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Friday, February 8, 2013
Jack Harbaugh neutral on no-call

ESPNChicago.com

Jack Harbaugh avoided the question with a laugh Friday when asked about the controversial no-call at the end of the Super Bowl that pitted his sons as opposing coaches.

Jim Harbaugh, whose San Francisco 49ers were trailing 34-29 with 1:50 to go Sunday, thought there should have been a holding call on Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, who was covering Michael Crabtree in the end zone. But no call allowed the Ravens to take a safety and pull out a 34-29 victory for coach John Harbaugh.

"I'm not going there, as you probably can imagine," Jack Harbaugh said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I refuse to get involved in that debate.

"But as I say, it comes down to a play like that. That may be the play that will be most remembered, but in a game like that, that goes for 60 minutes, there are so many different plays that are going to swing it."

The Harbaugh patriarch struggled putting into words the emotions that surfaced Sunday in the Superdome.

"I think the best word probably is tension," he said. "Leading up to the game, the two weeks before the game, we had a chance to really understand what the implications were, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, so to speak, and watching the game what it was going to be like. A play is made, one side is going to feel very good and the other side is going to feel disappointed.

"I don't think we understood the ramifications of what it was going to be about. As we sat and watched the game, it was no feeling that I've ever had in athletics, and I coached 43 years, and been around the last 10 years with John and Jim doing what they're doing. But it was a completely different feeling and one I have no explanation."

As far as his one snapshot moment, Harbaugh said it was the thousands of camera flashes bursting at the moment of kickoff.

"We were sitting up there," said Harbaugh, who watched the game with his wife, Jackie, in the commissioner's box. "We got there early so we can enjoy that, the teams taking the field, the kickoff team lining up and the receiving team lining up, and the kicker approached the ball and all those pops, the lights popping in the stands, and just sitting there with my wife looking down and seeing Jim on one side of the field and John on the other side of the field. I think how much we love those two young guys and how much they meant in our lives at just that particular moment."

Jack also took pride in seeing John accept the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the game while at the same time respecting the path Jim took to get to the Super Bowl.

"For me, there's a great pride in John," Jack said. "The five years that he's been in the NFL and the journey that he took to get there, a graduate assistant for no pay, working at all the different places he worked and then to see him on that stage accepting that trophy, Jackie and I were both filled with tremendous pride.

"And then of course Jim, he took a little different route with 15 years in the NFL, and then took the University of San Diego job and he worked himself to where he is. And then to be down 28-6 and find a way to rally to get to that position down there on the goal line, so much pride in what he's been able to do with this San Francisco 49ers team. And it just didn't happen in this game. Again, it's a journey over these last two years and what he's been able to accomplish out there."