National Columnist

Aren't you just sick of that Harbaugh story? No, actually, not at all


NEW ORLEANS -- Can we enjoy the Harbaugh story a little bit, before we get sick of it?

No. Of course we can't. Because we're too cool to enjoy a story like this, a story of two brothers who both became head coaches in the NFL, which is crazy enough, each of them leading his team to the Super Bowl, which is crazier still, and both reaching the Super Bowl in the same exact year, turning the biggest game in the biggest sport in the United States into a battle of brothers, which is certifiably insane.

And we're supposed to ignore this story?

Because you're tired of it?

Give me a break. It's one thing to be cool, to recognize an approaching wave of hipness and to ride that thing as if it were your own idea. That's what we do. That's why NBA players wear those big, fat, lens-less glasses. Because someone decided it's cool, so they all decided it's cool. They're copying everyone else, which isn't cool at all, come to think of it, but whatever. This is what people do.

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Me? Guilty. I wore Affliction T-shirts for a few years because they were cool. (And also, the fabric! You could wash your car with those shirts, they were so soft. In fact, maybe that's what I'll do with my Affliction shirts. Turn them into six or eight $75 shammy cloths.)

But this ... I cannot get on board with this wave of coolness. This wave -- I'm over the Harbaugh brothers -- can crash onto land without me.

This has never happened in any major sport in our country. It might never happen again, unless it happens again with the Harbaugh brothers. They're that young, they're that good, and they'll be back to the Super Bowl. Will they be back at the same time? I wouldn't put it past them. Both have young quarterbacks, which is the most important piece. They'll be back. Probably at the same time, come to think of it.

Which is great, because this has never happened in the NFL or any other sport in this country. Two brothers have never managed against each other in the World Series. Hell, two brothers have never managed in the major leagues at the same time. Same for the NBA -- we've never seen two brothers in the NBA Finals, though the Van Gundys did coach at the same time. Final Four? Nope. BCS title game, or even a major bowl in college football? Huh-uh. Hasn't happened. Two brothers don't do this.

Serena and Venus Williams have done it in women's tennis, playing 23 times -- eight times in a major final -- and we're over that. It's no longer the coolest story of the year when they play, but you know why? They've done it 23 times.

Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh has happened just once before, in a regular-season game -- John's Ravens beat Jim's 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving night 2011 -- and this will be the second time. In the playoffs. In the Super Bowl. With hundreds of millions of people watching on six or seven continents (who cares knows about Antarctica?).

But I'm sure you hipsters on Twitter and other social media platforms are right. This story sucks. It's old, it's tired, it's cliché.

Meh ... let's talk about the offensive lines.

And there's room for that story. There's room for all kinds of stories this week, which is a good thing because all kinds of stories will be written. Colin Kaepernick and his mother. Ray Lewis and his white suit. Ed Reed. Randy Moss.

Jim Harbaugh.

John Harbaugh.

I want more of that story. I want to know who got the top bunk when they shared a room as kids. I want to know what it was like for John to be the older brother but athletically inferior to Jim. I want to know what it was like for Jim to have the NFL playing career on his résumé and yet finish second to John in their race to become a head coach in the league.

I want to know how Jack and Jackie Harbaugh will be able to watch this game, knowing one son's ultimate victory will come at the expense of the other son's ultimate defeat. How does a dad watch that? How does a mom?

How does America get sick of this story?

Already? You're sick of it already?

Stop it. That's not cool. That's stupid.

Gregg Doyel is a columnist for He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. He was 4-0 (3 KO's!) as an amateur boxer, and volunteers for the ALS Association. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.

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