Brothers share stage as Super Bowl coaches

Fri Feb 1, 2013 1:25pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The boys who shared a bedroom until their college years, shared the Super Bowl stage as Ravens coach John Harbaugh and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh held a joint news conference in a friendly family affair on Friday.

The Harbaughs are the first brothers to coach against one another in a Super Bowl and the family theme extended to the first row of seats where their parents, long-time college coach Jack and Jackie, sat alongside 97-year-old Grandpa Joe.

Unlike fiery coaching images of past Super Bowls featuring the likes of Vince Lombardi and Mike Ditka, the Harbaugh press conference pairing suggested a cordial brothers comedy act as the siblings handled questions with a natural sense of timing.

John, wearing a dark suit and tie, and Jim, the superior athlete who played 14 years as an NFL quarterback, sported his familiar team sweater, khaki pants and 49ers baseball cap as they sat on directors chairs behind the Lombardi Trophy.

The Ravens coach smoothly handled the opening statement, and eyes turned to the often taciturn, younger brother Jim. "I concur," deadpanned the Niners coach, drawing laughs with his dead-on delivery.

After Jim took the next question, eyes turned toward John for his view, and the Ravens coach echoed, "I concur."

The two coaches, separated in age by just 15 months, deflected praise for their championship seasons to their players, and said they understood there would be one ecstatic brother and one downcast after Sunday's game.

"That's how football works," said John, 50. "That's how life is, and we understand that."   Continued...

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (R) and his brother, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, appear at their joint press conference ahead of the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 1, 2013. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Baltimore Ravens for the NFL championship February 3. REUTERS/Jim Young