Picking a Super Bowl winner is easy this year — just ask anyone with an older brotherJON NOWACKI COLUMN: The odds of two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl are something like one in a gazillion. Trust me. I did the math. Seven billion people in the world, divided by two brothers, plus E=mc, uh, oh, I’ll explain later.
By: Jon Nowacki, Duluth News Tribune
The odds of two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl are something like one in a gazillion.
Trust me. I did the math. Seven billion people in the world, divided by two brothers, plus E=mc, uh, oh, I’ll explain later.
Anyway, the odds of picking the Super Bowl winner this year are much easier. All you have to do is ask me.
Some of you might be picking the 49ers, with former Viking Randy Moss chasing that elusive first ring, Colin Kaepernick ready to flex his biceps around the Lombardi Trophy and a defense led by the Smith brothers, Aldon and Justin (OK, they’re not really brothers, but I’m keeping with a theme here).
Or you might be picking the Ravens, with unflappable Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and a defense motivated by the nauseously never-ending retirement of O.J. Simpson, er, I mean, Ray Lewis (if the suit don’t fit — or can’t be found — you must acquit).
Well, forget all that nonsense. The game will be dictated from the sidelines, where a pair of brothers, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Ravens coach John Harbaugh, will square off for the first time in Super Bowl history. It is easily the most compelling story line of the week, even decade, or at least more compelling than learning what Moss had for lunch.
And the winner will be …
Drum roll, please.
Why? Because Jim is younger than John, by 15 months.
I have no scientific basis for why age matters, no Pythagorean Pigskin Theorem, but a well-found belief that older brothers are corrupted by ego, age, jealousy and thoughts of world domination.
I have 38 years of hardscrabble knowledge, having been tortured by six older brothers, to prove that younger brothers know best. Or, at least, can’t do worse.
OLDER BROTHERS USE UNUSUAL TRAINING METHODS
One of my earliest memories was being afraid of the dark, so two of my brothers duct taped me to my little red wooden chair and then left me in our cave-like basement until I quit crying. It took forever. I still have the chair. And the emotional scars.
OLDER BROTHERS STRUGGLE AT CRUNCH TIME
Another time we wanted to get uptown, but there were three of us, and one rickety little bike. Time was wasting. What would we do? Older brother came up with a solution. He sat on the seat and pedaled, another brother rode on the back peg, and I sat on the handle bars, since I was the youngest and the smallest. About a block away, we lost control near a ditch and I ended up scraping my face along a culvert. I have a scar beneath my right eyebrow to this day.
OLDER BROTHERS ARE DECEIVING
I finally got my own bike, but it wasn’t without stress. I longed for a bike all fall, and promised I’d be good, and was good, and that Christmas, my two oldest brothers strategically wrapped a red plastic sleigh in a large box to make it look like a bike. After I eagerly opened it, anticipating a dream come true, I saw the red plastic sleigh, just like the other eight or so we had in the garage. My face must have looked like a balloon with all of the air gone. My brothers reveled in this for what felt like hours before eventually wheeling in my new navy blue Huffy. Crisis averted.
All of these things, along with the time I rode my Big Wheel down a flight of stairs (again, because an older brother forgot to lock the gate), helps explain the way I am today, but I guess I’ll give my older brothers this: I got over my fear of the dark, learned to be happy with what I had and never expected too much unless I worked for it.
It also clearly shows why an older brother can’t be trusted in the biggest game in football.
Take the youngest brother’s advice on this one.
49ers in a rout.
Jon Nowacki covers sports for the News Tribune. He is the youngest of 12 siblings, including seven brothers, two of whom he’ll watch today’s game with. He can be reached at email@example.com or (218) 723-5305.