NEW ORLEANS -- The Harbaugh family has insisted all week that brothers John and Jim are much more alike than they are different. Their respective garbs this morning stated otherwise.
When they came out for the first-ever press conference featuring both Super Bowl coaches - did you know they're brothers?! - this morning, John was nattily decked out in a dark suit, a snappy black, purple and gold tie around his neck. Jim? He had on his go-to suit as well - khakis, black fleece, black and white Nikes and a 49ers cap.
The only thing in common is that they were wearing black socks.
Their behavior ran counter to their attire. The guy in the suit seemed more relaxed, more laid back and more open to the questions. Jim, meanwhile, kept looking at his watch during a photo session afterward, and then bolted as soon as it was over.
Their dad, Jack Harbaugh, was in attendance and afterward shared a story of Jim's week in Youngstown, Ohio earlier this season. When the 49ers arrived, a chest of clothes for the week was delivered to his room. When Jim opened it, there were 15 of the same khaki pants, 15 identical blue, collared shirts, 15 black fleeces, etc.
Said Riley Crean, Jack's grandson, who was on hand for the unveiling, according to Jack: "Riley said he could have brought just two and washed them every other day and saved himself a lot of heavy lifting."
Perhaps the best fashion statement was made by 97-year-old Joe Cipiti, who is John and Jim's grandfather on their mother's side. He wore a baseball cap that was split down the middle between the Ravens and 49ers. He had the cap made for last year's Thanksgiving Day encounter between the brothers.
When they were in Baltimore a year ago, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh watched the game from an office inside the stadium, which meant they followed it on tv. On Sunday, they'll be in the Commissioner's box and following the contest live.
They should expect some angry looks. Commissioner Roger Goodell isn't exactly Mr. Popular in New Orleans after the Saints' bounty-related suspensions. In fact, t-shirts featuring a certain four-letter word followed by "Goodell" are ubiquitous in the city.
- Matt Barrows