OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Brothers Harbaugh haven't talked since both of their teams advanced to the Super Bowl. Yet their message to the media is the same: Focus on the players, not the Harbaughs.
John and Jim are already tired of the all-Harbaugh Bowl, and it's only days removed since the Ravens and 49ers won their conference championship games. John Harbaugh said all the sibling stories were told before the 2011 Thanksgiving game between the two teams, like the one in which they put the tape down the middle of their shared bedroom as kids.
"We aren’t that interesting. There is nothing more to learn," John Harbaugh said. "It’s just like any other family, really. I really hope the focus is not so much on that. We get it. It’s really cool, and it’s really exciting and all of that. It’s really about the team. It’s about the players. The more we focus on those guys, the better it is for everybody.”
The reason why there will be so much hype about John and Jim Harbaugh is brothers usually play each other in "Madden" video games, not in the Super Bowl. In fact, while there have been nine other sets of brothers to face each other as head coaches in the NBA, NHL and MLB, this is the first time that brothers will compete in a postseason game as head coaches in any of the four major pro sports in the United States, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
John Harbaugh, though, scoffed at the historical significance of brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl.
"It’s not exactly like Churchill and Roosevelt," he said.
An hour after John Harbaugh spoke to reporters Monday, Jim Harbaugh repeated the same theme, calling this milestone family reunion "a blessing and a curse."
"The blessing because it’s my brother’s team and also personally I played for the Ravens," Jim Harbaugh said. “The curse part would be that talk of two brothers playing in the Super Bowl and what that takes away from the players that are in the game.”
The constant questions about family is something John and Jim should get used to over the next two weeks. The odds of no one talking about the "Battle of the Brothers" are just as good as the odds of Ray Lewis not doing his signature dance at the Super Bowl.