Harbaugh brothers make Super Bowl party a family affair

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts – John and Jim Harbaugh will turn a family reunion into a war of attrition in New Orleans early next month when they become the first coaching brothers to oppose each other in a Super Bowl.

Last year, the siblings came within a game each of reaching the Super Bowl but lost in their respective conference championships. On Sunday, their victories set up something of a ‘Harbaugh Bowl’ for the NFL title.

“I don’t know if we had a dream this big,” John Harbaugh told reporters after his Baltimore Ravens had spanked the New England Patriots 28-13 at Gillette Stadium.

A few hours earlier, Jim had fulfilled his side of the bargain when the San Francisco 49ers rallied for a 28-24 road victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

“We had a few dreams, we had a few fights. We had a few arguments, like all brothers. We will try and stay out of that business. We’ll let the two teams duke it out as much as possible,” John added.

Separated by just 15 months, the brothers followed in the footsteps of their father Jack, who had a 41-year career as a coach, ranging from the high-school level to the head role in college football.

The brothers, who shared a bedroom growing up until they left home for college, have remained very close, speaking weekly by telephone.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Jim,” the 50-year-old John said. “Watching that team play, they do reflect his personality.

“They have physical players, they run the ball, they throw the ball. They’ve got a quarterback making plays all over the place. They got a roughhouse defense. There’s a reason why they are in the Super Bowl. I love the way they play.”

John said the similarities between the coaches might be reflected in the teams when they meet on February 3.

“I’d like to think our two teams are very similar. I’d like to think when you look at the two teams you’re looking at mirror images of two football teams,” he said. “It’s going to be a great football game.”

With his grey Ravens sweatshirt soaked in champagne, John said he could only imagine the joy his parents felt back in Wisconsin.

“I hope he’s on his fourth or fifth beer right now,” the Baltimore coach said of his father. “I hope he and Ma got a big hug going.”

(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by John O’Brien)

Read more :
  • 2014 World Cup Qualifying: England held by dogged Montenegro
    Montenegro produced a rousing second-half display to earn a 1-1 draw at home to England on Tuesday that enabled them to preserve a two-point lead in their World Cup qualifying group. Wayne...
  • Kaka vows to earn Brazil World Cup berth
    Kaka has vowed to do "everything he can" to regain his place as a regular starter in Brazil's national football team ahead of next year's FIFA World Cup. The 2007 FIFA world player of the ...
  • Rafael Nadal focused on self improvement
    Rafael Nadal has claimed that he wants to improve his own game rather than focus on keeping up with Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard has lost his last seven matches against Djokovic but admits...
  • Lionel Messi sports tattoo with son’s name
    Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi this week in the elimination match between Argentina and Venezuela for the 2014 World Cup will debut a tattoo on his left leg with the name and the hands ...
  • Deafness no problem for rising star Lee
    MELBOURNE - Korean youngster Lee Duck-hee dreams of life at the top of the tennis world. It is a dream shared by elite junior players the world over, but what makes Lee different is that he...
  • Bibat, Becierra tie Van der Valk at helm
    Michael Bibat and Dante Becierra came through with a pair of four-under 67s to catch opening day leader Guido Van der Valk at the helm for a one-stroke lead over unheralded Elmer Saban in t...
  • Zheng Jie confident for the Olympics
    Zheng Jie has revealed that her performances at Wimbledon have given her confidence for the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Despite taking the first set, the 28-year-old was knocked out ...
  • Venus Williams out of ASB Classic through injury
    Good news: Venus Williams has pulled out of the ASB Classic in Auckland next month due to ongoing health issues. The 31-year-old has played a number of exhibition matches recentl...