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Harbaugh brothers stage electrifying game



Published: Mon, February 4, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

new orleans

The Harbaugh family sure knows how to throw a Super party.

In the end, it was older brother John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens who came out on top, hanging on for a 34-31 win over Jim Harbaugh and his San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl that had everything.

After the game, John Harbaugh said it was hard to compete against his brother.

The brothers met at midfield as the confetti rained down. “I told him I loved him,” John said. “He said, ‘Congratulations.”

Jim Harbaugh later declined a postgame interview with CBS, but spoke a few minutes later. He took the loss hard, raised several questions about calls and non-calls made by the officials, but said “We want to handle this with class and grace.

“Had several opportunities in the game. Didn’t play our best game. Ravens made a lot of plays,” he continued. “Our guys battled back to get back in it. We competed and battled to win.”

With mom Jackie and dad Jack watching from somewhere in the Superdome, the Harbaugh brothers put on a championship game to remember. First it was the Ravens who raced to a 28-6 lead after Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff a Super Bowl-record 108 yards for a score.

Then came a power outage, which delayed the game for 34 minutes. With the players sitting on their benches waiting for play to resume, Jim Harbaugh went to work.

His 49ers went on a surge of their own, and younger brother Jim had John on the ropes. The 49ers pulled within 31-29 in the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t come up with one more play to pull off what would have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Asked how he felt moments after the win, the winning Harbaugh said “How do you think it feels? It feels just like you think. It feels great!”

And what about his brother?

“It’s tough. It’s very tough,” John Harbaugh said. “It’s a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It’s very painful.”

The leadup to this game was all about the Harbaughs — the first time siblings had coached against each other in the championship game. Every day for nearly two weeks, the two were asked about each others’ careers — John was forthcoming, Jim not so much. Even their parents got in the act with their own new conferences.

The Harbaugh family theme was: “Who has it better than us?” Certainly no family in the NFL.


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