Harbaugh brothers take 49ers, Ravens to Super Bowl
This Super Bowl will be filled with firsts — and one significant last.
The Harbaughs, San Francisco's Jim and Baltimore's John, will be the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in the NFL title game.
Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Joe Flacco of the Ravens each will be playing in his first Super Bowl — where success is the ultimate measure of elite QBs.
It'll be Baltimore's first crack at a championship in a dozen years, San Francisco's first in 18. They are a combined 6-0 in Super Bowls (the 49ers own five of those victories), so one club will lose the big game for the first time.
And middle linebacker Ray Lewis, Baltimore's emotional leader and top tackler, will be playing in the final game of his 17-year career before heading into retirement.
"This is our time," Lewis pronounced.
For all of those story lines, none is expected to command as much attention as Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. The game in New Orleans on Feb. 3 was quickly given all manner of nicknames: The Brother Bowl. The Harbaugh Bowl. The Har-Bowl. The Super-Baugh.
The Harbaughs' sister, Joani Crean, wrote in a text to The Associated Press: "Overwhelmed with pride for John, Jim and their families! They deserve all that has come their way! Team Harbaugh!"
As John prepared to coach the Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday night, he watched on the stadium's big video screen as Jim's 49ers wrapped up the NFC championship.
John looked into a nearby TV camera, smiled broadly and said: "Hey, Jim, congratulations. You did it. You're a great coach. Love you."
Less than four hours later, the Ravens won, too. Some siblings try to beat each other in backyard games. These guys will do it in the biggest game of all.
Who's a parent to cheer for?
During the 2011 regular season, the Harbaughs became the only brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game (the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving Day that year).
The NFC West champion 49ers (13-4-1) opened as 5-point favorites, seeking a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title to add to those won by Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young.
Lewis was the MVP when the AFC North champion Ravens (13-6) beat the New York Giants in 2001.
With Kaepernick's terrific passing — he was 16 of 21 for 233 yards and a touchdown in only his ninth career NFL start — and two TD runs by Frank Gore, San Francisco erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 Sunday.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 30612Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15589Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10266Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9653Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 9634Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 8172Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 8167Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena