FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Can America stand two weeks of Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh hype?
Can John Harbaugh?
"Let's just cut that right now. Can we all agree? We did that last year, It got old last year, right?" Harbaugh said with mock sarcasm after Baltimore's AFC Championship win over New England.
On Thanksgiving night 2011, it was Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Part One as the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 16-6 in Baltimore.
John and his younger brother, Jim, shared the field before the game with their parents, who watched the game privately, afraid of being more of a distraction.
The Harbaugh angle will be examined in minute detail between now and Feb. 3 when the teams finally meet in the Super Bowl.
"Let's talk about the two teams," Harbaugh said.
There can't be many more anecdotes or family members to track down, but attempts will be made.
John, who's older than his brother by 15 months, has been an NFL coach for three more years than his brother, but Jim had a fine pro career as a quarterback including a year with the Ravens.
"I don't know if we had a dream this big. We had a few fights, a few arguments," Harbaugh said. "We'll try to stay out of that business. We'll let the two teams duke it out as much as possible."
On Friday, John said that he would be too busy preparing for his own team's game to pay much attention to his brother's. The 49ers win over the Atlanta Falcons ended about thirty minutes before the Ravens-Patriots game began.
"I couldn't be more proud of Jim," John Harbaugh said.
Then, Baltimore's coach decided to start his own pregame hype a week early, making San Francisco sound even more formidable than they are.
Both coaches are daring. John fired his offensive coordinator with three games left in the regular season convinced that Jim Caldwell would do a better job than Cam Cameron.
Jim changed quarterbacks, benching Alex Smith, who took the 49ers to the NFC Championship game a year ago and elevating Colin Kaepernick to the starting job, with great success.
"They do reflect his personality," John Harbaugh said of the 49ers. "They have a great staff. They're physical players. They run the ball. They throw the ball. They have a quarterback that makes plays all over the place. They have a roughhouse defense. There's a reason they're in the Super Bowl."
Kaepernick's runaround style will make things difficult for Baltimore's defense.
"I love the way they play. I think our two teams are very similar. I like to think if you're looking at those two teams you're looking at two mirror images of two football teams. It's going to be a great football game, and he's a great football coach," John Harbaugh said.
Jack Harbaugh, a longtime college coach, had a wonderful day on Sunday. He and his wife, Jackie got to watch both sons win Conference Championship games, and now, a few more Harbaughs will have to find their way to New Orleans for a first-ever meeting of brother vs. brother.
"I hope he's on his fourth or fifth beer," Harbaugh said. "I don't know what he's thinking. You'll have to ask him. He's proud. He's proud."