Colts fans are likely pulling for younger brother Jim in the Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh Super Bowl Sunday when the 49ers take on the Ravens in New Orleans. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh gained huge popularity in Indianapolis and the earned the nickname Captain Comeback for his quarterback heroics with the Colts in the mid-1990's. Jim led the Colts all the way to the AFC Championship in the 1995 season. He nearly completed a Hail Mary pass to Aaron Bailey in Pittsburgh as time expired that would have sent the Colts to the Super Bowl. Harbaugh even had his own TV show on WTHR.
Sister Joani Crean, the wife of the Indiana basketball coach, has to remain neutral as the baby sister of John & Jim Harbaugh. But big brother John might find a few other fans in Bloomington. He spent one season as the Hoosiers special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach in 1997.
But there are other reasons some in Indianapolis might be pulling for the Ravens. First of all, the team that replaced the Colts in Baltimore knocked the Indianapolis professional football team out of the playoffs this season. If you are going to lose in the postseason, you look better if you lose to the eventual champion.
I'm happy to see a good man like Jim Caldwell rebound so nicely after the Colts fired him after last season. Maybe he needed to go after the 2-14 Peyton-less disaster 2011 season. But Caldwell also took the Colts to a Super Bowl that could have been a perfect season. Caldwell joined the Ravens this season as quarterbacks coach. When John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron in December, Caldwell took over as offensive coordinator.
Caldwell, a devout Christian, says the truth of Proverbs 16:9 has played out in his life over the past year. The Bible verse reads: "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (New Living Translation)
"After going through a tough season and being released," said Caldwell at Super Bowl media day in New Orleans, "you're not quite certain exactly what's going to happen to you or whether or not you'll have to sit out a year, or find a place where you can go in and work well with the group that's around you, or if there would be anybody that wants you. Often times, I think God kind of works those things out and puts you in the best possible place. I lean on him to do just that. Here I am."
Caldwell won a Super Bowl as a Colts assistant, then lost as head coach.
"This game is the biggest stage there is in professional sports," said Caldwell "This game in itself, because of the things that surround the game, it appears to be different. But the fact of the matter is, when that ball is kicked off, it's still the same game that we've been playing all year long. It's just a different opponent, the best opponent there is in the league, and we have to find a way to win."
There are some Ravens fans for sure on the west side of Indianapolis. Ben Davis High School product Tandon Doss, who went on to play at Indiana, is a wide receiver with Baltimore.
"This is everybody's dream when you get in the league," said Doss at media day. "This is what you work for each and every year. This is why you play the game, to come out here and get rings and trophies."
Several family members and friends are coming down to the Super Bowl from Indianapolis.
"I've got about 15 people coming with two hotel rooms," says Doss. "It's going to be a little crazy for them. But I've got to focus on the game. I've got other people taking care of that."