FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The names for the game have already started. Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. The "Harbaugh Bowl." The "Har-Bowl."
In two weeks, the Baltimore Ravens will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will play his final game that night in New Orleans, but much of the talk will be about the Harbaugh brothers: Baltimore head coach John and San Francisco head coach Jim.
"Congratulations to them and it will be a great football game," John Harbaugh said after his Ravens upset the New England Patriots 28-13 Sunday, Baltimore's third win of this playoff season, the last two on the road. "I guarantee it will be these guys going against their guys. Two great football teams squaring off; I can't wait."
John Harbaugh made the comments as his team was accepting the Lamar Hunt Trophy as winners of the AFC. Later, as he faced the media, he was asked if he and his brother ever allowed themselves to dream about something this big.
"I don't know if we had a dream this big?" he said. "We had a few dreams, we had a few fights, we had a few arguments, just like all brothers."
And now, they face each other in the Super Bowl, the first brothers ever to square off for a title. But John Harbaugh says that doesn't mean another fight with his brother.
"We'll try and stay out of that business," he said. "We'll let the two teams duke it out as much as possible."
John Harbaugh had just gotten the better of Bill Belichick, considered the best in the business, and of the Patriots, the team everyone thought was going to win this game and go to its sixth Super Bowl in 12 years.
"They just outplayed us and outcoached us," Belichick said.
Last year, the Ravens almost won this same game on this same field. With Baltimore down three, Lee Evans dropped a touchdown pass and the Ravens settled for a tying field goal from 32 yards away. But Billy Cundiff hooked it wide left and the game was gone.
Over in the NFC, Jim Harbaugh's 49ers lost to the Giants in THAT title game last season.
This time, the Ravens won. So did the Niners.
"Couldn't be more proud of Jim," John said. "Watching that team play, they do reflect his personality. They've got a great staff, they have physical players, man. They run the ball, they throw the ball, they've got a quarterback making plays all over the place, they've got a rough-house defense.
"There's a reason they're in the Super Bowl. I love the way they play. I'd like to think that our two teams are very similar. I'd like to think that when you look at those two teams, you're looking at mirror images of two football teams. I'd like to think that. It's going to be a great football game and he's a great football coach."
In two weeks, one of the Harbaughs will be champion of the football world. Either way, their parents have to be proud.
"I hope he's on his fourth or fifth beer right now (laugh)," John said of his dad, Jack. "That's what I'm hoping for. I hope he and Mom are ... they've got a big hug going.
"I don't know what he's thinking. You'd have to give him a call and ask him. But he's proud, he's proud."