TEMPE, Ariz. — It may not have the same attention-grabbing headline as “Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh,” but Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, the NFL gives its fans “Goodwin vs. Goodwin”.
Harold Goodwin, in his first season as Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator, battles Jonathan Goodwin, now in his third season as the 49ers’ starting center.
“He’s my brother, but not this weekend. It’s about business,” the older Goodwin, Harold, said Thursday.
At the start of the season, Harold called his younger brother “the enemy”, and while the two are close, it’s been a couple of weeks since the two have spoken to one another.
“Sitting on the balcony down in Sarasota (where the Cardinals stayed between games against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) on a Friday afternoon (through) FaceTime,” Harold said. “It’s football season, we’re busy.”
They will, however, find time to reconnect prior to the game.
“I’ll go out there and he’ll be sitting on the bench with his headsets on like he’s normally done in the past and just be sitting there in just a blank stare,” Harold said.
“But I’ll say ‘hello’ to him and I’ll talk to him again after the game. Other than, it’s business as usual.”
During the first six seasons the Goodwin brothers were in the NFL together, they never faced one another. However, this week’s matchup marks the third time in the past four years they have found themselves on opposite sidelines.
The first meeting occurred in 2010 in New Orleans when Harold was with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jonathan anchored the Saints’ offensive line. The following year, with Jonathan now in the Bay Area, the Steelers faced the 49ers in San Francisco.
In both games, younger brother bested older brother.
Harold, looking to avoid a third straight defeat, said he’ll do whatever it takes to gain the upper hand, including trying to sneak information from, what he hopes, is an unsuspecting sibling.
“At the end of the day I got a mortgage to pay so beating him is part of that,” Harold said.
“My tactics? ‘Hey, what’s going on? What are you guys doing this week?’ So, hopefully he gives us some information, but I haven’t talked to him this week. Obviously for us it’s a huge game and it’s a game we got to try to get. That’s what we’re shooting for.”