Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From the Dark Heart of a Dream....

The 47th edition of the Super Bowl shall be contested one week from Sunday.  This year - for the first time in the game's history - the opposing teams shall be coached by two members of the same family.  The Brothers Harbaugh, John and Jim, have led the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens and the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers, back to the Super Bowl after a somewhat extended absence for both franchises.  "Somewhat extended" unless you are a fan of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs or New York Jets - just to name a few.  To fans of those - and several other franchises - it likely feels as if neither the Ravens nor the Niners have been away from the Super Bowl for very long. 

It shall not happen of course but admit - to yourself and only for a moment - that you wish the Brothers Harbaugh had some sort of side action going on this game.  Something akin to "Losing coach  has to resign his position and agree to not coach again in NFL for five years".  Too drastic?  Perhaps "Losing coach has to change his last name to Notaharbaugh" is more to your liking.   Or if you are of the mindset that requiring the loser to change his last name would visit too much disruption on the lives of his wife/children , then simply require the loser's first name to be changed to "Not as Good a Coach as my Brother".  They will not do so, of course, and the significance of this game - at least in my eyes - will become further attenuated.  

Of course, given television's tendency to over-saturate everything Super Bowl-related, there is a reasonable likelihood that by the time kickoff rolls around a week from Sunday everyone who is not employed by one team or the other and/or related to a member of one of the two organizations shall be rooting for the game to end in a tie with the two coaches forced to thumb wrestle or some such nonsense to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy -  or worse yet to share it.  In the (if they are not they certainly should be) immortal words of one-time Dallas Cowboy running back Duane Thomas, who was of the opinion forty-plus years ago that the Super Bowl was insanely over-hyped, "If it's the ultimate game, then how come they're playing it again next year?"  And in case you are interested, Thomas uttered that remark prior to the Super Bowl VI in which his Cowboys were pitted against the Miami Dolphins, in which game Thomas accounted for 112 yards of total offense and a touchdown in helping the Cowboys win their first Super Bowl title, 24-3.  

All kidding aside, I do not envy Jack Harbaugh on Super Bowl Sunday.  The long-time coach (he led Western Kentucky to the Division I-AA National Championship in 2002) and father of John and Jim shall be watching the game from a seat both envied and unenviable in the eyes of fathers nationwide.  One of his boys will have an exhilarating end to the 2012 NFL season.  The other will have the most disappointing end imaginable. 

At least Coach Jack will be able to take it easy for a while once Super Bowl Sunday has given way to "Man Most of Those Commercials Really Sucked Didn't They" Monday.  Well, until Selection Sunday at least.  That is when he turns his attention 100% to college basketball.  His daughter Joani is not a coach.  But she is married to one.  I am reasonably confident that Coach Jack is looking forward to March Madness when he can throw all of his support behind the Indiana Hoosiers - coached by his son-in-law Tom Crean.  


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