Just hours after Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) clinched a berth in the big game in New Orleans by defeating the Atlanta Falcons in in the NFC Championship Game, John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens (13-6) locked up the other spot by dispatching the New England Patriots.
"I don't know if we had a dream this big. We had a few dreams, we had a few fights. You know, we had a few arguments, just like all brothers," John told reporters during his postgame remarks. "We'll try to stay out of that business. We'll let the two teams duke it out as much as possible."
That two road teams won during the NFL's Championship Weekend is remarkable enough (and last happened in 1997), but to have each of those teams coached by brothers ensures that you'll be hearing a lot about the Harbaugh family for the next two weeks. On Thanksgiving 2011, the Harbaughs made history by becoming the first brothers to face off as head coaches.
In Atlanta, the 49ers needed a historic comeback to dig out of an early 17-0 hole against the Falcons. With Frank Gore rushing for two touchdowns in the second half, San Francisco ran to a 28-24 win.
Once that game got underway in frigid Foxboro, the Ravens did something unprecedented, too. Entering the AFC Championship Game, Tom Brady was 67-0 in home games when the Patriots held a halftime time lead. Despite trailing 13-7 at the intermission, the Ravens overmatched the Patriots in the second half en route to a 28-13 win.
Befitting the reputations of both Harbaugh-coached teams, the Falcons and Patriots were both shut out in the second halves of their championship game losses. The representatives from the AFC and NFC, the Ravens and 49ers will face off in New Orleans on February 3, 2013. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. EST. Expect Jack and Jackie Harbaugh to be among the most riveted spectators -- if they can bare to watch.
Jim compared his parents' nail-biting experience watching the Ravens and 49ers play back-to-back games during the Divisional Round of the playoffs from their home in Mequon, Wis. to a marathon of watching the "24."
Jack agreed. Not Jack Bauer. But Jack Harbaugh.
"There was one day I remember (Jim) brought the first season of '24' before we went on a vacation," Jack told The San Francisco Chronicle. "I think there was a full season of '24' we watched in one day. So I think that's a probably a very good analogy."
If watching each son coach in separate games was as stressful as a day at CTU then what will it feel like to watch them match wits in the Super Bowl?