Jack and Jackie Harbaugh would do well to practice their impassive faces in front of a mirror before the Super Bowl.
The parents of Baltimore Ravens coach John and the 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh will be watched closely during Sunday’s Super Bowl — if anybody finds them — for any visual evidence that mommy and daddy really do love one boy or the other best.
It promises to be a fascinating sidebar to CBS’ coverage of the game because, as Lynn and Rick Raisman can attest, parent cams are valuable in sports coverage. NBC’s clip of the Raismans watching daughter Aly perform on the uneven bars during last summer’s Olympics in London went viral, with stage parents everywhere relating to their murmurs and facial contortions.
“I had no idea it was going to be so great,” said David Michaels, senior producer at NBC Sports, who often produces and directs coverage of gymnastics and figure skating, events where parental involvement can be particularly intense.
Michaels said he can’t imagine CBS not knowing where the couple is. If they’re out in public, the network will likely keep a close eye on their reactions.
“As a producer or a director in this kind of a situation, it’s incumbent upon you to know where every element of the story is because you never know how it’s going to evolve,” Michaels said.
Finding the right approach ultimately shouldn’t be much of a problem for CBS, he said.
“It’s a little bit of a distraction at times,” he said. “But they’ll figure out the best way to deal with it. The pictures won’t lie.”