The Harbaugh family was in the spotlight on Thursday as father Jack and mom Jackie participated in a conference call with the media in anticipation of their sons facing off in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
NBCBayArea wrote about Jack Harbaugh’s coaching life and how it caused the family to move 17 times across the country.
The family moved 17 times in the course of his career, and both Jackie and the children were regular attendees at practice, family members said in a conference call today. Younger sister Joani Crean recalled splicing training films for her father on the weekends. “Luckily, as parents, they involved their kids in their professional life,” Crean said.
“That’s how we saw Dad in the afternoon; we went to his coaching practices. That’s just how we passed time.”
The San Francisco Examiner wrote that Jack has returned the favor for Jim and John, breaking down their game film weekly.
Jack Harbaugh usually breaks down game tape for his sons, Jim and John Harbaugh, prior to their NFL contests each week, just to give them an extra set of eyes. But as the brothers prepare for their meeting in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, the eldest Harbaugh is tossing away his coaching hat.
The last time the sons met was in a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game in 2011. Jack told the Baltimore Sun that he did not realize how much that day would affect Jackie.
“The thing I remember most is that we were in a little office with a TV,” said Jack Harbaugh of the game at M&T Bank Stadium. “And I’ve never seen Jackie like that. She was nearly comatose, just staring at the screen with no emotion.”
The Harbaughs went downstairs to greet both sons after the game, won 16-6 by the Ravens, and Jack was overwhelmed at the contrast in emotion between the two locker rooms. “That’s something I remember and something I’m not looking forward to at the Super Bowl,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it was still about family,” Jackie said. “That’s what came through at the Thanksgiving game.”
As for this Sunday, Archie Manning — father of Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning — offered some fatherly advice for the Harbaughs, according to the New York Daily News.
“It’s one of those deals where he said ‘We just kind of pinch ourselves,’” Archie said. “And that’s the way me and (wife) Olivia have been when the boys are playing against each other or when they get to Super Bowls or so forth.
“I told him, ‘Just enjoy the journey. It’s so special.’ The sad part of it is, the Broncos are going to play the Giants again next year. We don’t look forward to that game for one reason — someone is going to lose. And that’s what’s going to happen in the Super Bowl. Someone’s going to lose. As a parent, that hurts you.”
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor