Har Bowl, Super Baugh, call it whatever. But call them.
The other day, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh and their daughter, Joani, were on a Super Bowl conference call. The First Family of football coaching took questions from media about their Jim and John, who'll make brotherly history as head coaches a week from tonight in New Orleans, when Jim's San Francisco 49ers meet John's Baltimore Ravens.
"I am going to be neutral in the game," Jackie said. "I know one is going to win and one is going to lose, but I would really like to end in a tie. Can the NFL do that?"
A little later, a mystery voice came on the line, a question from Baltimore for Jack and Jackie:
"Is it true that both of you like Jim better than John?"
Jackie was ready to come through the phone at the guy … but Joani saved the day:
"Hey, John, how are you?"
It was her big brother, John, who couldn't resist crashing the call. Jack laughed and told John how mad Mom had been getting …
"She's got that fighting spirit up," John said. "That's the way it should be."
We give you the rollicking Family Harbaugh, one for all, all for one, fierce love, on three, hut-hut-hut.
We will know the story all too well by the time the big game arrives: the brothers who battled against and for each other as they shared any number of bedrooms as their dad coached all over the country.
Jim and John, separated by only a year (John's older), trying to see who was faster, who could throw the football over that tree or who was better shooting baskets _ Jim and John, ever competitive, even fighting over who cut the grass last, until Jackie would shout, "You're brothers!"
That they are, close as can be, real love, like with the whole family.
Jack Harbaugh began all this with his own coaching, four decades. His sons saw the life, the ups and downs, those long hours _ and decided what Dad did was what they wanted, too.
"I think the greatest joy I got in my life," Jack said.
Harbaughs never pick sides, never compare Harbaughs. And Harbaughs always come to the rescue.
About 20 years ago, Jack was head coach at Western Kentucky, but the program was in trouble. Budget, staff and scholarships were slashed. Jack thought about resigning, He thought his coaching career was over.
Then Jim walked through Jack's office door. He was still an NFL quarterback, but was on his way to Florida. Jim asked his father why he wasn't out recruiting. Jack, dejected, explained.
"This doesn't sound like you," Jim said. "How can I help?"
And so it was that Jim became, for years, an unpaid coaching assistant at Western Kentucky while still in the NFL. John, then a college assistant at Cincinnati, steered Jim toward kids he knew Cincinnati wasn't recruiting.
"It was just, again, the epitome of how everyone, as a family, feels about each other. We always tried to raise one another up," Jackie said.
The first recruit Jim called was a quarterback from Bradenton Manatee High School: Willie Taggart. He played four years for Jack and later worked with Jim. Now Taggart is head coach at USF and all but an honorary Harbaugh. Jack and Western won a national title in 2002.
When Jim coached college ball at San Diego, he made his dad running backs coach. Jim and John still send their father tape from their games and on upcoming opponents and Jack breaks them down _only not for this next game. Jack is neutral, like Jackie and Joani. Swiss Family Harbaugh.
A word about Jackie …
"One thing about it, the rock of our family is Jackie," Jack said. "She did all the heavy lifting. In our career, a 43-year coaching career, we moved 17 times, and she was the one who sold the house, bought the house, enrolled the kids in school, took the kids out of school. She was the one."
Don't forget baby sister. Joani was one of the great game film splicers in history, anything to help her dad. Naturally, she married a coach: Tom Crean, head man, basketball, at Indiana. In Harbaugh homes, they talk about Joani's competitive streak, how as a girl she was in a school production of The Wizard of Oz , but played … a munchkin.
"I remember that I was highly offended," Joani said with a laugh. "I do remember that I was not Dorothy or Glinda (the Good Witch), so I decided to memorize the entire play in case anybody went down with the flu or something, so they could put me in there."
Ah, the Harbaugh way.
"Absolutely, the Harbaugh way," Joani said.
Here's the problem: A Harbaugh is about to win a Super Bowl, but a Harbaugh is about to lose one. This won't be easy on the family.
The Harbaughs remember Thanksgiving 2011, the day before jack and Jackie's 50th wedding, when Jim and Johns faced each other in Baltimore. The whole family was there. John's Ravens beat Jim's 49ers. It was wrenching.
Jack said, "The thing I remember most about the game is Jackie and I were in a little office with a TV and we watched the game. I've never seen Jackie like that in a ball game. I mean, she was nearly comatose. She just stared at the screen. There was no facial emotion whatsoever. Not a word was spoken, and at the end of the game, it was just over ... So it's that feel of victory and agony of defeat. And we know we're going to experience that next week."
By the way …
"We prefer to call it 'The Super Bowl,'" Jackie said.
Now _ where to sit at the game, Jim or John's side?