Returning to a Sporting Box column published one year ago... As you may remember, the Harbaugh coaching twins (John, head coach of Baltimore; Jim, head coach of San Francisco) had just played the championship game in their respective conferences. Winners of said games go to the Super Bowl, the biggest entertainment stage in the galaxy, bestowing fame, fortune, and NFL immortality on the victor. But, both Harbaughs lost due to outrageous player mistakes. Let’s take a look back...it’s January 22, 2012.
EXT. A TELEPHONE BOOTH. BALTIMORE ALLEY. RAINY. LATE NIGHT.
Baltimore coach JOHN HARBAUGH is drunk, drool and spittle ooze from his mouth, flow down his chin and cheeks, then gathers itself and drips onto a grimy telephone handset.
Ugh, ugh, guh, gug, gah, gug.
INT. KITCHEN IN UPSCALE PALO ALTO HOME. NIGHT.
We see a sober JIM HARBAUGH grip his iPhone.
What are you doing in a phone booth?
I don’t deserve a cell phone. (JOHN takes a double swallow from a bottle of scotch.) Fucking Flacco scum. And that punk, Lee Evans, drops a pass in the end zone. FUCKING END ZONE! Ball hits him in the gut, 27 seconds left in the game, and he drops the BALL!
Make that catch and we’re in the Super Bowl. But, OH NO, instead of being four points ahead, he drops the ball. Worthless mutant.
You think that’s bad. Alex Smith went all Alex Smith on me in the fourth quarter. Couldn’t throw the ball to a receiver who wasn’t doubled-covered. Kyle Williams fumbles TWO punt returns, the last one in overtime, deposits the football on our 24-yard line and LOSES THE GAME!
JOHN (ignoring his brother, gulps another slosh of scotch)
Then, we get the ball back. Incredible. Miracle. Fifteen seconds left in the game. Little boy Cundiff has a 32-yard chip shot, a gimme of a field goal to tie and go into overtime. And the puke MISSES! Choke-ass son-of-a-bitch MISSES THE GIMME!
Well, dear Reader, that was then. Now, January 2013, Jim Harbaugh, having stomped Green Bay, is taking his 49ers to the NFC Championship game in Atlanta. John Harbaugh, squeaking past Denver, is taking his Baltimore Ravens to the AFC Championship game in New England. The two winners will meet in New Orleans for Super Bowl 47.
PRESENT DAY. INT. CHI’S CHI’S GENTLEMEN’S CLUB, WEST SIDE, BALTIMORE. NIGHT.
JOHN HARBAUGH is drunk. It’s 9:00 p.m. Sunday night and Chi Chi’s is packed. SIX NUDE STRIPPERS bump-and-grind against chrome stage poles as men wave greenbacks in the air. JOHN retrieves his smartphone and speed-dials California.
INT. FASHIONABLE PALO ALTO RESIDENCE LIBRARY. NIGHT.
JIM HARBAUGH picks up his phone, hears the roar of bar noise coming from the receiver and laughs. Now both men laugh. And laugh. And laugh.
I’ve been bullshitting all season. I had no idea Kaepernick could run like that. Little son of a bitch scampered all over the field.
JOHN (shoving a 50-dollar bill inside a pink G-strap)
I didn’t think we had a chance. Flying into Denver in January. It’s a billion degrees below zero. We’re up there in Sherpa country. It’s like the top of Mt. Everest. My guys can’t breathe. Who would have thought Peyton would throw two interceptions? How could you figure he’d play like a leaking beach ball from the fourth quarter on or that dumb-ass Flacco could throw a football 55 yards in the right direction?
I flipped a coin for the kicker. We had two on the roster, so I flipped a coin and it came up Akers. (JIM laughs so hard his laugh turns into a hacking cough-whoop.) Did the same thing with the quarterback. (JIM vents a disturbing, triumphant, Wicked-Witch-of-the-West cackle.) I AM A GENIUS! A GENIUS!