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John Harbaugh gave Indiana a pep talk before Sweet 16 that didn’t work

john harbaughIndiana was a popular pick to win the national championship heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and the Hoosiers busted a lot of brackets on Thursday night. They were dominated by Syracuse from the opening tip, eventually going on to lose 61-50 in a game that was never really close.

If you are one of those people who likes pointing the finger at someone who in reality had nothing to do with the loss, you’re welcome to blame Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Before tip-off on Thursday, Rachel Nichols of CBS Sports reported (via The Dagger) that Harbaugh had given the Hoosiers a pep talk in the locker room. Indiana coach Tom Crean is Harbaugh’s brother-in-law.

Nichols said Harbaugh emphasized how important momentum would be for Indiana. He also told them that he had watched them play multiple times during the season and that they remind him of his Super Bowl champion Ravens. Naturally, Harbaugh told the Hoosiers he believed they had what it takes to win it all.

He was wrong. Indiana shot a measly 33.3% from the field and hit only 62.5% of its free throws. They turned the ball over 18 times and allowed Syracuse to come away with 12 steals. Crean’s team played one of its sloppiest games of the year, and it ended up costing them. That’s what makes it so difficult to win a championship in college basketball — one rough game and it’s see you next year.

Anquan Boldin trade was initiated with phone call from John to Jim Harbaugh

Anquan BoldinWe hear time and time again how football is simply a business. Trading players certainly falls under that umbrella, but what if the head coaches of the two teams making the trade are brothers? Does that complicate matters or make life easier? Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh can shed some light on that.

Many were shocked when the Ravens traded playoff hero Anquan Boldin to the Niners a little over a week ago. The idea came together quickly, which sounds like it was the result of the Harbaugh brothers calling each other directly.

“It was me to my brother,” John said. “I called him up and just said, ‘Would you be interested?’ He said, ‘Heck yeah, let me go talk to (Niners GM) Trent (Baalke).’ This was about 3:30 before the 4 o’clock deadline. He ran down to Trent and they talked, and then Trent got on the phone with Ozzie and they had it worked out.”

From Jim’s standpoint, the deal may have even sounded too easy. If it seems too good to be true it probably is, which is why Jim was skeptical of even his own brother.

“I’m sure he was probably a little suspicious,” John said jokingly. “But Anquan is a great player, there’s just no denying it. From a pure value standpoint, I think they feel like they got a great deal. I know they got a great player, they got a great leader, they got a guy that will be a perfect fit in their offense in a lot of ways, and they realized that right away.”

Considering the Ravens were only asking for a sixth-round pick in return for a guy who was a beast in the playoffs, you can understand why Jim thought there might be a catch. Personally, I’m just happy the Harbaugh brothers are finally speaking again.

John Harbaugh to David Letterman: I haven’t spoken to Jim since Super Bowl

John-Harbaugh-David-LettermanIf the Harbaugh brothers weren’t such fierce competitors, they would not have been coaching against one another last Sunday. It has been nearly five full days since the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, but fierce competitors hate losing. That would explain why Jim Harbaugh has still yet to speak to John Harbaugh.

During an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday night, John Harbaugh was asked if he had been in contact with his brother since beating him last Sunday.

“I have not,” Harbaugh said with a smile. “We have not had a conversation since. We will. Soon.”

He’s not joking. Anyone who has watched Jim Harbaugh coach should not be surprised. People who throw fits like this don’t enjoy losing, and they probably have no interest in hearing “you’ll get ‘em next time” from their older brother.

“When will you talk to your brother?” Letterman asked later in the interview.

“I’m hoping sometime, you know, soon,” Harbaugh replied. “We actually have meetings coming up, we have a combine in two weeks. Anybody who has a brother knows that you don’t console your brother. It doesn’t work.”

If John avoids a punch in the face from Jim the first time they see each other face-to-face, he’ll probably consider it a another victory.

