The world yearns to know everything about the sibling rivalry masked as Super Bowl XLVII, every riveting childhood wrestling match and dinner-table debate.
Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh is the inescapable story, the big headline with the minor note that the 49ers are playing the Ravens in a football game, too.
Except ... if 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and big brother Baltimore coach John Harbaugh have little intention of playing along, what happens then?
Well, other than me applauding their dual decision to avoid the obvious, overwrought and plowed ground, maybe there are a few other issues to examine beyond brotherly bonds.
Most especially, the Harbaughs suggest, the focus should be on the players who will be doing the tackling and running Feb. 3 in the Superdome.
But actually, the Harbaugh reluctance to milk this story in the face of massive interest is an intriguing NFL character study, too.
I believe this is true with the Ravens, and I know it's true with the 49ers: The players love the coach who consistently puts the spotlight on them.
It defines this dynamic era of the 49ers, really.
Jim Harbaugh obviously gets a ton of the public praise, but he also has, in a thousand ways, pushed this very talented group to play for each other.
And that motivates the 49ers to play for him, too.
He's not in the way of their individual accolades; he's just a part of all of it, and he makes a point to never,
Which brings us to the Super Bowl, the Harbaugh Brother storyline, and two teams shaped by coaches who aren't into peeling back their own life stories.
"I can take a pass personally from that," Jim Harbaugh said Monday after a few Harbaugh family questions.
He will be tested over the next two weeks, especially during the strobe-light mayhem of Super Bowl Week.
But the 49ers coach is a proven master of bluntly and unashamedly declining to answer questions he has no interest in answering.
You press him harder, he only digs deeper, which, frankly, I respect more than I probably want him to know.
I think it also helps give the franchise a broad sense of toughness.
If Harbaugh doesn't yield in front of the media or to other coaches around the league (including his brother), then why should the 49ers players ever yield, even if they're down 17-0 in the NFC Championship game, as they were Sunday in Atlanta?
His message is the one he issues from the podium, and any other conversation with his players is private and remains private.
"You love to have Coach on your side," 49ers CEO Jed York said of Harbaugh after Sunday's victory. "He puts his guys first.
"He might not put the media first; he might not put the rest of the league first. I understand that, and he is who he is and he's comfortable with it and I respect him and I respect the job that he's done."
Who else but a Harbaugh would have replaced Alex Smith, a proven recent winner having a career year, with Colin Kaepernick in late November?
That took guts, it took instincts, and Jim Harbaugh presented the decision without reflection or the desire to convince anyone but himself.
And Kaepernick, about to make the 10th start of his NFL career, has proved Harbaugh right with every new big play.
Who else but a Harbaugh would have replaced his offensive coordinator in early December, as John Harbaugh did this season -- dumping old mentor Cam Cameron and promoting Jim Caldwell?
That took chutzpah, and Caldwell's leadership and play-calling has justified everything by pushing quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense to a higher place.
This is how the Harbaughs do it, and they do not ask for favors along the way -- and now they're playing each other for a title, the first Super Bowl head-coaching appearance for either man.
True to the patterns of the Harbaugh family, John Harbaugh already has humored the brother questions for a bit longer and more effusively than his steelier little brother.
But as the questions continue, neither will do much more to help these stories.
And they already went through it last season, when they met for the first time as NFL head coaches -- a Ravens' victory on Thanksgiving night in Baltimore.
"I just want everybody to know, that was a four-day deal and every story has been told," John Harbaugh said Monday in Baltimore.
"I really hope the focus is not so much on that. We get it, it's really cool and it's exciting and all that. But it's really about the team, about the players, about the guys you're talking about."
It's not about the Harbaughs, but it's also about why the Harbaughs don't want it to be about the Harbaughs.
It's about two tough coaches, two tough teams, and a family spirit that is mostly and proudly played out on the football field.
Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami.