While some top online sportsbooks will break-down all of the action on the field, Super Bowl XLVII adds a new twist to pro football’s championship game: for the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, the opposing head coaches will be brothers.
John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens while Jim Harbaugh is in charge of the San Francisco 49ers. It’s fair to say that at the end of the game on Sunday, John and Jim’s parents will have mixed emotions.
For the record, John is the older Harbaugh at 50. He played his college ball of Miami of Ohio and never reached the NFL as a player. He rose up the assistant coaching ranks for several years, first at Western Michigan and Indiana, then in the NFL with the Eagles.
John took over as head coach of the Ravens in 2008. Baltimore has made the playoffs for five consecutive years under John’s guidance and he has a regular season record of 54-26 and a postseason record of 8-4.
Younger brother Jim is 49. He was the starting quarterback at the University of Michigan and they finished ranked 2nd in the country in 1985. He went on to a long and productive NFL career with the Bears, Colts, Ravens and Chargers.
Like his brother, Jim started out as a college assistant and worked his way up to being the head man at Stanford before taking over the 49ers in 2011. In his first year at the helm, San Francisco finished 13-3 and reached the NFC Championship Game. This year, they slipped to 11-4-1 and have now reached the Super Bowl.
Both Harbuagh’s are intense and not afraid to make daring moves that will open them up to potential criticism. John changed offensive coordinators late this season with his team in first place in the AFC North while Jim changed quarterbacks mid-season, going with the raw but more talented Colin Kaepernick over the experienced and safer Alex Smith.
Anyone who knows anything about sibling rivalries knows how personal, intense and fun they can be. Most brothers love each other but also love beating each other and rubbing it in each other’s faces.
The Harbaugh’s father, Jack, was a college football coach and he taught his sons all about the game he loved. Now he and the rest of America can sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of that hard work.
One thing is certain, in the case of Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh will be the parents of a Super Bowl winning coach some time on Sunday night. And dinner conversations at the Harbaugh house will never be the same again.