The way Jack Harbaugh tells the story, Jackie Harbaugh was so shocked by her eldest son's decision to choose coaching over a career in law or politics, she fell face-first into a dish of mashed potatoes.
See, Jackie Harbaugh loves political science and politics. And as a political science major at Bowling Green with a high grade-point, John Harbaugh seemed headed for law school.
``Jackie was so excited about it,'' Jack Harbaugh said.
But both of the Harbaugh boys had been bitten by the coaching bug early. The practice fields at Iowa and Michigan were their playground, and they knew more about coaching before they got out of grade school than some veteran assistants.
``He came home one day and we're sitting around the table and we're having dinner. Jackie says, `John, what law school will it be?' John said, `Mom, I think I want to try coaching,' Jack Harbaugh said. ``To which Jackie went facedown into the mashed potatoes. She said, `What? Coaching? You've got to reconsider!'''
That's not exactly what happened, Jackie Harbaugh said.
``May I tell the truth? There were no mashed potatoes,'' she said. ``When he came home and talked about (coaching) and I saw that look in his eyes, my feeling was, you have to do what you want to do. If you want to try this and see where it takes you, that would be great.''
Seems like he made the right choice. After making the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, John Harbaugh has the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Sunday, where they'll face his brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers.
- Nancy Armour - http://twitter.com/nrarmour
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