Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/24/13
There are so many subplots to Super Bowl XLVII that people will be looking at.The Harbaugh Brothers coaching against each other. Can a non-traditional offense actually carry a team to a Super Bowl championship? Is Joe Flacco truly one of the elite quarterbacks in the game?But the storyline I find intriguing is the one no one is really talking about.This is going to be the official passing of the linebacker torch from the old guard, Baltimore's Ray Lewis, to the new guard, San Francisco's Patrick Willis.Ray Lewis announced before the start of these playoffs that he was going to be retiring after 17 years of NFL service.Ray Lewis is going to go down as one of, if not the greatest, linebacker to play the game. He filled in a resume of 13 Pro-Bowls, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, seven First-Team All-Pro appearances, and a Super Bowl MVP -- which make Ray Lewis one of the most decorated linebackers in the history of the game. So with Ray Lewis leaving, it begs the question who is going to fill the void? Who is going to be proclaimed the best linebacker in football after Ray's departure. Well the answer to that question will be standing on the opposite side of the field from Ray Lewis, in the 6'1", 242-pound frame of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.It has been said that behind Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis is arguably the best middle linebacker in the NFL. With five First-Team All-Pros, six Pro Bowl appearances, and the 2007 Defensive Rookie of the Year award, Patrick Willis has started quite the resume and has legitimate rights to the torch being passed to him.This is going to be one of the rare times in sports history that we will witness the torch of greatness being passed from one great player to another. From the looks of this I feel Ray Lewis will be comfortable knowing that he is passing his torch on to someone as worthy as Patrick Willis.This is the storyline that is the most gripping to me. The transfer of greatness. 
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vikings announce Teddy Bridgewater has a torn ACL

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, but sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Vikings' plans up in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker