Harbaugh v. Harbaugh

A short reflection on civil conflict
Share |

You drawl the name or you don’t say it at all. It is not Har-bow. It is: Har-baw. Or even: Har-bawl, which is more or less how Mike Ditka used to scream it when cursing at young Jim Harbaugh, no. 4, Captain Comeback, who punched Jim Kelly in his loser mouth, and who could lead a group of men to the edges of our galaxy this weekend simply by removing the Sharpie from the lanyard around his neck. Read Neptune against the Milky Way, Kaep, and just run through the hole, brother.

I first saw Jim Harbaugh in a grocery store in Evansville, Indiana, where I was raised, arm half-cocked, staring into the middle-distance of some 1991 defense, on a black-and-blue football card. H-A-R-B-A-U-G-H. The guy played for the Bears. I asked my father, lugging Busch Lite and laundry detergent, if this man was really a Harbaugh like us, a member of the same tribe, with our beakish noses and propensity for crying. He nodded a solemn affirmative and explained that there were those—like this football star’s own coach, the beaver Ditka—who did not know the mettle that lay helixed in our DNA.

While I was in grade school, Jim Harbaugh ruled the RCA dome with his fourth-quarter comebacks, acting a little distracted and put-upon. In other words: likeable so long as you shared the guy’s last name. He praised Jesus Christ first and foremost in his post-game interviews, and went home to answer mail. By the time I wrote to Jim, I knew that his father Jack was the legendary coach of Western Kentucky’s football team, and assumed they were just the beginning. I imagined a great number of athletic Harbaughs spread across the United States, stippling the countryside like packs of Sycamores and anti-abortion billboards. I had a responsibility to uphold, obviously. I planned to follow in their cleat-steps. My dad was a theater director, co-opted by sinister forces after playing full back in high school, but I digress. The contents of our correspondence is lost to memory, save for a disappointing line that Jim answered in return: “Dear Barry, I don’t think we’re second cousins…”

So “distant cousins” was my answer whenever someone asked if we were related. The frequency of that question increased tenfold during high school, when my twin brother Russell Harbaugh (who would lead Wabash College to an undefeated 2005 season, and earn DIII All-American honors) started tossing spirals of his own. That I have kept back Russell’s existence mirrors my ignorance of Jim’s brother John toiling on the sidelines of the University of Cincinnati, coaching special teams, while his younger bro brought the Horseshoe within a Hail Mary of the Super Bowl.

When I learned, years later, that another Harbaugh had worked in the shadows of the film room for decades, my life seemed suddenly part of a larger cosmic pattern—the push and pull of fraternal competition. I imagined that Jim and John had waged the same wars as Russell and I had fought at home. That their mother, like ours, had shrieked “TAKE IT OUTSIDE.” Did John once knock Jim off his bike and break his collarbone? Did Jim reciprocate by throwing a TV remote control that hit John square in the temple, even with his shoulder still in a sling? Did John thereafter require 13 stitches and one hell of an apology?

I doubt seriously that Jim’s petty squabbles with Pete Carroll or Jim Schwartz ever approached the magnitude of his rivalry with his big brother. Carroll’s USC dominance was twice diminished by Jim’s good Luck and meticulous game-planning, resulting in the single biggest upset in college football history, a 2009 victory crowned by a gratuitous two-point try and the besotted Carroll wondering after the clock had emptied, “What’s your deal?” Schwartz, for his part, was displeased when Jim, having joined his brother’s ranks in the NFL, followed a Niners win over his Lions with a slap of the hand instead of a shake. What’s the deal? Perhaps a family of football coaches keeps their own score, and the podium enemies are mere foils for the intra-Harbaugh race to perfection: The young offensive genius against the old defensive bulwark, seasoned by a career put together without aid of a fan-base and little children’s missives. Please God, deliver me unto that Super Bowl. Harbaugh v. Harbaugh.

