John Harbaugh with a message for the fans
Brothers John and Jim Harbaugh will lead their respective teams into Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in a historic matchup after both the Ravens and 49ers won conference championship games on Sunday.
The Ravens went into Foxborough and topped the Patriots, 28-13, to earn the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance since the 2000 team won the title.
Just before that game kicked off, the 49ers rallied from a 17-0 deficit to win at top-seeded Atlanta, 28-24 and gain a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.
“Couldn’t be more proud of Jim,” John Harbaugh said after the Ravens win. “Watching that team play, they do reflect his personality. .. . There’s a reason they are in the Super Bowl. I love the way they play. I’d like to think that are two teams are very similar.”
This will be the first Super Bowl featuring brothers as opposing head coaches, and the second such game overall. The first came on Thanksgiving night in 2011, when John Harbaugh's Ravens beat Jim's 49ers, 16-6.
The Harbaughs both followed a career path forged by their father, Jack, a successful coach for more than 40 years in the high school and college ranks.
When asked after the Ravens win what his father might be thinking after John and Jim both reached the Super Bowl the same day, John Harbaugh replied, “I hope he’s on his fourth or fifth beer right now. … He’s proud. He’s proud.”
John, 50, has led the Ravens to the playoffs in all five of his seasons as a head coach, just the third coach since the 1970 merger to accomplish that feat. He is the only coach to win at least one playoff game in each of his first five seasons.
This year, the Ravens finished 10-6 and won the AFC North for the second straight year. They beat the Colts, Broncos and Patriots to earn their second Super Bowl trip.
John played collegiately at Miami (Ohio) and broke into coaching at Western Michigan in 1984. The Ravens hired him in 2008, raising some eyebrows by hiring a head coach with no experience as either an offensive or defensive coordinator. He had been the Eagles special teams coordinator for nine seasons. game in his first season.
Jim, 49, got into coaching after a 15-year NFL playing career that included a stop in Baltimore. A former first-round draft pick out of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh played quarterback for the Bears, Colts, Ravens and Chargers. He started 12 games at quarterback for the Ravens in 1998.
Jim Harbaugh took over the 49ers in 2011, and like his brother, led his team to the conference championship. Like John, Jim Harbaugh came up one game short in 2011, losing to the New York Giants. Not this time.
Harbaugh Bowl II should be a good one.