I don’t know if you noticed, but I generally avoided discussing all the little storylines associated with the Super Bowl this year. In my mind, many of them are irrelevant, and a lot of them are annoying, Let’s cut through all of them from least pertinent/most annoying to the most pertinent/least annoying.
- Ray Lewis is retiring: He is still playing in this game, right? Right. All this means is that the Ravens are going to rely on an old ILB to help defend against a run-first offense.
- Ray Lewis may have used deer antler spray: Who hasn’t? But seriously, see above.
- The Harbaughs are brothers! – As annoying and beaten into the ground as this angle is, it may be relevant to the game and not from a human interest aspect. Both guys have similar teams, with some subtle differences. The teams are defense first with strong ground games. The difference is that the Ravens have a better vertical game and a better secondary. The 49ers are better on the ground, and their front 7 is more dominant. The Ravens are more experienced, while the Niners are fresher. The Harbaughs will likely know each other’s tendencies, and will obviously know the other teams quite well. This is a potential chess match the likes of which we haven’t seen.
- The 49ers are going for ring #6 – Not at all relevant, but it has been brought up several times, but not to the point of annoyance!
- Both cities have baseball teams that wear orange and black – Again, not at all relevant, but the factoid I’ve found most interesting.
- Beyonce is at half time and Alicia Keyes is singing the National Anthem – For a lot of people, the Super Bowl is not about the football. I cater to all audiences. Alicia Keyes is one of the best voices of the age we live in.
- Colin Kaepernick has started only 9 games in his career – How will the biggest stage in sports affect the youngster? He has seemed oblivious to criticism and pressure so far, but is a lot of his luster do to the fact that he is still so new, rather than the fact that he is extremely talented? I mean, there are several other running QBs in the league, and I can think of 3 off hand that are better than Kaepernick. Only not higher on the list because the topic is at this point a dead horse.
- Alex Smith got completely hosed – Kaepernick was put in place for Alex Smith not because Smith was particularly bad this year. In fact, he led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game last year. Harbaugh just liked Kaepernick, and when Smith missed a week, he had a window to throw him in there. Are the 49ers so good that they can win with any QB, or are the Niners lucky to have a fallback should things deteriorate for Kaepernick?
- Joe Flacco has been a stud this post season – Nobody has been more poised and more successful in these playoffs than Joe Flacco. Everything about this game screams “easy win for the 49ers” but if Joe Flacco can keep it together for the Ravens, I wouldn’t be surprised if Baltimore is able to pull off a victory. Like I said, they have the better vertical game, and could win on the back of that.
So who wins it? Well, at the beginning of the season, I picked the Ravens, so I can’t change my mind now. Of course, Steve had this exact Super Bowl pegged in week 1, and picked the 49ers. Either way this game turns out, the staff at the Rhino and Compass looks pretty smart.