Not all of us are destined to be football coaches. Two Thanksgivings past my brother and I gathered to watch the Ravens, coached by the severe John, who had by that point been coaching professionally for the whole of my 28 years, battle the Niners, led by the ecstatic Jim. We watched as a filmmaker and book editor, respectively: coaches of a distant sort, competing over the simple satisfaction of a job done well and good, like a Harbaugh should and does. Jim was asked this week to sum up his differences with his brother. He said nothing more than “I’m half the coach he is.” Of course he would. If anyone asks, I will say that Russell is twice the artist that I am, and that his Sundance-anointed short is the single greatest American movie of our generation, before trying privately to do him one better. There is always my John to his Jim.

Come Monday, when the banks are closed, and the country remembers the best and worst of our human proclivities, we Harbaughs will bow our heads, we will close our eyes and feel the cold breath of our ancestors on our necks. H-A-R-B-A-U-G-H: the Pennsylvania Harbaughs and the California Harbaughs and the Harbaughs in Kansas and Wyoming, Florida and Washington and Indiana, and in the Maryland river valley that bears our name. Should our clan fall short of the apex of American sports and wretched excess that is the Super Bowl, conjuring up last year’s Onion headline “Pathetic Harbaugh Family Unable to Get Even One Son to Coach In Super Bowl,” we will be left to salve ourselves on a day off from work. But if all goes well, we will read on that morning the first glorious lines of Super Bowl coverage detailing the seemingly inevitable clash of the brothers Harbaugh. The whole world will know finally of our inimitable family spirit. Let me put this to rest at once—I’m looking at you Mike Ditka, you Jim Schwartz, and you Pete Carroll; at you Mike Smith, of the quotidian Smiths, and you Bill Belichick, who came from nothing and nowhere: Our best rivalries are amongst ourselves.


Share |

Comments

Going to graduate college was a emphatic judgment for me. I liked the coursework, the gifts, the hombre freshmans, moreover the dons. Furthermore as my fellowship reimbursed 100% of the teaching, the entirely expense that I had to compensate on my have was for ledgers also supplies. Else, I received a unrestrained lord's order. Many that I had to dress was my age. Pennsylvania shopping outlets

Illinois shopping outlets Going to graduate college was a affirmative opinion for me. I loved the coursework, the performances, the companion scholars, moreover the teachers. Besides therefore my fellowship reimbursed 100% of the education, the except expense that I had to satisfy on my possess was for primers plus supplies. Else, I received a unrestrained commander's level. Total that I had to wrap was my rhythm.

Good to flatter visiting your weblog more, it has been months for me. Nicely this piece that i've been waited for so ache. I pleasure want this dispatch to all my chore in the school, also it has careful very text composed beside your indite-up. Acknowledges, good use New York shopping outlets

Thanks to you, I scholarly numerous fascinating creatures. I dream to ascertain better. I felicitate you for these dazzling uses. Hold it up! Florida shopping outlets

Texas shopping outlets Mmm.. benevolent to be here in your report or courier, whatever, I deem I should yet process strong for my possess website want I watch any salubrious also updated employed in your spot.

California shopping outlets Awesome information! I recently came over your blog moreover own been lesson beside. I reasoning I would cede my initial vote. I don't experience what to say unless that I enjoy.

visit this site
I like your blog. Remarkable put up. It is somewhat specific, all those might learn learn about previously achieve learn about. lol i understand this approach sounds entertaining still it will be a large number of found...

I like your blog. Wonderful publish. It is very proper, people have to learn how to realize right before they might realize. lol i know which seems humorous the greatest proven...
facial fillers

Visit Us
Highly insightful blog post! You will find a many tips these that will any specific internet business begin with a thriving social network sites effort!

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked .. delhi to jaipur taxi

goofed through that climate-controlled no-place as if there were no place he'd rather have been, and who was so boomingly at home there that he might as well have been in his living room.
cheap price blog comments

This response is callous and ineffectual and point-missing, for starters, but it’s common enough.joanns coupons

callous and ineffectual and point-missing, for starters, but it’s common enough, .packers and movers pune to hyderabad

twitter followers As i moreover enjoy discovering that testing, though learn about which will a whole bunch of many people should really stick to article in an attempt to combine worthwhile closer to that unique site give off.how to get more views on youtube

hat Spain so thoroughly deserved the title in the end and thus kickstarted their greatest era makes that excitement seem a little silly. Download GTA 5 PC Free Game

This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. . pinoy tambayan

You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. Verified twitter accounts

You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. social media accounts

The key reason why would probably you should currently have scholars top essay writing services online really? These kinds of services only work to make them even lazier. They do nothing to try the work themselves because they know they can simply buy it!.

