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Brotherly contest

Cory Bernard | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

All in all, there wasn’t too much about the Super Bowl to cause complaint. The game itself ended up being a great contest. Ad lovers delighted in humorous and heart-wrenching commercials. Beyoncé proved during her halftime show she is still the reigning queen of show business. Yet, there will always be critics.

These sourpusses might point out the lopsided halftime score or Ms. Knowles’ possibly lip-synced performance. But the most ridiculous grievance I have seen is the one leveled at the Harbaughs’ postgame greeting.

Many thought the brothers would show more affection when they met on the field after the game. In fact, many of these same people bet on the duration of said meeting. One day before the Super Bowl, the Huffington Post reported the question, “how long will the postgame hug between the Harbaugh brothers last?” was a legitimate proposition bet for potential gamblers in Nevada. As it turns out, the over/under was 7.5 seconds.

I have no problem with betting on bizarre outcomes. If I want to spend money betting that Alicia Keys will mess up at least two words while singing the national anthem, or that only one member of the Ravens’ active roster will be arrested prior to kickoff (yes, these were all legitimate options), then so be it. I do have a problem, however, with the bettors’ belief in brotherly love, especially between the Harbaughs. The general public’s expectation of such affection is way off base.

John and Jim Harbaugh are two brothers who were born 15 months apart, who grew up playing football and who possess jaw lines strong enough to make Bruce Willis seem soft. The fact that they exchanged a four-second congratulatory handshake after competing for the biggest prize in American professional sports should come as enough of a surprise. My brother and I were born a full three years apart and possess neither the intensity nor the athleticism of the Harbaughs, but we still waged some of the fiercest backyard battles. Can you imagine a brotherly contest between the Harbaughs? I’m sure they were not games befitting postgame congratulations from the loser.

I know, the brothers are mature adults, and surely they know how to control their competitive fire. But remember, this is the same Jim Harbaugh who found himself embroiled in a post-game brouhaha with Lions coach Jim Schwartz last year.

Rather than bemoaning the Harbaughs’ lack of postgame love, we should instead be content with Jack and Jackie Harbaugh’s attendance. Their presence likely kept John and Jim on their best behavior.

Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.