So much for the New England Patriots’ dominance at home. The San Francisco 49ers, coached by Jim Harbaugh, sprinkled a little doubt over Foxborough in December. A month later, John Harbaugh‘s Baltimore Ravens stomped the Patriots into submission in the most surprising game in these playoffs … since the Ravens upset the Broncos in Denver.
Why am I fueling the fire by mentioning both Harbaughs in the opening paragraph? Because there’s no use standing at the bottom of a mountain with your arms outstretched, trying to stop an avalanche.
It’s coming whether you like it or not — Harbowl, Super Baugh, Harbaughcalypse, Harbaughgeddon – whatever your pleasure. Both coaches will smack down all references to this game being more about the hermano-a-hermano battle than the teams involved, but this is a matchup tailor-made for the Super Bowl, the game of all games for serious and casual fans alike.
The first “Harbowl” saw the 49ers travel to Baltimore last Thanksgiving. Ted Ginn had a 75-yard touchdown reception brought back due to a chop block penalty on Frank Gore (which Jim blamed on Chilo Rachal), and Tarell Brown had an interception turn into a 50-yard pass interference penalty.
The 49ers’ eight-game losing streak wasn’t halted simply due to penalties, as the Ravens sacked Alex Smith NINE TIMES. And since Alex just got a mention, we know just how much stock to put into that game when it comes to forecasting Super Bowl XLVII.
You know what else will have nothing to do with the outcome of the football game that’ll take place two Sundays from now? The fact that the two head coaches share more genetic material than usual. But we’re going to hear all about Jack Harbaugh‘s coaching legacy, how he raised his sons to love the game and become great coaches, John and Jim playing one-on-one in the driveway…
No wonder a lot of you are already sick of this. We already know all the anecdotes.
But the “Harbowl” story isn’t the only angle that’ll get driven into the ground. Here are the rest, in no particular order:
Ray Lewis DESERVES this - Has anyone gone from “possible accessory to murder” to sainthood before? It’s amazing what referencing God and staying with the same team for one’s whole career can do for the way they’re publicly perceived.
The deeper story behind Colin Kaepernick - It was a long time ago so I don’t remember, but did people care this much about John Elway’s time as a pitcher when he was playing in Super Bowls? Add in the tortoise, the tattoos, growing up a Packers fan and all the rest … hopefully his birth mom won’t do any more interviews.
What about Alex? – No.
Art Modell – He passed away in September and the Ravens wear the requisite patch on their uniforms, but hasn’t Cleveland suffered enough?
David Akers’ psyche – It seems like the 49ers have set this entire season up to rest on a field goal try by Akers, and I don’t like it one bit.
Actually, compared to those five topics, a two-week focus on Jack and the boys might be preferable. And besides, from what I’ve heard, the man who invented, “WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US? NOBODY!!!” is a pretty good guy. And when John was asked about what his dad probably thought about both of his sons squaring off in the biggest of all games, he responded by saying, “I hope he’s on his fourth or fifth beer right now.” Now that’s a Super Bowl angle we can all get behind!