Harbaugh brothers will meet again in Super Bowl
Their parents, Jack and Jackie, attended the game but watched out of public view, not wanting to betray favoritism for either son at any moment. On Sunday, they watched the 49ers and Ravens on television from their home in Mequon, Wis.

The whole family is steeped in coaching. Even sister Joani is married to Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean. "We can't put into words what it means to see John and Jim achieve this incredible milestone," Crean tweeted Sunday night.

Jim Harbaugh's 49ers will present stark challenges for the Ravens in pure football terms on Feb. 3 in New Orleans. Their hard-hitting defense ranked second in the league in fewest points allowed and third in fewest yards allowed. Midway through the season, Harbaugh made the bold call to switch quarterbacks, inserting dynamic second-year man Colin Kaepernick as his starter.

Baltimore fans cheered as the seconds ticked down in the 49ers game, shouting "Harbaugh Bowl!" as they dreamed of a showdown between the brothers.

"Step one is complete," said Barry Parker of South Baltimore, watching the 49ers celebrate their victory on the flat screens at Ropewalk Tavern in Federal Hill.

"That's definitely what we want to see, the Harbaugh Bowl," said his buddy, Darren Eynon of Federal Hill.

Fans were ready to party, waiting in long lines outside the popular Ravens bars in Federal Hill as game time with the Patriots neared. Baltimore police closed a section of South Charles Street in anticipation of fans spilling into the road as they did after the Ravens' thrilling Divisional playoff win over the Denver Broncos.

At Ropewalk, fans were so charged up that they cheered any glimpse of a Raven during CBS' pre-game coverage. They came unhinged when they saw Lewis looking deeply moved during the national anthem. They were less thrilled with video of Billy Cundiff's missed field goal at the end of last year's AFC Championship loss against the Patriots.

"Same game, different outcome," muttered Tim Barker of Canton.

Parker and Eynon worked the superstitious angle, wearing the same clothes and watching from the same seats as they did during the previous weekend's win over the Broncos. Parker noted that his gray tabby cat, Riffraff, was also wearing the same Ray Rice jersey at home.

"They haven't lost since we put that jersey on him," he said.

Both men said it was important for the Ravens to win now, because the team will look considerably different next season.

"We need to get these guys their rings," said Eynon. "Before they retire."


Baltimore Sun reporters Jonathan Pitts and Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.