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Harbaugh parents could become Super Bowl TV stars

  • FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2011 file photo, Jackie and Jack Harbaugh, parents of San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, stand before an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in San Francisco. The entire Harbaugh family already got its Super Bowl victory last Sunday, when each coach did his part to ensure a family reunion in New Orleans next week. The Ravens face off against the 49ers in the first Super Bowl coached by siblings on opposite sidelines. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

NEW YORK — Jack and Jackie Harbaugh would do well to practice their impassive faces in front of a mirror before the Super Bowl.

The parents of Baltimore Ravens coach John and the San Francisco 49ers' Jim Harbaugh will be watched closely during Sunday's Super Bowl — if anybody finds them — for any visual evidence that mommy and daddy really do love one boy or the other best.

It promises to be a fascinating sidebar to CBS' coverage of the game because, as Lynn and Rick Raisman can attest, parent cams are valuable in sports coverage. NBC's clip of the Raismans watching daughter Aly perform on the uneven bars during last summer's Olympics in London went viral, with stage parents everywhere relating to their murmurs and facial contortions.

"I had no idea it was going to be so great," said David Michaels, senior producer at NBC Sports, who often produces and directs coverage of gymnastics and figure skating, events where parental involvement can be particularly intense.

Michaels makes it a point to know where parents are sitting during competitions, tracking them through spotters or sometimes sports governing bodies that know where parent seats have been assigned. Or where they are not sitting: Sometimes a dad who retreats to a concession stand because he can't bear to watch an offspring compete is a good story, too.


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