Harbaugh sidestepping brother's controversy, Ravens' Monday night snubs


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In the aftermath of the Ravens’ 29-14 win over Houston on Sunday evening, coach John Harbaugh was asked whether he had heard about the altercation involving his younger brother following the 49ers’ big road win over Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions earlier in the day.
Harbaugh only spoke in general terms on Sunday since the incident occurred as Baltimore’s 4:05 game with Houston was getting underway.
A day later, the Ravens coach was asked whether he had spoken to Jim Harbaugh about the incident to get his view of what transpired. Predictably, Harbaugh would not reveal specific details of what he talked about with his brother but gave a clear indication who he was supporting — to no one’s surprise.
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“I think I know who was right, but whoever was right or wrong, I know whose side I’m on,” said Harbaugh, drawing laughs from the media. “I’m definitely taking sides — the same side I’ve always taken.”
The younger Harbaugh has been criticized for the handshake and slap on the back he offered Schwartz following San Francisco’s impressive 25-19 win. Schwartz took issue with Harbaugh’s decorum in celebrating the Week 6 victory as the two had to be restrained during a heated argument.
However, John Harbaugh chose to focus on the success his brother is having with the upstart 49ers after their 5-1 start. The Harbaughs will face off on Thanksgiving night in what’s shaping to be a far better matchup than anyone anticipated prior to the season.
“Everybody’s got a lot to learn, so I guess, right now, he’s 5-1,” Harbaugh said about his younger brother. “If the biggest lesson he has right now is how to shake hands post-game after a victory, he’s doing OK.”
Prior to being asked about his brother, Harbaugh was pressed about the Ravens not having a Monday night game during his first four seasons in Baltimore. The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Ravens next Monday night, making it their second straight year with a home game featured on ESPN’s broadcast.
So, would the coach like to see a Monday night game in Baltimore?
“Aren’t we in enough controversy in the family right now to get me involved in that?” said Harbaugh, garnering laughter. “We’re happy to go play wherever they put us. Someday we’ll get a Monday night game, but you know we had a big Sunday night game [against the Jets]. We’ve got a big Thursday night game [against the 49ers on Thanksgiving night] coming up, so we’ve had some really cool games here. This year, it’s good that way, but one of these years, we’ll get a Monday night game.”
While many fans have taken issue with the absence of Monday night games at home, the Ravens have received plenty of exposure on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which became the NFL’s marquee primetime game beginning in 2006. The Ravens have hosted a Sunday night game in each of the last five seasons.
Baltimore’s last Monday night home game came on Dec. 3, 2007 when the Ravens lost a heartbreaker in the final minute to the undefeated New England Patriots, 27-24. It was the infamous game in which former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott hurled a penalty flag into the stands after taking issue with a questionable call late in the game.