FORT WORTH, Texas ― The way J.W. Hart sees this Sunday's Super Bowl, the Harbaugh family simply has two chances to win.
Older brother John coaches the Baltimore Ravens and younger brother Jim ― separated by only 15 months ― coaches the San Francisco 49ers. When the two teams meet Sunday night at the Superdome in New Orleans, it will be the first time in Super Bowl history two brothers serve as head coaches on opposing teams.
Hart is part of one of only a few siblings to compete in the PBR and, perhaps, the most successful of all the pairs. He was the 1994 Rookie of the Year and his younger brother Cody Hart won the world title in 1999.
"We looked at it as we had two shots to win," Hart said.
The siblings who have both qualified for the World Finals also include Gilbert and Adam Carrillo, Cory and Evan Rasch, Owen and Troy Dunn, as well as Jared and Pete Farley.
A lot has been made of the Harbaugh family since the Ravens and 49ers won their respective conference title games and Hart, an avid football fan who is pulling for the 49ers, said it's with good reason the media is focused on the two brothers.
"We looked at it as we had two shots to win."
Their parents have said it's tough knowing they're going watch one of their boys lose the biggest game of the season, which airs on CBS the day after the 15/15 Bucking Battle, in Sacramento, Calif., airs on the same network. The last time the Harbaughs faced one another - Thanksgiving night in 2011 - they greeted Jim first, whose team had lost the game.
An outsider would think that one of the brothers is going to feel the pain of losing. He would have to, right?
However, Hart added, "I can guarantee you even the one that loses is still going to feel a little bit of victory because it's his brother that won. It's like when Cody won his world title or won his first event, I was as happy for him and he beat me. In all essence of the matter he beat me, but I couldn't have been any more happy for him as would have been for myself."
Hart said that early on his career ― long before he traveled with Jerome Davis and later Justin McBride and Tater Porter ― he and his brother felt they had the best odds of winning week-in and week-out.
Early on the Harts were inseparable.
The boys were together all day, every day and they traveled together and roomed together. They watched bull riding together ― in person and on TV ― and learned to associate the same styles and moves, which is what the Harbaugh boys learned as kids growing up with a high school and college football coach for a father.
In describing themselves as kids, Hart said, "We were just kids from the country that never seen much of the world and (darn) sure didn't see it by ourselves."
When they first left home and took to the rodeo trail, Cody was 14 and J.W. 17. It was just the two boys because the Harts didn't have enough money for the family to come along. They relied on each other.
As "kids" they showed up at the same bull riding events as Cody Lambert,Ty Murray, Tuff Hedeman, Jim Sharp and Lane Frost. Looking back against that kind of talent, Hart said, "It was to our advantage that we were a team. If one lost we both lost or if one of us won we both won.
"When the Harbaughs go to New Orleans they're going to be Super Bowl champs," he continued, "it's just which one of them will it be?"
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC
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