In a conference call with the Bay Area media, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh shared a lot about his childhood with his brother Jim. This Thursday, the two head coaches will face off for the first time ever and John said he always wanted to see his brother succeed.
“If you can’t root for your brother, I don’t know who you can possibly root for in the world,” John said of his brother. “I was always so proud of what he was doing. I just felt that he was the most underrated quarterback that ever played.
“I always thought he was a great leader. I don’t think he ever had a great supporting cast. I think he was always a special player. I will always be proud of that. I’m really more proud of him as a father, as a husband.”
The brothers have been close since childhood. They even take pieces from their childhood into their every days lives. One in particular is the family motto that Jim has used this season to inspire the 49ers. “Who’s got it better than us? Nobody!” has now been attached to the 49ers’ 2011 season.
“I’m sorry that he got to it first,” John said with a laugh. “I should have thought of it before him. We should have made some T-Shirts too. I think it’s really cool. I think it’s neat.
“Obviously it’s very meaningful to us. The thing I think is really cool about it is that Niners fans, football fans, can take something like that and maybe try to apply it with their family or whatever. It can be something they have a little fun with and maybe it will make a difference.”
It’s a relationship with his brother Jim that’s what makes this upcoming game so unique and special. John thinks of his brother as his best friend.
“I’d throw our dad right into that category,” John added. “He’s the guy I trust the most. I would trust him with absolutely anything in my life.”
This isn’t the first time the two brothers have faced off against each other in organized sports. Back in high school, both the Harbaugh brothers played on opposite baseball teams. They did face each other once.
“I’ve never rooted against him really, ever,” John said. “We played against each other one time in baseball in high school, an American Legion team, my dad was actually coaching Jim’s team. We won 1-0.
“That’s the last time I remember going against him because we were always on the same team. But we’re not going to be playing. It’s going to be the players playing the game.”
With the game being played on Thanksgiving, it’s a perfect opportunity for the entire Harbaugh family to meet and share the day together. John has been arranging all the ticket allotment for family members and expects a very split family after the game.
“I think there will be one Harbaugh side that will be really happy and there will be another Harbaugh side that will be really, really disappointed, and then Mom and Dad will be torn,” John said with a laugh.
Aside from all the family talk, John still took the opportunity to recognize the importance of the game on the field.
“It’s two teams that play a very similar style of football,” he said. “It’s going to be a great night for football. If you’re a football fan I wouldn’t think you’d want to miss this game.”