Well football fans in Fresno, the playoffs are over and NFL history is about to be made. With the San Francisco 49ers winning the AAFC Championship and the Baltimore Ravens winning the AFC Championship, the teams respective coaches, Jim Harbaugh and his older brother John Harbaugh, will square off against each other at this year's Super Bowl, marking the first time in NFL history that such a match-up has occurred.
As one can imagine, the realization of this familiar square-off has sparked debate from various different sources, such as CNN, Forbes, The Huffington Post and the The Christian Science Monitor. Lets face it, when you have two brothers facing each other for, arguably, the most coveted title in professional sports, how can that not attract debate?
This examiner is admittedly not the world's biggest sports enthusiast so it is hard for me to put my odds-on-favor over who I think is going to win the big game. In fact, the Harbaughs already made history by squaring off once before on Thanksgiving 2011, where the Ravens won the game 16-6. Will history repeat itself this year?
Maybe not. According to The Huffington Post, Vegas bookmakers have the 49ers favored over the Ravens by 4.5 points. But in football, just as in life, anything can happen.
What interests this examiner most is how the situation may or may not be affecting the brothers themselves and their families. The parents are reportedly not picking sides for the big game (And how could they?), but the brother's father, Jack Harbaugh, a former college football coach himself, gave a quote for The Washington Times:
“Probably the greatest advice that I’ve ever been given and the only advice that I’ve ever found to be true in all of coaching, I think we mentioned it to both John and Jim … the coaching advice is, ‘Get ahead, stay ahead.’ If I’m called upon, I’ll repeat that same message.”
Other members of the family have expressed praise to the brothers for achieving this milestone Brother-in-law Tome Crean, Indiana basketball coach, says:
“We can’t put into words what it means to see John and Jim achieve this incredible milestone. We talked to Jim (before) his team plane left. All he wanted to know was how was John doing? How were they playing? One incredible family who puts the care, well-being and love for each other at the forefront like most families do. Again, we are very proud of them. Going to be exciting to watch it unfold."
Despite understandable efforts to avoid the subject, Jim Harbaugh did express how proud he is of his brother John.
“He’s a great football coach, a real grasp of all phases — offense, defense, special teams. I think he could coordinate at least two of those phases and do it as well as anyone in the league,” Jim said. “I’ve got half the amount of coaching experience he does. Again, it’s not about us. I keep coming back to that. I’m really proud of my brother. I love him. That’s the blessing part, that this is happening to him.”
This examiner is certain that John feels the same way about Jim.
Super Bowl XLVII, or the "HarBowl" as fans are already calling it, kicks off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans on February 3, 2013. This examiner is certain that it will be a game that fans, nor the Harbaugh Brother themselves, will never forget.