*Hey, wait. It’s time for the Super Bowl.
Wasn’t it just, like, five minutes ago we were all complaining about the referees and talking about how skeptical we were at Adrian Peterson’s recovery?
Well, luckily, all of the replacement referees are back at their jobs at the Outback Steakhouse or Avis Rent-a-Car, Adrian Peterson is basking in the glow of one of the greatest individual seasons of all time, and we’re down to two teams battling it out for the Superbowl. The Ravens and the 49ers will meet in two weeks in New Orleans
Here are five key storylines to be aware of going into the biggest sporting event in the world.
BROTHER, SWEET BROTHER – Both teams are coached by a Harbaugh brother – have you heard? The matchup of little brother Jim (49ers) and big brother John (Ravens) is unique, compelling and will completely dominate the media coverage in the days leading up to the game. Both deserve a ton of credit. John expertly guided an aging team in transition to a victory over New England in the championship game, and Jim has two championship game appearances in two years. Whatever their dad (Jack) was doing, it certainly worked.
RICE IS ON – People with the surname “Rice” seem to do well in the Superbowl, as Jerry can attest too. Ravens RB Ray Rice might be a key in this game, if San Francisco’s extremely talented corners and safeties can shut down Joe Flacco’s deep downfield passing attack.
QUOTH THE RAVEN, NEVERMORE – The Superbowl will be the last game for the great Ray Lewis, who will retire after the game and pursue a broadcasting career. Lewis leaves as – arguably – the greatest middle linebacker in history, and is a surefire, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. He’ll also be a key player in the Superbowl, trying to contain Colin Kaepernick when the 49ers run their quarterback option. It’ll be tough.
THE SMITHS – No, not the British band from the 1980s. The Smiths are the 49ers punishing defensive combination – linebacker Aldon and defensive lineman Justin, who have spent the last two seasons terrorizing quarterbacks. They can make it a very short and painful day for Joe Flacco, if they can penetrate the defensive line.
THE GAME ITSELF – Oh, a prediction. Well, the Brotherly Love matchup should be a pretty good one – but Kapernick’s arm (and legs) are going to be too much for the Ravens to handle. Let’s call it 49ers 31-Ravens 24, with lots of friendly hugs afterwards.