"The advice was this, 'This will be over on Friday. I promise you it will be over on Friday,'" Harbaugh recalled. "Sure enough it was great advice and that's exactly how it happened."
The elder Harbaugh was a longtime coach himself, and a former assistant of Bo Schembechler at Michigan, where Jim quarterback before a playing career in the NFL, followed by a college coaching career and then his NFL head coaching debut just last season in San Francisco.
Jack credited Jackie for taking their sons to Michigan practices when they were young so they could learn about what their father did during long days at work. And he was thrilled that they wanted to play and later coach football.
Now that has put them in the spotlight in the Big Easy, where the Harbaugh parents were fittingly at ease as they sat — talk show style — in lounge chairs in front of a large crowd of international media.
Jack opened the news conference by loudly asking, rhetorically, "Who has it better than us?"
Then he and Jackie both exclaimed, "Nobody!"
It appeared well rehearsed because it has long been a family motto.
But when it comes to navigating the rest of Super Bowl week, they acknowledged they were neophytes, and didn't have much of a plan beyond spending time with relatives and friends. They didn't even know where they were sitting for the game. They added that both sons have simply urged them to make sure they enjoy the experience.
When asked if the knowledge that one son will lose will diminish their enjoyment of the game, Jackie Harbaugh said, "I don't think so because we will see both of them after the game. We're going to hug both of them and tell them how proud we are of them."