Randy Smith: The Harbaugh Family Reunion

Monday, January 28, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

As we get nearer to kickoff for Super Bowl  XVII, a lot of attention has been given to the fact that brothers will be opposing each other for the first time in Super Bowl history this Sunday. The Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim, sons of coaching legend Jack Harbaugh, will be across the field from one another when the 49ers face the Ravens.  There is nothing like sibling rivalry.

Since I have no brothers and my only sister is 10 years younger than I am, I never had to deal with those sorts of things growing up. I did have a lot of cousins who were more than a bit competitive, but I was always the biggest and oldest so I always held the upper hand whether it be baseball, football or wrestling.(Or “scuffling” as my Grandmother called it) I still had no idea what was involved in competing for your parents’ attention.

This appears to be a classic battle. I am going to use my less than perfect “picking” ability to choose the Ravens to edge the 49ers in a close, physical, game. (My success at picking Super Bowl winners is much less than the assorted animals who have been seen tabbing winners on football’s biggest weekend of the season for years. If you remember, I picked the Patriots to beat the Giants last year.) Nevertheless, I think veteran linebacker Ray Lewis will end his career with his second championship ring.

Now that I’ve gotten a small bit of game analysis out of the way, here is what I really want to see; when the game is over, when the two head coaches meet near midfield, I want to see a good old fashioned free for all. No hugging, or speaking into each others’  ear or long hand-shakes. No, I want to see blood. I want to see John and Jim locked in a brotherly fight to the finish in front of more than a billion fans world-wide. Can you imagine what the tabloids and TV networks would do with this? We would see video from this fight for months, even years. Cable television would probably develop this into a made for TV sport. All the reality shows would stage their own versions of “brotherly love.” First, ”Duck Dynasty would have a face-off between Willie and Jase, followed by a fight between Phil and Uncle Si. Then to spice things up a bit, Willie and Jase’s wives could face off in a deadly cage battle. The winners could then take on the “Honey Boo Boo” family in a winner take all match. (Now that would be something to see.) All these things could happen if the loser of Super Bowl XVII, Jim or John, would pop the other in the kisser when the game is over.

But…it’s likely not going to happen. The two brothers will hug and then join their teams for either a post-game celebration or a post-game cry.  The folks on “Honey Boo Boo”  and “Duck Dynasty” can breathe a bit easier, knowing that at least for now, they don’t have to stage a fight to the finish; at least not until some other deranged soul gets the same idea that I had.  Then, it’ll be on “like donkey-kong, Jack!"



Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).

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