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Harbowl: Which Successful Brothers Are Better Than The Harbaughs?

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on January 23, 2013

Brothers don’t shake hands, we’re told. Brothers gotta hug.

But the warm embrace of fraternity will likely get the cold shoulder at Super Bowl XLVII, where Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers will face off against John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens. Quoth the raven: “Eat shit, bro.”

Super Bowl Football
AP Photos/Mark Humphrey, Matt Slocum

What these two brothers have accomplished is spectacular, and even though we’ll be inundated with too many stories about the Brothers Harbaugh over the next week and a half, it’s deserved. Really! Brothers! Coaching against each other in the championship of the country’s most popular sport! Two kids who shared a bedroom as kids, doing what they do best, reaching their career pinnacles at the exact same time. The only thing that could top this would be if Indiana University won the NCAA Tournament, given that head coach Tom Crean married Jim and John’s sister Joani. Then, sports media bedlam.

How do these two stack up against other famous brothers? Let’s examine:

Orville and Wilbur Wright

wright brothers

Without these two, it would take you 41 hours to drive from Baltimore to San Francisco, or it would take your parents 3 days to happily cross the Atlantic on the way to Europe after they dropped you off at summer camp.

Verdict: Better than the Harbaughs.

The Murray Brothers of Chicago

murray brothers
Jonah Ray

Here’s Joel Murray, Bill Murray, Ed Murray, Brian-Doyle Murray, Andy Murray and An Unspecified Murray. Bill is perhaps the most universally beloved man on the Internet, Joel gave us Freddy Rumsen’s pee pants and Brian has the best disapproving scowl of any caddyshack manager in history.

Verdict: Better than the Harbaughs.

The Windsors: Prince William and Prince Harry

1999, AP Photo/Ian Waldie

What to make of the Goofus and Gallant of the UK? Harry seems like an awesome dude to party with; William seems like an awes-zzzzzzzzzzzzz. When Harry gets naked it’s with hot females in a Vegas hotel room while partying with Sex Idiot Ryan Lochte; when William bares his knob it’s photographed at a posh polo match. While the Harbaughs worked their arses off to get where they are, the Windsors were born on third base, which is where you’d like to be getting with Kate and/or Pippa Middleton.

Verdict: Worse than the Harbaughs.

The Wayans

AP Photo/Ann Johansson

Keenen Ivory, Damon, Marlon and Shawn Wayans have given us such gems as In Living Color, Scary Movie, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and Damon Wayans Jr., but they lose points for White Chicks and My Wife and Kids.

Verdict: Worse than the Harbaughs.

Jeff and Beau Bridges

AP Photo/files

Progeny of the legendary Lloyd, the Brothers Bridges have diverged in fame over the past decade: Jeff has become a cult hero for his Dude role The Big Lebowski, while the once-red-hot Beau’s biggest hit of late was a Best Spoken Word Grammy for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” Like the Harbaughs, the two hit their peak together on screen in the Fabulous Baker Boys, which is perhaps more well-known for Michelle Pfeiffer’s breakout role.

Verdict: Equal to the Harbaughs.

Randolph and Mortimer Duke

DVD Beaver

They had it all. But they played with fire, throwing all their holdings into frozen concentrated orange juice futures, and the dangerous financial gambit backfired. Will the Super Bowl referee be the Harbaugh’s Clarence Beeks?

Verdict: Worse than the Harbaughs.

Peyton and Eli Manning

*{BA46877E-748B-424F-865C-F8DFFB721BCF}* MANNING
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Mannings have three Super Bowl rings between them, but they also have a totally not-famous third brother who pulls down the overall average. Their comedic timing, as evidenced by SNL and every commercial ever, is terrific, but America loves to hate on them and would rather judge which one has the better Manning Face than see them face off in a Super Bowl.

Verdict: Slightly worse than the Harbaughs.

John, Robert and Edward Kennedy

History Channel

Three liberal lions — one a president, two senators. “If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right.” They did an awful lot right.

Verdict: A million times better than the Harbaughs.

Erik and Lyle Menendez


Conversely, if you’re shooting at someone else, you’re doing something wrong. And if those people are your parents, well, that’s no gouda. Unlike the Harbaughs, they can’t even be famous on the same stage — they’re being held in separate prisons in California. They both married pen pals, though.

Verdict: A million times worse than the Harbaughs.

Rahm, Ari and Ezekiel Emanuel

Faith Mouse

Rahm was Obama’s first f*&king chief of staff and the current f*&king mayor of Chicago, Agent Ari is the inspiration for Entourage’s only interesting character and unheralded Zeke is a bioethicist who helped author the reform bill known as ObamaCare that will provide tens of millions of Americans with health care.

Verdict: F*&king better than the f*&king Harbaughs.

Mark and Donnie Wahlberg

donnie mark wahlberg

This one could go either way: Marky Mark and New Kid Donnie gave us chiseled six-packs and good late ’80s/early ’90s tunes. Mark fingerbanged Reese Witherspoon on a roller coaster and taunted the CSI guy about it. The Donnie-focused episode of Band of Brothers was one of the best. But Entourage? Enough to sink ’em in this experiment.

Verdict: Worse than the Harbaughs.



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