The team went to the Vatican on Wednesday, where they attended the pope’s weekly general audience service. Harbaugh then had a moment when he was able to present Pope Francis with a pair of Michigan Jordan Brand sneakers and a Michigan football helmet. Harbaugh shared photos on his Twitter that show Pope Francis smiling as Harbaugh hands him the sneakers and helmet. The helmet featured a special yellow sticker with the number “266,” signifying that he is the 266th pope.
There is no word to describe the inner beauty that shines through the eyes of our Holy Father and his words… "Pray for me" pic.twitter.com/doUpeajuRp
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) April 26, 2017
It’s not exactly clear what style of shoes the pope received, but according to Detroit Free Press columnist Jeff Seidel, Harbaugh gave him a pair similar to a pair that was gifted to an archbishop. According to the Associated Press, players Salim Makki and Grant Newsome were specially chosen to meet the pope after Harbaugh asked players to write an essay explaining why they’d like to meet him.
The type of limited edition shoes that Harbaugh planned to give Pope. These are for arch bishop pic.twitter.com/pU3ZA7gsay
— Jeff Seidel (@seideljeff) April 26, 2017
In addition to meeting Pope Francis, the team has visited the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and more sites around Rome and even participated in a cooking class. On Thursday they held a team practice at a rugby field in Rome and even brought tons of their own equipment, according to tweets from Seidel. The team also met refugees from Syria who are living in Italy.
Michigan had to bring over all their stuff. Including tackling dummies Traveling light about half what goes to a bowl pic.twitter.com/YoGSG1JsAJ
— Jeff Seidel (@seideljeff) April 27, 2017