You may not have heard, but there are rumors circulating that there is a certain personal element to the upcoming Super Bowl. Apparently the head coaches are related in some way—not sure how. Have you heard anything about this? Are the Ravens’ and 49ers’ head coaches old college roommates—no, that doesn’t sound right. Did they used to practice Taekwondo in the same dojo? Did they bond in the offseason over a strikingly similar chili con carne recipe?
If anyone out there doesn’t know that the John Harbaugh-led Ravens will meet the Jim Harbaugh-coached 49ers, that blissfully ignorant period in your life is officially about to end. If you envisioned the next two weeks as a period where you wouldn’t have the same storyline crammed down your throat over, and over, and over, and over again, then you are about to be rudely awakened to reality.
There is no doubting that a brother-on-brother Super Bowl is one of the most intriguing storylines in the history of the game. So many people are fascinated by it because it is something that many of us can relate to. Brotherly competitiveness is not a stranger to the male species, and seeing it on the grandest of sports stages only intensifies its significance.
So why am I ready to gauge my own eyes out with a red-hot fork the next time I see a dramatic SportsCenter special on the family battle for the Super Bowl crown? All of that credit can be given to the wonderful network we all know and love—ESPN.
I would love to hear about this story if its reporting could be characterized by any synonym of the word moderate. You know, if I could turn on the TV and hear a casually reported story about what the brothers are going through; see a tastefully-done-and-in-no-way-annoying story about patriarch Jack Harbaugh’s awkward situation come Super Bowl Sunday.
The problem is that ESPN and all sports media are about to blitz us with 24/7 Harbaugh coverage that will not stop. As happy as he must be for his sons, Jack Harbaugh must have emitted a horrified groan when the Ravens established control in the AFC Championship gain. He could probably hear the 47 media trucks outside by the third quarter waiting to ask him the most important question ever: who will you be rooting for?
Jack Harbaugh is probably wishing that a different head coaching brother tandem had faced off in Super Bowl III so that the TMZ-like nature of today’s sports world wouldn’t have such an easy subject to beat into oblivion. It’s not just an open-and-shut story about two brothers—it will be a nonstop train of news that reports every single minute detail. Jack Harbaugh was spotted today wearing purple underwear. When asked about his father’s obvious preference for the Ravens, 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh had no comment.
I’m cringing just thinking of the questions that the coaches are going to have to face on an every-other-minute-basis. Do you and your brother enjoy beating each other? Will you feel bad if you win? Does your brother prefer mayonnaise, mustard, or both on his sandwiches? Neither?
Brothers facing each other in a Super Bowl is one of the more riveting and relatable storylines of any major sporting event in recent memory, but it is the over-the-top news coverage that will turn it into a spectacle in and of itself. We get it. They’re brothers, they’re coaching against each other, they are in a somewhat-tough family situation. If anything, this is an overall critique of 24/7 sports news that needs to make up stories when there aren’t any and basks in the same headlines for far too long.
We get it, they’re brothers, it’s a rivalry, but they also respect and love each other. If anything, I am disappointed that today’s media circus turns something interesting and news-worthy into an endless story that is overanalyzed until it just doesn’t matter anymore.