|Both Jim and John Harbaugh are keeping the talk down to a few words. (US Presswire)|
NEW ORLEANS -- If the number of words spoken at the Harbaughs' joint press conference on Friday has a direct correlation to the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers are in big trouble.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, 49, deferred to older brother John Harbaugh, 50, of the Baltimore Ravens. An informal Microsoft Word count reveals John spoke 2,133 words to Jim's 965 at the event, which was arranged Thursday night after the original schedule had the coaches speaking separately.
The little Jim Harbaugh uttered was primarily a repeat of statements he made the five times he talked earlier in the week.
“We've had great practices,” he said. “Meetings have been really crisp. We're getting a good understanding of what our plan is going into this game and all the while just thinking about the most exciting thing, when that ball is kicked off on Sunday for the game. We understand it'll be a great challenge, it'll be a great task. If we were to win this game it would be well earned. That's really all we're thinking about and focused about and can't wait for.”
Answering questions about the brotherly connection? Not so much.
Yes, it is an incredible story that two brothers are coaching opposite teams in the championship game of by far the most popular sport in the United States and in what annually is the most-watched TV event in the world. The odds of it happening are astronomical, similar to the chance of two sisters from Compton, Calif. ruling tennis for more than a decade.
But in Jim Harbaugh's mind, the story apparently has been played out.
“I can't think of anything that would give us an advantage that we had talked about over the past couple of years,” he said when asked about the effect their relationship would have on the game.
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John Harbaugh took 158 words to give the same message.
Jim Harbaugh was even more brief when asked if he had thought about their postgame handshake.
“I have not,” he said.
John Harbaugh needed 24 words to say the same thing.
Asked about their “philosophical commonalities,” Jim Harbaugh refused to go there, too.
“Philosophical commonalities?” he said. “I would be hard-pressed to spell philosophical right now.”
One of the only times Jim Harbaugh opened up at all was when he asked about his son working for the Ravens. Jay Harbaugh, 23, is a coaching intern for the Ravens.
“I'm really thankful and proud at the same time that Jay is doing what he loves to do,” Jim Harbaugh said. “That is a real blessing and he's doing it with the Baltimore Ravens with a tremendous organization, great coaches around to mentor him and to teach him, especially John being there and hiring him and I hear he's doing a phenomenal job which again I'm really proud of.”
The Harbaughs tried to keep Jay's connection secret until their father, Jack, told reporters about his grandson's job on Wednesday.
“This week, I haven't been talking to him (Jay) or calling him or anything,” Jim Harbaugh said. “I've sent him a few texts just letting him know how I feel about him and I don't want to give reason for people to think I'm talking to him. I'm really proud of what he's doing, I've heard he's done a great job and that means the world.”