Brilliant brothers set up unique Super Bowl showdown

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:19am EST
 

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens won their National Football League championships in stunning fashion on Sunday to set up an extraordinary sibling rivalry in next month's 47th Super Bowl.

The 49ers, coached by Jim Harbaugh, overturned a 17 point deficit to beat the Atlanta falcons 28-24 in the NFC decider before the Ravens, under the guidance of Jim's older brother John, stunned the highly-fancied New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC title game.

Sibling rivalries are not uncommon in sport, most notably with the Williams sisters in tennis, but it will be the first time that head coaches from the same family square off for the greatest prize in American professional sports.

"I don't know if we had a dream this big," John Harbaugh told reporters.

With a bit more luck, the pair might have met in the Super Bowl last year but both came up short with the 49ers losing the NFC championship in overtime to the New York Giants and the Ravens losing by three points to the Patriots in the AFC.

This time, both teams ended up on the winning end of the scoreboard to book their places at the Superdome in New Orleans on February 3.

The 49ers, one of American Football's most successful franchises, will be making their first appearance in the Super Bowl for 18 years.

They have never lost an NFL title game and if they maintain their perfect record they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers' record of six titles.   Continued...

 
Baltimore Ravens' Terrell Suggs (55), Ray Rice (27) and Ray Lewis (L) celebrate with the AFC Championship Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots in the NFL AFC Championship football game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young