Last night’s NFC and AFC championship games left many fans down in the dumps, but the turn of events set up an historic Super Bowl XLVII. The coaches of the winning teams — the 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh — are the only pair of brothers to coach NFL teams. Their wins set the stage for the Bro Bowl, Har Bowl, Super Baugh or whatever you want to call this war of siblings.
While they might share a few chromosomes, these coaches have quite a few differences between them. Here’s what you should know about Jim, John and their head-to-head matchup.
1. John is Older by 15 Months
It’s unclear whether or not the age difference will have any impact on the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII, but if Jim wins he’ll surely be rubbing that fact in John’s face. He’s also three inches taller, but that probably only proved useful during sibling battles in their younger years.
Yes, it’s the first time that two brothers have coached against each other at the biggest game of the year, and don’t expect to hear the end of it any time soon. This takes “sibling rivalry” to a new level — let’s see if their next Thanksgiving dinner passes without a fistfight.
3. Jim was an NFL Quarterback
While his brother was coaching during his formative years, Jim was doing what he knew best–playing ball. He played college football, but as a professional he belonged to the Chicago Bears, the Indianapolis Colts, the Detroit Lions and more. This probably has given him some key insight into the mind of a player, which has helped him build the illustrious coaching career that brought him to the Super Bowl.
4. Jim is a Pretty Angry Guy
In case you needed proof that Jim is a bit of a fireball, check out this GIF. He doesn’t seem like the type you’d want to cut off in traffic. His brother, at least by relative standards, is kind of a teddy bear (see above).
5. They Were Reared in Coaching
John and Jim’s dad, Jack Harbaugh, began the family football legacy when he coached teams for over 40 years, ending at Stanford University. If that’s not setting a precedent, we’re not sure what is. It no doubt caused the brothers to vie for Pop’s attention around the game, and it seems that it inspired them to carry in his footsteps.
6. Jim Played for the Ravens At One Point
In what has been a matter of surprisingly little controversy, the coach of the 49ers actually played for the team he’s about to face in the Super Bowl. Granted, this was a very long time ago, so any inside knowledge (and many former teammates) are irrelevant at this point. Still, it shows what a small world the NFL has created for itself.
7. They Don’t Want to Talk About Their Sibling Rivalry
The brothers in question here aren’t exactly thrilled about the hype surrounding their bloodline. It seems that they’d much rather focus on the game than their genetic similarities (oops). It’s not the first time they’ve gotten close to a Har Bowl, after all. When asked about it by the NFL, he responded, “It got old last year, right?”
8. Jim Has an Inferiority Complex
In a show of either a lack of confidence or too much humility, the 49ers coach told the NFL about his brother, “I’m half the coach he is.” Jim had better get that attitude out of his head if he expects to escape a lifetime of teasing at family gatherings (and, you know, to win the Super Bowl).
9. They Have Pretty Different Head-Coaching Styles
Much has been said about the coaching styles of each Harbaugh. John has been called a more logical, analytically-inclined coach. He’s more likely to sit back and observe, then tell his players what’s on his mind later on. Jim couldn’t be more different–he’s the type to get up in the faces of players, coaches, referees and anyone else who gets in his way. Jim probably always got “shotgun” on car rides when they were kids.
10. Jim’s Son Interns for the Ravens
Nepotism, coincidence or both? It doesn’t really matter–Jay Harbaugh is most likely being pulled in all directions by his family at this point. Where do his loyalties lie? How about for his grandparents, who know that one of their sons has to lose? No matter the final score, this is a very interesting time for the Harbaugh family.