As one of the greatest accumulations of Italian American talent in a duel for the Lombardi trophy, we will be exploring Super Bowl 47 in honor of Italian American Heritage Month.
Super Bowl 47 occurred in 2013 and was a battle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Super Bowl 47: The Team Owners
Although often less in the limelight, the Team Owners are critical for the success of the team. Both Team Owners are you guessed it – Italian American!
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers Team Owner in 2013 was Ms. Denise DeBartlo York. Ms. York has a net worth of $5.1 billion dollars as the result of being an incredibly talented businesswoman. The daughter of Edward DeBartlo Sr., Denise was exposed to business early. Mr. DeBartlo Sr. owned “The DeBartlo Corporation” an extremely successful real estate business that specialized in shopping malls and acquiring department stores.
Denise was no stranger to sports ownership. Her father bought her the Pittsburg Penguins in 1978. She was both the owner and president.
In 2018, the York family became a minority owner of the soccer team – Leeds United.
But most importantly, Denise York was the owner and operating head of the 49ers since 1999. Edward Sr. bought the 49ers in 1977 and gave the reigns to his son. Oddly enough, Denise became operating head when Edward Jr. was convicted of failing to tell the authorities that Edwin Edwards, former Louisiana governor, attempted to extort him. He only had to give up the head of operations for one year, but he never returned.
Stephen Bisciotti was the 100% owner of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.
Bisciotti was born into an Italian-American middle-class family. His father, a construction sales executive, died when Stephen was 8. His grandfather supported the single mother ran home following Mr. Bisciotti’s death.
At the age of 23, in 1983, he co-developed a business, Aerotek, with his cousin Jim Davis. The staffing company in the aerospace and technology industry was run out of a basement with second-hand equipment. Aerotek was extremely successful and morphed into the Allegis Group – the largest privately held staffing firm worldwide. Stephen is a multi-business owner.
Super Bowl 47: The Coaches… and brothers?
Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers) and John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) are brothers and were opposing coaches in 2013. John described the game as incredibly awkward, and one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. The brothers didn’t talk post-game – for a while.
John and Jim were born to Jackie Cipiti and Jack Harbaugh. Besides a legacy of very short names, beginning with the letter J, the boys grew up in a coaching family. Jack Harbaugh was a career coach – mostly for college ball.
John Harbaugh played college ball but moved on to coaching directly after graduation. He’s been in the profession since 1984. He’s worked in many different positions, across college football and the NFL. He has been the Baltimore Ravens coach since 2008.
Jim Harbaugh tried another career than the family trade after college graduation – he decided to be a football player. Harbaugh was a QB in the NFL from 1987 to 2001.
After branching out, Jim decided coaching was next for him. He has been a coach since 2002 and has bounced around between the NFL and college football. After his time as the Head Coach for the 49ers from 2011-2014, he has been Michigan’s Head Coach since 2015.
And of course, the Super Bowl 47 players
This is not an exhaustive list (but it’s close!).
Joe Flacco is still fighting the good fight for the New York Jets, at the age of 37. He was the QB for the winning team for this game in 2013. That is probably his most remarkable football accomplishment in the NFL, before or after.
Last but not least, the Super Bowl 47 trophy!
A trophy was first given out after the 1966 NFL season Super Bowl – it was inscribed with the words “World Professional Football Championship.” After Lombardi passed away in 1970, the trophy was renamed after him.
There always must be a winner (Baltimore Ravens, 34 points) and loser (San Francisco 49’ers, 31 points) in football, and although it was tough for the brother coaches, it was a win for Italian American excellence on both sides of the ball. Game highlights can be viewed here.
For other Italian American Heritage Month articles, including one on Lombardi, look here and here.
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