The Super Bowl is more than a week away, but both teams — and their parents — are making news.
Jacki and Jack Harbaugh are hope for a tie. The parents of Ravens coach John Harbaugh and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh refused to pick a favorite for the first Super Bowl matchup to fit brothers against one another as coaches.
“One is going to win, and one is going to lose,” Jacki Harbaugh said. “But I’d like it to end in a tie, can the NFL do that?”
Only during the regular season. This time, the teams will play as many overtimes as it takes to decide a winner. The sibling connection has led to the some calling the game “Harbowl” and “Superbaugh.”
John Harbaugh created some levity Thursday when he began the conference call with reporters by introducing himself as “John from Baltimore,” then asked: “Is it true that both of you like Jim better than John?”
Jacki Harbaugh insisted she didn’t favor one over the other, but her daughter recognized John’s voice.
“To make a comparison demeans,” Jack Harbaugh said. “We choose to look at them similarly.”
In San Francisco, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants to trademark his bicep-kissing habit.
The tattooed star has filed a trademark for “Kaepernicking,” a signature move that has swept through the West Coast during the 49ers’ playoff run, according to San Francisco 49ers report.
Citing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, ESPN.com said Kaepernick registered Jan. 14, and plans to use the image on clothing.
And in Baltimore, Ravens cornerback Ed Reed said he is returning next season.
“I’ll be playing next year,” Reed told reporters before Baltimore’s practice.
Reed has started every game since 2010, when he missed Baltimore’s first six games with a hip injury. He has been named to nine Pro Bowls. He’s made 58 tackles and intercepted four passes this season.
—John Idzik uttered his share of talking points during his first press conference as the New York Jets’ general manager. He spoke of emphasizing constant competition within the 53-man roster and of building a “sustainable winner” with a collaborative effort he titled “the collective we.”
Idzik’s most interesting talking point was also the one he used most frequently. Four times, Idzik expressed his disdain for what he called “misperceptions” and said that he preferred to deal in reality.
“If you want to answer perceptions, I would ask you to just go back to the numerous people that I’ve worked alongside in my NFL career,” Idzik said. “Football is at the root of who I am. I’ve been a football guy … since I was six years old.”
Earlier in the day, CBS Sports reported that Jets owner Woody Johnson is reluctant to give cornerback Darrelle Revis a long-term deal coming off his season-ending knee injury. Revis reportedly will earn $6 million in salary and bonuses this year, the last season of his four-year, $46 million contract.
—New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker has left the Aggies to accept an assistant coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went 10-40 in four seasons with the Aggies.
—Denver Broncos vice president John Elway, the man who dealt Tim Tebow during the off-season, said that his team’s former player has potential as an NFL quarterback.
“If that’s what he wants to do, in the right situation, I think it’s a possibility,” Elway told New York’s WFAN radio.
The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Justin Upton in a seven-player deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ending months of speculation over where the 25-year-old would land.
Third baseman Chris Johnson also went to Atlanta, while pitcher Randall Delgado, infielder Martin Prado and minor leaguers Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury and Zeke Spruill head to Arizona.
Upton gets to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing alongside his older brother, B.J. Upton, who signed with the Braves as a free agent over the winter.
“Bittersweet day for me,” Upton said in a tweet. “So happy to get the chance to play with my brother in Atlanta but will miss the city and the fans here in Phoenix.”
The younger Upton earlier invoked his limited no-trade rights to veto a trade that would’ve sent him to the Seattle Mariners. The Texas Rangers were also reportedly interested, but wouldn’t part with top prospect Jukickson Profar.
Atlanta’s outfield will now feature two Uptons and rising star Jason Heyward.
Justin Upton was selected first overall in 2005, and made his debut in 2007 at age 19. He hit 17 home runs and batted .280 in 628 plate appearances last season.
He has three years and $38.5 million left on his contract, including a $9.75 million salary in 2013.
The versatile Prado made the All-Star team in 2010 as a second baseman and played mostly in left field last year. He is expected to replace Johnson at third for the D-Backs. President Derrick Hall said via Twitter that the team wants to sign Prado to a long-term deal.
“This is the type of player we want in our lineup,” Hall wrote.
