Wednesday, January 30, 2013


On PTI last week, the guys asked which Harbaugh boy the parents were rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Kornheiser said, "The older one." John, of the Ravens. TK's thinking was, John is not the one who had the size and athletic ability to be recruited as a D1 quarterback; that was Jim. John played his football at D3 Miami of Ohio, earning a degree in Political Science. John did not get picked in the first round of the NFL draft; that was Jim. John, after graduation, went to grad school at Western Michigan and worked as a grad asst with the football team (his dad's team). John didn't play 14 years in the NFL; that was Jim. John spent 14 years as a college assistant, working his way up to the NFL. John didn't get a head coaching gig "immediately", ie in his 3rd year of coaching; that was Jim. John worked for 24 years as an assistant, college and pro, assembling a body of work, before anyone gave him an opportunity to be a head coach, at any level.

I think Tony's right. Oh, not that Jack & Jackie are pulling for their younger son Jim to lose the big game. But if there is an ideal scenario for
both of the brothers getting one, it's that John gets his now, and Jim brings his team back and wins next year – against someone else.

Jim has a powerhouse team that should be on the rise, with a championship window just opening. He should have a chance at more of these. John's team is older at key positions; their championship window is likely closing, after years of banging their head against the door. Oh sure, you can imagine that Joe Flacco is "coming into his own" as a QB under Jim Caldwell, and they will have a championship offense for the next several years. But Joe is aleady 28, which is (just) past prime for an NFL player. (QBs have a longer prime than other players, but peak is usually age 27.) Ray Lewis is leaving, Ed Reed 34 and likely leaving, Terrell Suggs turns 31 a month into next season, and Haloti Ngata is 29. The Ravens era of championship defenses should be drawing to a close. They might have enough to reach up and play at that level one more time; but it would be a surprise to see them back on this stage in the next couple years.

So any scenario for the Harbaugh parents where both of their boys win a ring, has John winning now and Jim following up in the next couple years. Plus John has a greater body of coaching work in the NFL. Of the brothers, he “deserves” it more right now.

Of course, as William Munny reminds us, "deserve" has got nothing to do with it


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