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HARBAUGH: THE SUPERBRO by Stan Silliman humor
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Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

It happening and I’ve already named it – Superbro – patent pending. And before you question me, let me clarify I trademarked this back in January of 2012, before the Indy Super Bowl.

This will be the ultimate football event in brother-dom when the 49ers and the Ravens meet in the Super Bowl in New Orleans. The possible promotables are endless. 

Think about it, two brothers who grew up one year apart, shared a room, fought over nerf basketball, tutored by a well-traveled, all-knowing coach, Jack Harbaugh, and were perhaps the best players to ever become coaches from that incubator of successful coaches, Northern Ohio. Okay, let’s drop the perhaps. I’ll say it. Of ALL the coaches who were born in Northern Ohio – and let’s include Paul Brown, the Stoops brothers, the Pellini brothers, Urban Meyer, Les Miles, Jim Tressell, Woody Hayes, John Heisman, Bo Schembechler, Chuck Noll, Don Shula, Joe Tiller, and Don James – none of them were anywhere near the players either of the Harbaugh brothers were.    

To top it off, Jim is an offensive superstar, a quarterback with 15 years in the NFL, helping mold Andrew Luck, then helping Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick reach their potentials while John is a defensive specialist. What’s more intriguing than that?

If you answer Ryan brothers, forgetaboutit. Buddy’s fluffy doughboys are defensive minded only and were never world class players. Plus, although I like Buddy Ryan, I don’t think he gave his kids the same football education as Jack Harbaugh.   

If you answer a Manning Super Bowl, then yeah, there’s a sibling dream match-up similar to a Williams-Williams tennis match BUT, these guys are not coaches and it wouldn’t be the offensive-defensive chess match a Harbaugh matchup promises. The Harbaughs know each other like… er… two guys who competed with one another every day of their pre-adult life.  It’s like playing out the back yard game (“go left at the tree, then head to the clothesline”) on the biggest of all stages. 

Are you intrigued? Besides two seacoast cities – San Francisco and Baltimore – going at it, this has the sibling back story, the Ohio coaching story, the early, early pro success story and two coaches who look like twins. The Super Baugh?
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Here’s a question: can there be enough tickets for all Harbaugh family members, half of them in Ravens black and the other half in 49er garb? What about all the friends of parents Jack and Jackie combined with all the schools where Jack, Jim and John coached? Now, just to get tickets becomes a Harbaughian nightmare. Strategic planning is required to make sure no feelings are hurt and all family members and coaches who ever shared the field with the Harbaughs get located in the right spots in the stadium. Surely the heady permutations will exhaust Jack and Jackie, so much so the sibs will be called on to offensively and defensively sort out the ramifications.  As dutiful sons, they’ll help, maybe not gladly but enough so They’ll drop all their game planning to make sure no griping heads their parents’ way. It might not be a good game, mainly because of the extended family co-ordination problems. That’s why it’s never a good idea to let brothers play each other. The Super Bro? Forget everything I said. 

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