The Harbaugh Story You Never Heard

The Harbaughs are reliving some family traditions this week.

Jim Harbaugh, now the head coach at Michigan, invited his brother, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, and father, Jack Harbaugh, to join him at spring practices.

The tradition harkens back to the days when John and Jim used to scamper around the maize and blue practice fields as children when Jack was a defensive backs coach under the legendary Bo Schembechler from 1973 to 1979.

While John had a great story about tricking his younger brother into fetching a loose football during a practice (which got a scorning from Schembechler that you can hear about in the video below), John shared an even better tale to Michigan's football players to give them an idea about the kind of coach they now play for – a fighter.

It was about the day John thought Jim had finally "snapped."

The two brothers were all grown up and Jim was a quarterback with the Chicago Bears while John was early in his coaching career. Jim took the family on a Florida beach vacation, and as brothers do, they started wrestling in the water.

As is prone to happen, the tenacity of the battle escalated and the (at the time) bigger and stronger professional football player picked up John and slammed him under the waves. And then he held him there … and held him there … and held him there.

"'Let me up! Air bubbles coming up,'" John said. "You know what goes through my mind? He snapped.

"All those years, all those fights, all those times being a little brother and having to hear about his older brother being all that. This is how it's going to end. He's going to take me down right now."

Finally, Jim let John up. They shook hands and Jim gave him a look that said, "Does that settle it?" (It was the same look Jim said he got from John when they shook hands after the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers.)

"That's where it stood all those years. We haven't fought since."

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