Delgado, 23, will compete for a spot in Arizona’s rotation. The righty went 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 18 appearances, 17 as a starter. He was 4-3 with a 4.06 ERA with Triple-A Gwinett last season.
Johnson arrived in a July 29 with Houston. He batted .286 with seven doubles, seven homers and 35 RBIs in 44 games with Arizona.
“Really enjoyed my time in Arizona,” Johnson said in a tweet. “Thank you to the Diamondbacks organization and fans for your hospitality!”
—Free-agent pitcher Shaun Marcum has signed a one-year deal with the New York Mets, according to a CBSSports.com report. The agreement is pending a physical.
Marcum, 31, spent 2012 with the Milwaukee Brewers, and went 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 124 innings. He was limited to 21 starts because of elbow tightness, forcing him to miss two months.
With the Mets, the righty will join a rotation that includes Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey.
—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed free-agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year contract, according to an ESPN.com reports.
Farnsworth, 36, will earn between $1.25-1.5 million plus incentives, according to a FOX Sports report.
The right spent the previous two seasons in Tampa Bay. He posted a 4.00 ERA in 27 innings in 2012. He saved 25 games the previous season.
The Rays also re-signed 34-year-old Luke Scott, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The lefty hit 14 homers and posted a .229 average in 344 plate appearances last season.
—The New York Mets remain interested in free-agent Michael Bourn, but their interest is tempered by draft-pick compensation rules, according to a New York Daily News report.
A team that signs Bourn must surrender a draft pick, since Bourn declined the Braves’ qualifying offer over the winter.
The Mets own the 11th overall pick, even though their 74-88 record was the 10th-worst in baseball. They should have the New York the 10th pick, but they were moved down a spot because the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t sign Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, last year’s eighth pick last June.
Under the current system, teams that don’t sign their first-round pick the previous year are awarded a pick one spot lower the next year.
Here’s the wrinkle: If the Mets remained in the top 10, the pick would be protected, and signing Bourn would cost them a second-round pick.
The prompted Mets people to seek a ruling from MLB that would allow them to keep their top pick and surrender a second-round choice instead, the paper reported.
—Retired outfielder Sammy Sosa believes he and fellow slugger Mark McGwire are Hall of Famers.
Sosa, who finished his career with 609 career home runs — eighth on the all-time list, received 12.5 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was among the players who tested positive during Major League Baseball’s 2003 anonymous survey. In 2005, he told a congressional committee that he never took illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think so,” he told the website Ustream.com on Wednesday, asked whether he and McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame. “I’m not going to come here and say anything that is going to jeopardize my future, but definitely time will determine everything. Right now whatever it is, it is. I am not (somebody who) is going to go out there and say anything I don’t want to say. I’m waiting for my time. … I don’t like controversy. Definitely time will determine everything.”
Sosa also told the website that the Chicago Cubs should retire his number, and said he may run for president of the Dominican Republic.
—The Chicago White Sox claimed pitcher Zach Stewart off waivers Thursday, according to mlbtraderumors.com. He’d been designated for assignment last week by the Pittsburgh Pirates to make room for Jeff Karstens.
Stewart joins the White Sox organization for the second time. The team acquired him and Jason Frasor in July of 2011. Stewart posted an 8.58 ERA with 35 2/3 innings for the White Sox and Red Sox last season.
—Free-agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan has signed a $1.6 million contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in Japan’s Central League.
Morgan, 32, batted .239 in 322 plate appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers last season. He played all three outfield positions and stole 12 bases.
—Former major-leaguer Ben Petrick has returned to baseball as a consultant to the coaching staff of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ short-season Class A affiliate, the Hillsboro Hops, the team announced.
Petrick, 35, was forced to retire in 2004 after fighting early-onset Parkinson’s disease. The Hops play in his hometown of Hillsboro, Ore.
Petrick had been considered as one of the sport’s top catching prospects, and made his debut with the Colorado Rockies in 1999.
“Hillsboro native Ben Petrick will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff,” Hops vice president K.L. Wombacher said in a statement. “Ben is an inspiration to many and we’re excited that he will be able to serve as a mentor to the young players in our organization.”