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Watch Screech's cousin Jim Harbaugh on 'Saved By the Bell'

December 19, 2012|By Chuck Schilken

Some people may have thought San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh was a total goof for making a quarterback change in the middle of the season.

After all, former starter Alex Smith ranked third in the league in passer ratings, had led the 49ers to within a couple plays of the Super Bowl last year and had them headed in a similar direction this season.

But now the same people could very well be calling Harbaugh a genius after new starter Colin Kaepernick won NFC offensive player of the week honors for his four-touchdown performance against the New England Patriots on "Sunday Night Football."

Well, Harbaugh actually is a goof and a genius, at least if genetics has anything to do with it. Turns out he has a very famous cousin.

Screech.

That's right, that lovable geek from "Saved By the Bell." Harbaugh once appeared as himself in an episode of the classic Saturday morning series as Screech's cousin, back when he was the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. See for yourself above -- this really did happen.

Screech definitely was a genius. He was Bayside High's star chess player, captain of the academic bowl team and valedictorian. He invented an all-knowing robot, a magical cream that makes zits disappear and a love-detecting machine (with some help from Kelly ... yeah, right).

And he certainly was a goof. He was constantly falling on his face or being slammed inside lockers. He wore a Superman costume to the mall, but only because the Little Bo Peep outfit was too expensive. He even convinced a government agent (actually a tabloid reporter posing as a government agent, but whatever) that he was an alien from outer space.

So unless Harbaugh is actually Screech's adopted cousin (like the attractive blond Zack dated to make Kelly jealous), then we probably will be seeing more occurrences of simultaneous genius and goofiness for as long as he remains the 49ers coach.

It's not his fault -- it runs in the family.

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