It's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information.Pillow Protector Cotton

You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing. girlsdoporn

The contents of our correspondence is lost to memory, save for a disappointing line that Jim answered in return.print shop singapore

I actually appeared to be included in essay mania plus right until that really practical experience is actually a nightmare. A company I actually caused appeared to be not skilled and can even slightly observe information. I actually have been executing this section and absolutely everyone else’. I actually are not aware how you would apply it!

So good explained H-A-R-B-A-U-G-H great article, any one can follow it, thanks and keep up the good work.Boat hire in Split

Chuck Liddell in California just as hewas starting to fight: he was a barman in our local. In a small piece of synchronicity another of the regulars in said bar arrives today for a house visit. seo link building

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! Egyptian cotton sheets

price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting . idaho falls auto repair

Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. targeted opt in email list

hurt fighter in mixed martial arts is quickly submitted. Muay-Tai boxing, in contrast, which is almost only floor carpet
in Thailand, generates several deaths a year according to some reports.

Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! software for amazon sellers
It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon.

A man who has never gone to school click
may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education

We Are A Full-Service Provider Of High Quality Backlinks That Help Boost Traffic, Increase Rankings, And Build Authority. With Years Of Experience We Know Exactly What Type Of Manual Dofollow Blog Comments It Takes To Quickly Increase Your Online Visibility
High PR Links

solution is probably the most palatable of the answers I've seen. What I don't like about each rodents

palatable of the answers I've seen. What I don't like about each.. packers and movers pune to hyderabad

Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing knowledge with us. This site is fantastic. I always find great knowledge from it http://www.cpam-metz.com/

Want Higher Ranking In Google?? Nothing Is Better Than HIGH PR BLOG COMMENTING SERVICE. Google Love These Kinds Of Back Links Because Your Website Is Linking To Authority Site That Is Already Index In Search Engines. This Service Is A WIN For Both Your Site, And Sites Where We Will Place Your Link With Additional Unique Content Blog comments

ko Bread crumbs 2 Eggs 2 Cups soy flour ( or all purpose) 4 Cups Veggie oil for frying 1. Soak Squid in buttermilk at least 24 hours 2. Place Squid, garlic, onio.. do follow blog comments

So fortunes to run over your incredible online journal. Your online journal presents to me a lot of fun.. Good fortunes with the site business emails

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blogseo

Deutschland bieten wir anspruchsvollen Führungskräften und Mitarbeitern erfolgreich Seminare zu den Themen taxi from delhi to jaipur

Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. dress forms los angeles

Choosing the right treatment center will significantly aid you in sobriety. There are thousands of great facilities that are well equipped to handle drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but the right facility requires patience and persistence to find. We have compiled one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of rehab’s from around the country drug rehab centers

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more.amazing selling machine

Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting wild yam cream benefits

Ixperia IT Schulung und Beratung An 18 Standorten in Deutschland bieten wir anspruchsvollen Führungskräften und Mitarbeitern erfolgreich Seminare zu den Themen IT Service Management, ITIL, Projektmanagement und Prince2 in exzellenter Atmosphäre. Sowohl fachlich als auch für die Durchführung erhalten wir von unseren Teilnehmern dafür die besten Beurteilungen mit 100% Erfolgsgarantie. ITIL Zertifizierung

Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting. goji pro

You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article lovemysweaters

Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon.citation

Website! We are a team of volunteers and new initiatives in the same niche. This Website Discover More Here gave us useful info to work. You have done an great job,

Bei uns finden Sie sämtliches Zubehör zum Aufhängen von Bildern. Vom einfachsten Bilderhaken bis hin zur Bildaufhängung mit Diebstahlschutz. Wir als Bilderrahmenprofi haben hier alle Produkte zur Bildaufhängung in einem Shop zusammengestellt. Galerieschienen