Harbaugh parents keep it simple for the press

NEW ORLEANS — Any questions of how Jack and Jackie Harbaugh were feeling as their two sons prepare to lead their respective teams into Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday were answered before the media could even fire off a question Wednesday. The parents sat down and quickly took the mics and Jack asked, “Who has it better than us?” Both shouted: “Noooobody.”

The phrase has been used repeatedly in the Niners’ locker room after wins during Jim’s tenure and is a Harbaugh family favorite. Jack and Jackie have been swamped with media requests since the Harbowl matchup was set, doing a teleconference last week, and once again faced the press Wednesday in New Orleans. Here’s a look at some of the highlights that came out of their news conference:

  • Jack offered a rare glimpse behind the curtain with Jim when he recalled a conversation the pair had during the 2011 draft. Jack asked Jim which quarterback the 49ers were going to take in the second round. Jim, after getting multiple assurances that his dad wouldn’t tell a soul, revealed it would be Colin Kaepernick. “He said, ‘Do I not only think he’s the best quarterback in the draft, I think he’s the best football player in the draft,’” Jack said.
  • The brother element is only part of the family feud coming Sunday. Jack made sure to point out there’s also a father-son element. Jim’s son, Jay, is a quality control assistant on the Baltimore Ravens’ staff under his uncle John.
  • The Harbaughs don’t have a fascination with the letter “J” it’s just how it worked out. Jack and Jackie named their three kids John, Jim and Joanie. “We’re not very creative,” Jackie said.
  • Jim and John are both notorious for not offering up much publicly to the media, and as far as Jack is concerned, that’s fine by him, citing an old Bo Schembechler  quote. “Loose lips sink ships,” Jack said. “They both have subscribed to that philosophy. So no one talks to anyone.”
  • While Jack and Jackie had brief interactions with their sons this week, they didn’t touch on football at all. Both sons shared one common message for their parents. “They both told us, ‘mom and dad, please promise us you will enjoy this experience,’” Jack said. “And we’re trying.”


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By Al Saracevic