Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
LIKE IT IS:
Tired of Harbaugh hype? It’s just starting
This combo image made of Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, photos shows San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, in Atlanta, and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh in Foxborough, Mass., during their NFL football conference championship games. Get ready for the Brother Bowl_ it'll be Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh when Big Bro John's Baltimore Ravens (13-6) play Little Bro Jim's San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) in the Super Bowl at New Orleans in two weeks. (AP Photos/Mark Humphrey, Matt Slocum)
LITTLE ROCK While the crusty Bill Belichick was skipping his mandatory post game interview with CBS, the labels for Super Bowl XLVII (47) were starting to flow.
The SuperBaugh and HarBowl were the two most common heard, playing on the names of the brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, who will be the first brothers to face each other as head coaches in the NFL’s biggest game.
Belichick might watch the game in Little Rock, where he allegedly has a girlfriend, who is described as very nice and sweet by those who know her.
It is highly doubtful that Belichick has ever been reported as sweet or nice. He’s a guy driven much like Gen. George Patton.
So instead of two weeks of almost no comments, football fans will get the full-blown love fest of the Harbaugh family.
No doubt there will be stories of the brothers fighting, competing against each other and loving each other, too.
They were born 15 months apart, with John, a career coach, the oldest.
Jim always has been the superstar of the family, thanks to a lengthy playing career.
Until Sunday, when John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens, who started the playoffs three weeks ago as an 18-1 shot to win the Super Bowl, staged yet another upset, beating the New England Patriots, who were favored by eight points.
Jim Harbaugh gained notoriety playing quarterback at Michigan and was a first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1987. He played 14 years in the NFL.
But from 1994-2001, while playing in the NFL, he was listed as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky, where his dad Jack Harbaugh was the head coach. It was an NCAA certified unpaid position, but he scouted and recruited during his off season. He also made offensive suggestions.
When Jim Harbaugh’s NFL career ended in 2001, he spent a couple of seasons with the Oakland Raiders, then became the head coach at the University of San Diego, where he went 29-6 in three seasons before landing at Stanford. Harbaugh’s fourth Cardinal team went 12-1, including a BSC Orange Bowl victory, which launched him to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
The 49ers had not had a winning season since 2002, but Harbaugh led them to the NFC Championship Game in his first season. His second season will end in the Super Bowl against his brother.
John Harbaugh played defensive back at Miami of Ohio, and started his coaching career at Western Michigan after graduation. He spent 13 years as a college assistant before landing the special teams coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He eventually became the Eagles secondary coach, and was hired to be the head coach of the Ravens in 2008.
John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco made NFL history that year, along with Atlanta’s Mike Smith and Matt Ryan, becoming the first rookie quarterback-rookie head coach tandems to win their first games. Flacco got the start because veterans Kyle Boller and Troy Smith were unable to play.
John Harbaugh is 54-26 as a head coach and has never had a losing season.
New England led 13-7 at halftime Sunday night, and it looked like the luck had run out for the Ravens. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.
But the Ravens got three second-half touchdown passes from Flacco as Baltimore beat New England at its own game, controlling the clock and running their offense to near-perfection. Brady was shut out of the end zone in the second half.
Now, the Super Bowl has its first brother vs. brother head coaching match up, it has Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis playing his last game, and most likely no one will miss a single news conference.
Sports, Pages 15 on 01/22/2013