Super Bowl XLVII: AFC vs. NFC, East Coast vs. West Coast and Brother vs. Brother

As one of the most watched sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl has a little something for everyone: sports, entertaining advertisements, high profile musicians and a little drama. And to spark the drama factor, in a little less than two weeks, two teams will face off to determine who is the better team… and who is coached by the better brother?

The Harbaugh’s, who are the first pair of head coaching brothers in the NFL, will stand on opposite sidelines vying for the Super Bowl. Although both Jim and John want the focus on the players, human interest has naturally perked in response to this unprecedented (aside from Cain and Abel, that is) demonstration of sibling rivalry– although, since the brothers are so close and not hateful, spiteful or vindictive towards each other, “rivals” might not be the fairest classification; perhaps “sibling showmanship” is more accurate.  We’ll try and meet the Harbaugh’s and human interests halfway with today’s two for Tuesday, briefly profiling the brothers and their teams.

JIM’S TEAM (The 49ers)

Having retired from a 15-year NFL quarterback career (and a short lived acting career), Jim followed in the footsteps of his father and older brother: coaching football. After leading Stanford University to an Orange Bowl victory in 2011, Jim took over as the 49ers head coach where he led San Francisco to an NFC West Championship (one of his three losses that season came from his brother’s Ravens on Thanksgiving Day).

This year, the 49ers clinched the NFC title, but not without overcoming a little adversity: losing four games, tying one, and– of course– the QB “controversy.” Alex Smith, who led the NFL in completion percentage and ranked third in passer rating, suffered a concussion mid-season.  Jim gave Colin Kaepernick the start, and after having seen Kaepernick dominate against highly rated defenses such as the Chicago Bears, never gave the job back to Smith. Kaepernick showed the world why during his first playoff game, breaking the NFL QB rushing record in the 49ers win over the Green Bay Packers. Despite a slow start in the NFC Championship, Jim coached the 49ers to a 28-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons– sending his team to the Super Bowl.

JOHN’S TEAM (The Ravens)

Unlike his little brother, John never played in the NFL. After playing defensive back for Miami University of Ohio, John coached at the college level and entered the NFL in 1998 as the special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Since taking over as head coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008, John has led his team to the playoffs every year— but, until this year, John has never made it to the Super Bowl. Last year, the New England Patriots beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship after kicker, Billy Cundiff missed a game-tying, 32-yard field goal in the final seconds of the game.

John coached the Ravens back to the AFC title game this year, and (yes, like his brother) experienced a few obstacles along the way. After losing three games straight, John fired his offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, mid-season. The Ravens finished the regular season 10-6. In the post season, the Ravens knocked out the Indianapolis Colts, came from behind to beat the Denver Broncos in overtime and dominated the Patriots to earn their Super Bowl spot. (And to keep the light, as Jim wants it, on the players) Ray Lewis will suit up for the last time on February 3, having announced his retirement from his impressive (albeit controversial) 17-year career with the Ravens.

So here we have it: two teams, along with two brothers, are heading to the New Orleans, but only one will prevail. With such impressive talent and stories on each side, choosing between them is a difficult task, but I guess it’s too much to ask for a tie.

Cover Photo Source: Au Kirk via Flickr

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.