If you hadn’t known beforehand it didn’t take long to figure out. John Harbaugh, Ravens head coach and Jim Harbaugh, 49ers head coach, aren’t the same person. Despite being brothers, a little over a year apart, they were in stark contrast at the press conference they held together leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.
John wore a suit and purple tie, was the first to welcome the crowd and embraced a few entertaining moments that made the audience laugh. Jim had on khakis and San Francisco hat with his signature pen around his neck as if he had just come from drawing up a play that would win the Super Bowl backstage. He was friendly but more direct.
They were brothers in the most essential sense; related, inseparably the same but distinctly their own man.
“I don’t think you have to watch very long or be a psychologist just to watch and see who they are,” said their father Jack. “The beauty of it, they allow themselves to be who they are. I think Jackie and I are most proud of that.”
Each has characteristics that make them their own, and it isn’t too shocking in the instances that are alike. They are both detail oriented, focused, driven, smart and love the game of football, but you could say that about pretty much any other coach that has gotten this far into the NFL playoffs. The cast for head coach have strict specifications that both Jim and John meet.
They are brothers in football much the way they are siblings.
Where they do vary, they do it together. Call it genetics or a form of habit, but they both have a certain edge to them that keeps them grinding during the week, riled up on Sundays and once it’s over they’re ready and willing to do it over and over again.
“I think anyone that knows the family and knows Jackie [their mother] and myself, and I think John and Jim would be the first to describe the emotion, passion and love comes from Jackie,” Jack smartly pinpointed.
So while 53 ½ yards may logistically separate the two brothers, there is no the distance nor difference that actually divides them.