing — for the first time — his younger children wearing Michigan gear, it really hit home for him. All I could think about was that Michigan football helmet.

Tuesday afternoon was not about Jim Harbaugh making a grand entrance by putting the college football world on notice. He wasn’t there to take a swipe at the Buckeyes or Spartans.

This was about a dream that came true, a dream that many of us have had and Jim Harbaugh is living.

In reality, most dreams are just dreams. But when you see a dream come true before your eyes, it’s a terrific feeling.

Tuesday was a good day for dreamers.