Harbaugh Bowl alert: Ravens, 49ers near Super Bowl

January 16, 2012|By Matt Vensel

Ladies and gentlemen, we are a pair of Harbaugh wins away from two weeks of non-stop, around-the-clock Harbaugh family coverage. John Harbaugh’s Ravens and brother Jim’s San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the championships games of their respective conferences and are on the verge of playing in the Super Bowl.

And if that happens, we are going to hear countless stories of the time that John’s Baskin Robbins team and Jim’s Sheriff’s All-Stars duked it out in what is now one of the most famous American Legion baseball games in Michigan state history. I can already see Merril Hoge and Tim Hasselbeck dissecting the tape on “SportsCenter” now,  awkwardly using those totally-unnecessary touch-screen monitors to break down Harbaugh at-bats.

Of course, both Harbros have to hold up their end of the deal to turn the Super Bowl into Harbaugh Bowl II.

The Ravens must go into Foxborough, Mass. and defeat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Two years ago, that seemed like an impossible task. Then the Ravens stunned the Patriots, 33-14, in the wild-card round at Gillette Stadium. That improbable but dominant win makes the Ravens believe they can do it again Sunday.

The 49ers, fresh off a thrilling win over the New Orleans Saints, play the New York Giants. The Giants are one of the NFL’s hottest teams, and on Sunday, they defeated the defending champion Green Bay Packers, 37-20. The upcoming NFC championship game will be played in San Francisco, though, so advantage: Jim Harbaugh.

I don’t know where the Harbaugh parents -- Jack and Jackie -- plan to watch the games on Sunday. If I were them, I would tune in from a bunker, and if the Ravens and 49ers win, stay down there until Harbaugh Bowl II blows over. ESPN and the rest of the pigskin paparazzi are going to hound them for two weeks straight.

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