John Harbaugh pushes photographer before postgame handshake with Jim

John Harbaugh photographer

Jim Harbaugh has been a part of heated handshakes many times before, but it was actually his brother John who was part of an incident after the Super Bowl ended on Sunday.

As he was walking on the field to meet Jim for a postgame handshake following the Baltimore Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers, John Harbaugh got physical with a photographer.

In the bottom right corner of this video, John can be seen pushing a photographer:

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John Harbaugh pranked parents’ conference call (Video)

john harbaughJack and Jackie Harbaugh held a conference call on Thursday to speak with the media about their sons coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. The call was going fine and dandy until “John from Baltimore” jumped on the line.

“Question from Baltimore – Is it true that both of you like Jim better than John?” the person asked.

There was silence on the other end. After a few seconds, daughter Joanie, who was also on the call, identified John as the prankster.

“Is that John Harbaugh?” Jack asked, figuring out what was going on.

“That was mean, John, mom was ready to answer that question,” said Joanie.

“Mom was ready to come right through this phone,” Jack said. “I’m so happy that Joanie recognized your voice!”

There was a bunch of laughter and John jumped off the call after that, but the whole moment was pretty funny. It’s pretty clear who of the two brothers is the joker. John is much more light-hearted, while Jim doesn’t mess around. Both attitudes seem to have served the coaches well during their careers.

NFL pressured a man to give up his request to trademark ‘Harbowl’

John-Harbaugh-Jim-HarbaughWith the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens set to square off in Super Bowl XLVII, much of the buzz surrounding the game has centered around the brothers Harbaugh competing against each other for the Vince Lombardi trophy. John and Jim Harbaugh both had great teams heading into the season, so it is not shocking that they are the only two coaches left standing.

A man from Indiana named Roy Fox anticipated a potential Niners-Ravens matchp, so he decided to try to make some money off of it. Last February, Fox says he paid more than $1,000 to file trademarks for the phrases “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.” However, his plan never came to fruition because of pressure from the NFL.

“Right before the conference championship games last year, I thought to myself, ‘Can you imagine if these guys played each other?’” Fox told ESPN.com. “If Pat Riley would go through the trouble of trademarking three-peat, why shouldn’t I try this?”

In August, the NFL sent a letter to Fox expressing concerns that his recent trademarks could be confused with the league’s trademark of Super Bowl. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy explained the purpose behind that letter.

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Darren Sharper: Bad blood exists between Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh

As you may have expected, it seems like there is an explanation for the awkward handshake that took place between Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin last weekend. Darren Sharper, who played college ball with Tomlin at William and Mary, appeared on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” on Wednesday night and explained the history between his former teammate and Harbaugh.

“There’s bad blood between these two coaches,” Sharper said, via USA TODAY. “You think about the fact that the teams do not like each other, so that carries over to the coaches because they’re the ones preaching to the team before the games. And before this game there was a little bit of an incident in which Coach Harbaugh had some comments after they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers which he knew the camera was on, too.”

After the Ravens beat the Steelers 13-10 at Heinz Field a few weeks ago, television cameras captured Harbaugh telling his players that they were the more physically tough team, the more mentally tough team, the better team and the team that knows how to win football games.

“Coach Tomlin, like all coaches do, they watch everything,” Sharper continued. “They read the papers — they try to say they don’t — they read the papers, they look at television, and he thought that was a message towards his team.

“I know this for sure. I talked to Mike, and after the game I asked him about the handshake, and he said that there is some bad blood there. And he did not appreciate what Coach Harbaugh said postgame after the first victory.”

Based on Sharper first-hand knowledge, it sounds like the excuse Tomlin gave about wanting to get to the locker room before his players so he could welcome them is bogus. Harbaugh’s comments after the first game were the same ones we hear from coaches after victories all the time. There’s no love lost between Steelers and Ravens. Perhaps Tomlin is simply falling into line.