Showdown put loyalties to test for Harbaugh parents

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24pm EST
 
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Like all caring parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh do not play favorites when it comes to their kids, who just happen to be the rival coaches for the upcoming Super Bowl in New Orleans.

For them, the February 3 title game between John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers led by Jim Harbaugh has no perfect outcome.

"We are neutral in the Super Bowl!" proclaimed Jackie Harbaugh in a conference call on Thursday, refusing to pick between her sons.

"I really would like it to end in a tie. Can the NFL do that?"

The Niners and Ravens, of course, will play to a finish no matter how many overtime periods may be needed to produce a winner.

"I'm proud of both of them. Very proud," said Jack Harbaugh, a veteran of 43 years in coaching, primarily on the college level.

Jack remembered how hard it was for him and his wife when the Ravens beat the 49ers on Thanksgiving Day of 2011 in the NFL's first game coached by rival brothers.

"We peeked into the Ravens' locker room and saw them ecstatic, guys jumping up and down, the smile on John's face," the father said. "I thought 'we're really not needed here.'   Continued...