Sunday night’s Super Bowl pitted two brothers and head coaches against each other. That’s totally insane.
The CBS announcers didn’t make too big of a deal out of it during the broadcast, perhaps because the story had been beaten to death in the run up to the game and perhaps because the network was preoccupied with technical issues, but it’s truly remarkable that it happened and it’s worth a bit more discussion now that the game is over. Unless these two brothers meet again in the Super Bowl in the next few years, it’s likely to be decades before we see something like this again.
Both known for wearing their emotions on their sleeves, the Harbaugh brothers (John of the Ravens and younger brother Jim of the 49ers) kept things somewhat in check during Sunday night’s game. At least, until the lights went out, the game became close and everyone’s blood pressure started rising.
At that point, things kind of fell apart.
First, John was spotted screaming at an NFL/stadium official during the lengthy blackout. At that time, it was unclear why he was so upset. The guys over at Deadspin asked a lip reader and it turns out that it was something about Harbaugh’s offensive or defensive coordinator being asked to move — definitely not something that seems to warrant such an outburst:
Later, Jim lost his composure after receiver Michael Crabtree failed to draw a defensive holding penalty on a crucial fourth down play late in the game — a play that effectively ended the 49ers’ comeback:
After the game, John shoved a photographer (pretty hard) while he walked towards brother Jim for a post-game handshake. That’s something other coaches, like Bill Belichick, have done and been heavily criticized for:
And then, to cap things off, Jim blew off CBS when he was asked to take part in a post-game interview. Not exactly a classy move, but one that’s sort of understandable given the intense disappointment he must have felt.
All in all, it was just another day at the office for two of the NFL’s most hot-headed — and successful — coaches.