My sainted Mother-in-law, God rest her sweet soul, once faced this dilemma. She had a husband recently graduated from West Point and a brother attending the Naval Academy at Annapolis. So at a Roosevelt-era Army-Navy game, she sat on the Navy side and pulled for Army. A charmer like Roberta Gabel could get away with stuff like this.
Eighty years later, Jackie Harbaugh faces a similar test in the upcoming HarBowl. I’m sure she’s proud as she can be of both her boys, and one of them will emerge a winner on Feb 3. But there could be delicate matters surrounding the most watched case of sibling rivalry in the history of the world.
Is Mom Harbaugh attending the game? If so, what side will she sit on? When will she cheer, and when keep her counsel? Too much demonstrativeness on her part at the wrong time could lead to the Smothers-esque charge: “Mom always liked you best.”
I’m praying for a competitive, exciting, injury-free game. And I’m putting in a word for Jackie Harbaugh on her very special day. A mother’s job is never done, and it’s rarely easy.