With the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers both reaching the championship games for their respective conferences, history could be made next weekend. That's right; if both teams win, that will mean John and Jim Harbaugh would be the first set of brothers to coach against each other in the Super Bowl.
John Harbaugh coached his Ravens to a 12-4 record that included a win over the 49ers and a win against the Houston Texans in the divisional playoffs. He and his top-ranked defense go against Bill Belichick and his highly ranked offense.
Jim Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a convincing win against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs. His team will face Tom Coughlin's Cinderella Giants, who came off a thrilling upset of the defending champion Green Bay Packers.
Not to detract from the Patriots or the Giants, but it would seem to be a better game if the Harbaughs were deadlocked in another battle of wits in Indianapolis.
You might ask why, why not a rematch of Super Bowl XLII? Why not a 49ers-Patriots game or a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV where the Ravens battle the Giants?
Here's why: First, it's the ultimate sibling rivalry.
It's Cain and Abel, Michael and Fredo Corleone, Peyton and Eli, Raymond and Robert Barone, even Bart and Lisa Simpson on the world's biggest stage. For those of us who have siblings who we bicker with—and believe me, I know what I'm talking about—we can sympathize.
Second, it's a battle of offensive prowess vs. defensive prowess. John's Ravens have one of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL, Jim's 49ers have one of the best offenses. This could potentially lead to a clash of the titans.
Third, and this is from an AFC fan's perspective, it's a chance to see someone other than the Patriots, Steelers, or Colts in the Big Game. The last time that happened, the year was 2003 and the Oakland Raiders were destroyed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-24.
Finally, and this is not related to the Harbaugh brothers, it's a chance for Alex Smith to prove that he is a legitimate quarterback. Last year, his draft brethren, Aaron Rodgers, won the Super Bowl, so why not Smith?
In conclusion, a rematch of the Harbaugh Bowl would be a better game.
Whether for the fraternal appeal, the change of pace or the chance for someone to prove themselves, fans who don't already have their loyalties tied down to the Patriots or Giants should support the 49ers and Ravens.
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