Ravens coach Harbaugh 'devastated' for brother

By Simon Evans, Reuters

Posted at Feb 05 2013 10:20 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2013 06:20 PM

NEW ORLEANS - Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has labeled his defeated brother Jim "the best coach in the NFL" and said that while he was delighted with his triumph he was "devastated" for his sibling.

The pair congratulated each other at the close of Sunday's game, where the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, but have not spoken since with John saying the mixed emotions were difficult to handle.

"It was really tough, the toughest moment of all was walking across the field, if you can imagine, and you feel an incredible amount of elation with an incredible amount of devastation and those two feelings went hand in hand. I am still feeling it," he told a news conference on Monday.

"I am proud of him - he's the best coach in the National Football League, I think his record proves it, what he has done in past two years is incredible," he said.

The Ravens coach was asked whether, when the feelings had subsided, he would sit down with his brother to watch the thrilling victory at the Superdome. He had a short answer.

"I don't think we will ever watch that game together - absolutely not," he said.

"I've not talked to Jim at all other than right at the end of the game, we will get a chance to talk at some point in time, there is no hurry," added the Ravens coach.

The Harbaugh's parents, Jack and Jackie, watched the game in the private suite of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and then visited the triumphant John in the team's locker room.

"Roger just told me that they barely said a word throughout the game. We gave them instructions to enjoy the week and I think they did," John said.

"I think it was great for them up to the kick off and then it wasn't so great. I think they are just happy that we are beyond that now.

"I saw them in the locker room after the game - they were the same, they were elated for us and for the Ravens, and devastated on the other hand, I could see it behind their eyes, the emotions were incredible," he added.

The Harbaugh parents did not attend the Ravens victory celebration at a restaurant but the team were joined by halftime show singer Beyonce and her husband rapper Jay Z.

The Ravens coach, who has the remarkable record of reaching the playoffs in each of his five seasons in charge of Baltimore said that the game, with the spirited attempt by the 49ers to come back from 28-6 down, would be remembered as a classic despite a third-quarter power cut.

"There is no loser in the Super Bowl. We are kind of a 'number one or nothing society' but it's so not right," he said.

"Those were two great teams, who fought a heated battle, played a great football game, a historic football game, really exciting and we will be watching that on NFL films for years to come. To me that's what counts and what is deserving of respect." (Editing by Mark Meadows)