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I never played organized football but I enjoyed a tackle version of the game as a kid playing against friends and cousins. We didn’t wear uniforms or helmets. We did get dirty. In fact, in one-on-one games in the front yard against my brother, getting dirty also meant sliding through or landing on crap left by our neighbor’s free-roaming geese. Imagine landing face first. Yeah, that happened too.

I never had dreams of playing in the biggest game of the NFL season. I did meet a lot of NFL stars when I was a kid thanks to the Ogdensburg Expo, an annual fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club. Phil Simms came one year; Jim Burt made an appearance another year. That was a big deal for kids in the area. Although we were in New York, a six-hour drive separated us from The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It might as well be 10,000 miles if you’re never able to make the trip.

Since 2002, the year after I moved to Houston, I have been rooting for the Texans. I still enjoy watching the Giants on occasion. So on Super Bowl Sunday, without an interest in either San Fran or Baltimore, my thoughts drift to imagining what role I would play if the 49ers-Ravens matchup became a film.

At my age, my best shot as a “player” would be stepping into a role as the placekicker. I noticed the 49ers David Akers is 38. That’s close to my age. We’re both born in December. Nice coincidence. But when I saw he kicks with his left foot, I realized I better shift my attention to a non-playing role.

Some people might look to the head coaches next.  Jim Harbaugh is a former QB. I wouldn’t cast myself in that role so I may have a better shot at playing his brother John, a career coach. Given a script that provides strong scenes between the brothers off the field, that could be a tremendously fun role to play due to some similarities I already see in my own life.

The Harbaugh brothers were born 15 months apart. My brother and I were born 11 months apart. Although John is the older one and I am the younger one, people often have thought I was the older brother. John’s interest in areas outside of football reminds me of my own path of changing jobs and exploring new interests while my brother has carved out a career in the retail industry for almost twenty years.

If playing John Harbaugh is to become a reality, then I better do my homework today by watching the game. I also better figure out how to get a little taller too. The Baltimore coach is 4 inches taller than I am. I’ll need some serious lifts in my shoes.

Baltimore Ravens head coach John HarbaughPhoto courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

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