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Super Bowl 'about family' first for Harbaughs' parents


These are heady days for the Harbaugh family.

With John and Jim set to square off in Super Bowl XLVII, their parents, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, are about to experience something to which no mother-and-father act before them ever has been privy.

The increasingly famous parental units staged a conference call with reporters Thursday, a wide-ranging chat that dished on life in a household dominated by football and a sense of togetherness. Jack and Jackie were asked if John and Jim (say that three times fast) would be able to survive this showdown. Bottom line: Will Super Sunday plant the seeds of a massive family conflict?

Don't bank on it.

"I think we experienced (this) a little bit (on) Thanksgiving last year in the game when the two played together," Jack said of the game won by Baltimore 16-6. "I do recall coming down to the locker room, and I peeked into the Ravens' locker room, and I mean, ecstatic. Guys jumping up and down. The smile on John's face and thrill of victory ... and I thought to myself, 'We're really not needed here, this looks like it's pretty well taking care of itself.'

"(I) walked across the hall and went into the 49ers' locker room -- you know, quiet and somber -- and looking into some offices and finally I saw Jim all by himself. You know, no one around him ... and realized that that's where we were needed. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and we know we're going to experience that next week."

From Jackie: "John came out and ran down to the buses to find Jim and talk to him briefly. It just was the epitome of how everybody in this family feels about each other and always tries to raise one another up. And these are difficult times in football ... when you play against your own brother. And a lot of brothers in the NFL have experienced this. But at the end of the game, it's still about family and your feelings for one another, and that's what came through in the Thanksgiving game."

At this stage, the operator crackled to life: "Our next question comes from John in Baltimore. Your line is open," he said.

"Is it true that both of you like Jim better than John?" asked a familiar voice.

Silence. Then laughter. John Harbaugh, on line five, crashing the call.

It's hard not to dig this family.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.