Winning the Super Bowl should be a moment unlike anything else for an NFL head coach. A chance to celebrate the result of months of hard work. While it's normal for John Harbaugh to feel some sympathy for brother Jim, he can't let it continue to bother him.
It was one of the big storylines ahead of the big game. How would the brothers react after the championship was decided? While the postgame handshake seemed to have an overwhelmingly positive feel, the victory is taking its toll on the older Harbaugh brother.
John Harbaugh to me: "I am totally devastated for my brother."— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) February 4, 2013
The Associated Press (via ESPN) also picked up on Harbaugh's feelings about his brother:
"It's tough. It's very tough. It's a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It's very painful."
If those type of comments came from any other combination of coaches, it would be viewed as nothing more than gamesmanship. However, since John Harbaugh won the biggest game of his career while his brother lost the biggest game of his, it's easy to understand the torn emotions.
That said, the elder Harbaugh must take a step back from the situation and cherish the moment. He's a terrific coach, but Super Bowl victories aren't guaranteed. For all he knows, this could be the last time that he raises the Lombardi Trophy.
No matter what happens throughout the rest of his coaching career, this will be one of the crowning achievements. If he doesn't take the opportunity to enjoy it now, he won't get the full effect of winning one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
Sure, he can look back in the future and remember it, but it won't be the same. Right now, one day after surviving a bizarre power outage and subsequent comeback attempt, the adrenaline is probably still running through him at full capacity.
You can't recreate that feeling in 10 days, 10 months or 10 years. It needs to happen now while the feeling is still fresh.
It's also important for him to realize that Jim is still in tremendous shape with the San Francisco 49ers moving forward. They fell short in the big game, but the team still discovered its quarterback of the future and came within five yards of a title.
While it might be tough for Jim, his team and the 49ers fans to realize today, there's plenty of reasons for hope and optimism in San Francisco. The early odds for next season, provided by MGM Resorts International (via ESPN Stats and Info), mesh with that sentiment.
Never too early to look ahead to next season: yfrog.com/ebln17j— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 4, 2013
Knowing that the 49ers are built to win over the long haul, as long as they can get some secondary help after watching Joe Flacco pick them apart, should help both Harbaughs rest a little easier in the coming days.
Hopefully, John can realize it soon enough to enjoy the Super Bowl that he just won. His team was getting very little respect when the postseason began, but he helped pave the path to victory against teams that had more star power.
It's a run that deserves to get celebrated, especially by the man who orchestrated it. He can't let one of the best times that he will have during his career slip away by worrying about the coach of an elite team, even though it's his brother.
Enjoy the championship, John. You earned it.