Culture

How sibling rivalry may influence the Super Bowl

Super-BowlOn Sunday in New Orleans, the San Francisco 49ers will face off with the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the head coaches of the two opposing football teams are brothers. John Harbaugh, the older of the brothers, has been the head coach for the Ravens since 2008. Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh — younger brother and a former NFL quarterback himself — is the head coach of the 49ers. And to make the story even more complicated, Jay Harbaugh — the 23-year-old son of Jim — is a coaching intern for Baltimore, working alongside his uncle.

So how might this sibling relationship shape Sunday’s matchup? Here’s a talk that gives some insight.

In this talk from TEDxAsheville, Jeffrey Kluger explores the power of the sibling bond. Being the favorite or the screw-up, the pretty one or the smart one — these are things that frame a person’s life. He talks about why siblings often go into the same field — because one sibling saw the other getting attention for a specific achievement, and direct competition was encouraged — leading to jockeying that can last a lifetime. Making this stew even worse: that 70% of fathers and 65% of mothers outwardly express a preference for one child over another.

So which brother will win on Sunday? That’s a question up there with, “What will Beyoncé sing during halftime?” and “Which Super Bowl ad will win TED’s third annual Ads Worth Spreading search?” A past winner was this classic: “Born of Fire.”
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