One of my friends who doesn’t follow pro football very closely asked me who I (and, by association, she) want to win the game, since we’ll both be at the same Super Bowl party Sunday for kickoff.
I couldn’t respond in a text, so I promised an email. Then I remembered I have this handy blog that I’ve been neglecting so I can disseminate my pseudoknowledge to the masses! So here it is.
First off, why is this year’s game bigger than most? In a word, Broaches. OK, so that didn’t work out as well as Joe’s “Super Browl” moniker, but the story angle every sportswriter is taking on this year’s game is the fact that Jim Harbaugh (who coaches the 49ers) and John Harbaugh (who coaches the Ravens) are brothers from the same mother. What makes it even more interesting (to me, at least) is that Jim has taken a team to the Super Bowl in just his second year of coaching and took the job in San Francisco just four days after winning the Orange Bowl with the previously laughable Stanford Cardinal football team. He was also a hell of a quarterback with the Colts in the mid-1990s and but it’s a common perception that while Jim was the better player, John is the better coach.
Also, both the 49ers (5-0) and the Ravens (1-0) are undefeated in Super Bowl games.
Now, as far as who “we” should want to win:
Reasons to want the Ravens to win:
1. BIRDS FLOCK TOGETHER: Baltimore is the greatest city ever because of the Orioles and, because of that, should win. Add to that the fact that the Ravens haven’t been favored to win at all this year and it’s clear this team is the Cinderella favorite that may just beat the crap out of the other team.
2. RAY LEWIS: Longtime linebacker and future Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis has already announced that the final game of this season will also be the final game of his career. If it ends with a Super Bowl win (his second) then it’s a beautiful sendoff for one of the game’s most popular players ever.
3. FLACCO: Besides having a name close to both Shane Falco (of The Replacements fame) and Falco (The badass bird from Starfox), Flacco is simply one of the best all-around pocket quarterbacks in the game. He shows up and does his job, which, this season, has mostly been to throw the fk out of the ball for insane touchdowns. Plus, he played his college ball at Delaware University (The Fightin’ Blue Hens)
Reasons to want the 49ers to win:
1. SAN FRANCISCO DESERVES A TREAT: Dating back to the Steve Young era, the 49ers have sucked. Even during the Steve Young era, the last time they won a Super Bowl was 1995. Madden ’95 (my first football game ever) was on Super Nintendo. That’s a long time ago. The Ravens won in 2000.
2. RAY LEWIS: He (may have) killed a guy. Possibly two. And he got away with it! I have always felt that the reason why he gets so many tackles is that somewhere in the back of the ball carrier’s mind, he is thinking “Holy shit, it’s Ray Lewis! He (may have) killed a guy. Possibly two. And he got away with it!” Also, there is swirling mystery about performance enhancing drugs he may have used during his career (he’s 37 and a little past his prime to still be as awesome as he is without some Bonds-like help) in the style of a Lance Armstrong inquiry. Food for thought: After a Week 6 injury, Lewis was out for the entire rest of the regular season. Beginning with the playoffs, he has recorded 44 tackles in three games. Prior to the injury (a fking torn tricep that kept him out for 11 weeks!) he had recorded 57 tackles in six games. The deer antler spray use was alleged to have occurred during that time off. Whether he used PEDs or not, (or whether deer antler spray does anything except waste perfectly good deer antlers) we won’t know until after the game, probably years from now and it may save the NFL an * or an apology if he doesn’t win. Also, his “reborn again Christian” gamut is a bit tired. Reggie White was a pastor his entire life AND an awesome football player, which is incredible in and of itself because it involves a lot of work on Sundays. Lewis has tried to ride that train ever since his issues, but it comes off a little forced.
3. KAEPERNICK: 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is starting his 10th NFL game ever and it’s on the biggest stage in American sports. What, that’s not enough? He was originally drafted to play baseball, but went to the NFL instead and beat out a starter for his position. Oh and he went to a school whose mascot is the Wolf Pack. (Notice the space between the words, that means Nevada, not N.C. State.) I guess what I’m saying is if Russell Wilson can’t win a Super Bowl in his rookie season, why not have this guy win it in his (sorta) rookie season. He’s come out of nowhere to be awesome.
Who WILL win? Conventional wisdom says defense wins championships, and while this isn’t the Ravens defense of old, it’s still capable of shutting down a (sorta) rookie quarterback. That, plus a phenomenal rushing game and a quarterback that beats you deep (a lot) should lead to a Baltimore win.
Who do I WANT to win? I sat down with my new love, Corona-Smith Silent with green keys, and this is what came out:
Ray Lewis is a scumbag. I don’t think his Baltimore connection covers his sins against humanity. Go 49ers!