For the emotional sake of Jack Harbaugh, only one son can advance to Super Bowl

Posted: 01/22/2012 in football
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m having a hard time deciding who will win Sunday’s NFL conference championship games but there’s one thing I hope happens.

One of the Harbaughs has to lose and fall short of the Super Bowl.

Don’t care if it is John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens that come up empty or Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers. One of them has got to go.

I reached that conclusion because I still recall what a nice person Jack Harbaugh was when he would visit San Diego Chargers training camp while son Jim was one of the team’s quarterbacks.

Jack Harbaugh would catch the first couple weeks of practices prior to the start of his own duties as Western Kentucky’s head coach. He would say hello every morning and genuinely seemed to appreciate that one of his sons was an NFL quarterback.

So I can tell you he’s even prouder to have two sons following in his footsteps and making a mark as coaches at the game’s highest level. Therefore, he doesn’t deserve to have to go through the agony of his sons facing one another on Super Bowl Sunday.

Think about it: If the Ravens and 49ers were to meet in the Super Bowl, one of Jack’s sons would achieve the ultimate of the coaching profession while the other son would be experiencing the biggest low a coach deals with.

How can a parent enjoy a Super Bowl under that scenario?

Here are Sunday’s predictions:

 

AFC Championship Game – RAVENS AT PATRIOTS

Seems like a while since the New England Patriots have been in the Super Bowl, doesn’t it? It has been even longer since the Patriots won one.

Hard to believe Tom Brady has gone six years since beating the Philadelphia Eagles and you have to figure coach Bill Belichick doesn’t want to come up short again either.

The Baltimore Ravens have the pass rush to make things interesting but I keep coming back to one thing: I can’t see Joe Flacco outdoing Brady with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

The Ray Lewis-led Ravens have more than enough defense to win this game but is it the offense – not your fault, Ray Rice – that influences this pick.

Prediction: New England 24, Baltimore 13.

 

NFC Championship Game – GIANTS AT 49ERS

I think I’m the only person west of the Mississippi to predict the New York Giants would beat both the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

New York seems to have that same confident feel it had four seasons ago when it stunningly reached the Super Bowl and then even more surprisingly upset the powerful Patriots.

It is tempting to stick with a successful trend and just pick the Giants, particularly with Eli Manning playing so well.

But the San Francisco 49ers also seem to have a special group and you may recall that I was one of the few people picking the 49ers to win the NFC West prior to the season.

I felt Mike Singletary was overmatched as a coach and that the Jim Harbaugh factor would make a huge difference and it has. Then factor in the fabulous ending while beating the New Orleans Saints – Alex Smith prevailing over Drew Brees in a shootout, no less – and you have to wonder if there’s anything that can keep San Francisco from winning on its home turf.

There isn’t – and don’t be surprised when the game is won on a last-second field goal by David Akers.

Prediction: San Francisco 30, New York 27.

 

LAST WEEK’S RECORD: 4-0

RECORD THIS POSTSEASON: 6-2

 

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