John Harbaugh explains complex feelings of having brother Jim Harbaugh back in NFL

One of the key dates on the Baltimore Ravens 2024 schedule comes on November 25, when the Harbaugh brothers will battle.

The Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers face off in Week 12 this season, marking the first head-to-head match between John and Jim Harbaugh since the 2012 Super Bowl.

While speaking on the Ravens’ “The Lounge” podcast, John Harbaugh said the game against the Chargers will be for more than just “bragging rights.”

“It’s so meaningful,” Harbaugh said. “We both root for each other, we both have each other’s back all the time, and yet we’re competing against each other. And yeah, there is a pride part of it, you do want to win … These things live on. These are real-life moments that, you know, there’s a winner and a loser in some of these games like that, and you can kind of never forget these things.

“It’s not so much who’s going to have ‘bragging rights’ — that kind of understates how it really works.”

While reflecting on the 2012 Super Bowl, which the Ravens won over the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh said the prospect of facing his brother and the Chargers in the playoffs is a “double-edged sword.”

“I want him to be in the playoffs, I want them to be successful, for sure, he’s my brother,” Harbaugh said. “And if we play him, I want to win … If for some reason, whenever it happens, if they’re in the Super Bowl, I’m rooting for them to be in the Super Bowl. I’ll be rooting for him just like in [Michigan’s] national championship game, all-in for them to win that game.

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“But in that championship game, if we’re playing them in that championship game, it’s going to be just like the [2013] Super Bowl. And it’s hard, it’s tough. It’s hard to lose that game, it’s even hard to win that game. Because you go shake hands — I think there’s some clips coming back out about that whole thing — that was a tough moment. That was a tough moment. It’s not all joy when it’s your brother on the other side of that deal.”

Still, John said there are positives to having Jim back in the NFL.

“I like it because it’s my guy, you know what I mean? There’s good relationships with coaches around the league, some more than others and all that, but kind of everybody’s the enemy,” Harbaugh said. “And Jim will be the enemy, along with his team, when we play them. But the rest of the time he’s my brother. So it’s nice to have someone I can call or talk to about rules or about meetings or know that I have someone to go to lunch with.”


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