There’s almost never games anyway on Sundays, but especially not on Super Bowl Sunday.
Since there’s nothing on the schedule, we figured we would give you all a fun treat for some pre-game excitement. While this is a basketball blog, we are making an exception for Sunday and will give you our predictions for Super Bowl XLVII.
First, here’s some general background information on the Big Game:
Who: San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) vs. Baltimore Ravens (13-6)
When: Sunday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA
Fun facts: Because it is consistently one of the most-watched events of the year, advertisers looking to market their products will have to dig deep into their pockets for some air time. CNN Money is projecting the average 30-second commercial spot to cost upwards of $4 million, up more than $500,000 from last year’s average.
Harbaugh Bowl: In one of the rarest occurrences in NFL history, the head coaches for the representative teams are brothers. The odds of two brothers even working in the league are rare enough, let alone to have them both be head coaches. But to have those two teams make the Super Bowl is just unheard of. With John Harbaugh leading the Ravens, and his baby bro Jim Harbaugh leading the 49ers, this year’s game has been aptly dubbed, the “Harbaugh Bowl.”
Up until this year, I personally never really cared much for football, and the only reasons I would watch the Super Bowl is because: A. Everyone was watching it, B. The commercials are better than usual, and C. It meant baseball season was that much closer. My excitement hasn’t gone up that much this year, but it is higher than in years past… but seriously, when will baseball be here already?
Team history: San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers own the NFL record for the most Super Bowl appearances without a loss, winning in all five of their previous games (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994). With a win on Sunday, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl victories in NFL history, as well as add to their current SB-winning streak.
Fun fact: The 49ers did not lose to an AFC East team all season, going 4-0 against the Patriots, Bills, Jets, and Dolphins. The last three teams do sweep all AFC East teams went on to win the Super Bowl that season, most recently the 2011 New York Giants.
The Kaepernick Kid: The 49ers are starting 25-year-old Colin Kaepernick (pictured right), who took over the starting role after Alex Smith missed a week with a concussion. In the previous 46 years, no rookie has ever led their team to a Super Bowl victory.
Team history: Baltimore Ravens
Unlike their counterparts, the Baltimore Ravens do not have a plethora of success on the grandest of all football stages, making just one appearance in franchise history. However, what they do have in common with the Niners is that they too have not lost in the Super Bowl. The Ravens defeated the New York Giants in their only appearance in the 2001 season.
Fun facts: The Ravens, who have historically been known for their defense over the last decade or so, have been successful in this postseason mainly because of their offense. In their three playoff victories this year, the Ravens have outscored their opponents, 52-17 in the first half.
Flacco vs. Flucco: Like the Niners, the Ravens have a quarterback story in Joe Flacco going into Sunday’s contest. At times, Flacco has showed signs of greatness, and other times, he appears to be all hype. Flacco, who is in a contract year, has constantly been criticized as not being an “elite” quarterback in the NFL, and that he could never win a Super Bowl.
Lewis’ last stand: One of the biggest storylines going into this year’s Super Bowl is that it will be the final game for Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who is retiring after 17 seasons in the league (all with Baltimore). Lewis (pictured above), who many believe is a shoo-in first-ballot Hall of Famer, was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV and is one of just eight defensive players to win the honor.
Hometown hero: Unless you live under a rock (or outside of the Lower Hudson Valley), you’re most likely aware that the starting running back for the Ravens also happens to be one of the best running backs in the league. Oh yeah, he’s a local guy, too.
When New Rochelle grad Ray Rice (pictured below) goes for his first career Super Bowl win, he’ll have his family in the stands watching him. Think you can guess where our allegiance is leaning?
WHO DO YA GOT? Finally, we won’t have to rely on the score to break the tie between our picks, which, history has shown, is not in my favor. My colleague Phil Terrigno is going with San Francisco over Baltimore, 27-14.
As the past several playoffs have shown in any sport, the teams that go the furthest are often those who are riding a hot steak, and not those who are necessarily better. A team gets hot at the right time at the end of the season and it carries them through the entire playoffs — the New York Giants have perfected it in the NFL, as evidenced by their last two Super Bowl wins (spoken by a bitter Patriots fans). So, for that fact, along with several others, I’m picking Baltimore over San Francisco, 24-20, although I still think it will be lower scoring than that.
Between the “hot streak” myth, Lewis’ retirement, and Flacco, I just think the Ravens are going to pull this one out. If you saw the AFC Divisional Round game against the Denver Broncos, then you know that the Ravens have no business even being in the game, but that’s exactly why I think they are going to win. Also, I kind of want to see Ray Rice win.
Other LoHud sports staff picks:
Brian Heyman (full-time staffer): Baltimore wins, 27-21
Adam Berger (bowling beat): Baltimore wins, 28-24
Debbie Schechter (gymnastics beat): Baltimore wins, 17-14
James Carlucci (swimming beat): Baltimore wins, 21-17
Dan DeFrancesco (boys basketball beat): San Francisco wins, 28-24
We’ll find out tomorrow which team will lose its first Super Bowl in franchise history. For my sake, I hope it’s San Francisco. Have fun watching the game, and be safe out there!