- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Harbaughs lead Ravens and 49ers into historic duel
Question of the Day
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers have thrived this season because they are physical, relentless and combative.
Just like their coaches.
The no-holds barred sibling rivalry between John and Jim Harbaugh moves to the national stage on Thanksgiving night, when they make NFL history by becoming the first brothers to compete on opposite sidelines as head coaches.
John Harbaugh is seeking to take the Ravens (7-3) to the playoffs for the fourth time in as many years at the helm. Jim Harbaugh has turned the 49ers (9-1) into Super Bowl contenders in his rookie year as an NFL coach by instilling his unyielding work ethic into a workmanlike offense and the league’s stingiest defense (14.5 points per game).
The brothers received much of their football knowledge from their father, Jack, a longtime college coach. Their competitive spirit was honed during endless duels in almost every game imaginable _ including a few they invented just so they could butt heads for boasting purposes.
“We would play tennis-ball basketball on a coat hanger rim,” big brother John recalled. “We were throwing balls between tree branches, I guess, throwing snowballs against trees. It was whatever we could think of.”
Sometimes, things got a bit out of hand.
“We have never had a fight as adults, maybe since we were 25 or something,” John said. “But we had some knock-down drag-outs when we were younger. I can remember my mom screaming, wailing and crying, `You’re brothers! You are not supposed to act like this!’ There are probably a lot of mothers out there that can relate to that.”
“It goes back to how hard both of them worked to get to where they’re at today,” said Joani Crean, their younger sister. “Nobody said, `Oh, you’re Jack Harbaugh’s son, why don’t you come do this job?’ They both started out in their professions at the bottom rung, so to speak. They both worked their way up.”
Their players know how important this game is to each brother.
“They’re both competitive. We’re competitive as a team,” 49ers running back Frank Gore said. “Baltimore has a great team _ they’ve been playing great ball for a while. Now we’re doing our thing, so it should be a great game.”
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said, “We really want to win it bad for (John). We’ve (heard) they were going to kind of get after each other like they did when they were little. It’s going to be fun to be a part of a sibling rivalry.”
The last time John and Jim Harbaugh competed against each other in a sporting event was during an American Legion baseball game when both were teenagers. John was part of the an elite team and Jim wasn’t, so little brother created a team of his own. Jim can remember virtually all of his teammates and the final score: Jim lost 1-0.
John’s recollection of the game is not quite as precise, or so it would seem.
By Steve King
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq