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Happy Father's Day!


While head coach John Harbaugh has preached the mantra of "Team," the ideal of "Family" has been just as important.

At the end of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), many players and coaches are ready for some time off and time with their family. That's why Father's Day comes at a perfect time.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, the Ravens participated in a softball tournament with the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and a team from the NFL front office while children of coaches played on the field throughout the day.

"I made a big deal of that," said Harbaugh, whose six-year-old daughter, Alison, was among the observers. "I want the kids around. I want them to have a memory. When you grow up a coach's kid, that's a chance to have a memory. When you're a parent, no matter what, it's your responsibility to create memories for your kid so they can look back and say, 'Man, that was pretty fun.'

"As coaches, we're here a lot, so you have to have the kids here and make them a part of what we're doing. They'll remember that for the rest of their life."

Harbaugh's focus on spending time with the family has resonated with a locker room that features many players welcoming newborns into their lives.

Fullback Justin Green's wife, Megan, recently announced that she is expecting. Green is looking forward to his first Father's Day, and because she's not due until next February, he will have to wait a year before he can celebrate.

"It's pretty special," Green said. "I look at my father, and I get the chance to be that person for someone. If I'm half the parent that my dad was to me, I think I'll have a pretty good kid."

Tight end Quinn Sypniewski, guard/center Jason Brown and linebacker Bart Scott also became fathers.

For Scott, it was his second child. Scott's son Bartholomew is three years old, and he is loving life with newborn daughter Gisele. The fact that he can be a father to two children reminds him of the way he was raised by his dad, the first Bartholomew.

"To me, I get it from both sides," said Scott of Father's Day. "I'm grateful to have a father, and I get to be a dad, too. I finally get to see what my father felt when he was bringing me up. I get the same gratification watching my son grow up. The best thing I ever did was to become a dad. It's my No. 1 accomplishment."

One only has to walk the halls of Ravens headquarters in Owings Mills, Md. and they can see the emphasis on family.

From the start of Harbaugh's tenure in Baltimore - he was hired in January - his father, Jack, has been a mainstay. The elder Harbaugh is a longtime football coach, and he and his son have enjoyed sharing experiences building a team.

"You look over and see my dad standing there and talking about the team, you realize Father's Day is every day," said John Harbaugh. "It's a great day to let them know you care about them and love him."

So, this Sunday, many within the Ravens' organization will celebrate Father's Day with their family, whether that is with their own fathers or their children.

For Harbaugh, it's going to be a fun day of relaxing, spurred on by his daughter.

"I'll get breakfast in bed," said the coach. "A little cereal and orange juice. Probably a Flintstone's vitamin. I'm sure we'll go swimming, too.

Then, a smile crossed Harbaugh's face. For a minute, football wasn't on his mind.

It was Alison.

"Honestly, Father's Day is more about the kids than anything else," he finally concluded.

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