PICKING THE SUPER BOWL WINNER IS EASY – JUST LISTEN TO THE EXPERT REPORTERS

03Feb13

Predicting the winner of the Super Bowl is not an easy task.  Most people would back me up on that.  You can analyze the teams to death and still not come up with the right conclusion.

Personally, I quit placing any kind of wagers on the big game more than two decades ago because I seemed to have better luck picking the winner with no money on the line.  No, I’m not superstitious (knock on wood), but I just saw a pattern!

However, this year’s Super Bowl should be easy to predict.  Why, you may ask?  Good question.  Glad you asked.  Let me explain.

Over the past two weeks, the expert reporters have been covering every single aspect of the game, and the two teams, that have any importance whatsoever to the game itself.  I must admit, I’ve been very impressed with all of them.  I mean, they covered things that I never would have thought were important.  But then again, I’m not an expert, so what do I know?  I’ll just continue to watch, listen and learn!

I won’t cover all of the hot topics, since you’ve probably been watching in awe, like the rest of us.  I’ll just go over some of the most popular items that have been discussed to death, er, in great detail.

First of all, we have heard every possible aspect of the brothers Harbaugh.  Yes, I know that this has never happened before in the history of mankind.  But I had no idea the impact it could possibly have on the outcome of the game.

For instance, I never would have thought that the brother that won the most fights during their childhood would have an advantage in a football game this late in life.  I guess this was an early sign of which one was willing to devote more time to their strategy in the upcoming battle.  Maybe I grew up differently, but none of my battles with my brothers were pre-meditated.  They just kind of happened all of a sudden.

Knowing who their parents would be rooting for was an angle I completely forgot to consider.  What a stunningly intelligent question to ask!  I was surprised at the response from daddy Harbaugh.  Instead of actually picking one son over the other, or throwing a chair at the reporter, he managed to answer eloquently without making a choice.  Good for him!

Harbaugh Parents

But the most important aspect of the brother’s story was the difference in attire for their unprecedented joint news conference.  While John wore a suit and tie, Jim went the leisure direction with khakis and baseball cap.  I’m still not sure what this meant specifically, because the reporter stopped short of enlightening us with this bit of information, but it must have meant something important.  After all, there were three full paragraphs dedicated to this revelation.

Harbaugh Brothers

Another game-deciding storyline involved the declaration by an expert that Ray Lewis had used a banned substance during the rehabilitation of his torn triceps injury.  That’s right, he was accused of using that get-well-quick potion that we all are searching for – deer antler spray!

Let’s say that again, just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks.  DEER ANTLER SPRAY.  I’ll bet you never thought you’d be hearing those three words used in the same sentence, let alone the same phrase!  Yet, that’s all we’ve been hearing about.

Deer Antler Spray

The fact that the person that was supposed to have sold it to Mr. Lewis has already said that he cannot verify that fact, has done nothing to kill the story.  Or that the accusation has come from someone that tried a similar accusation a couple of years ago (according to Ray).

Once again, I haven’t been able to figure out if this story has been an advantage to the Ravens or the 49ers, but it certainly was a breathtaking conversation piece, especially during open mike night at several comedy stores around the country.

Let’s not forget about the most important headline over the past week.  49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made a gay slur during an interview with a comedian turned radio talk show host Artie Lange.

It seems the comment that he made, an apparent bad attempt at a joke, was not nearly as important as the fact that he plays in San Francisco, noted for having the highest gay population in these great United States.

Again, I’m not sure which team will get the most motivation to play better from this storyline.  But then again, these guys know what they’re doing.  That’s why they’re the experts.

No, I was wasting my time looking at other silly things.  Like the fact that these are two teams noted for their tenacious, hard-hitting defenses, yet everyone is expecting a high scoring shootout.

Or the fact that the team that has been the favorite for the entire past two weeks has a second year quarterback while the underdogs have a seasoned veteran.

I’ve been looking at things like Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns during their three playoff victories while throwing zero, nil, nada interceptions.  On the other side, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has rebounded from every interception thrown by orchestrating a touchdown drive of his own.

Joe Flacco-2              Colin Kaepernick

I wasted more time by studying the fact that the 49ers week spot on defense is the long pass coverage and that Torrey Smith has been lights out in the playoffs with the long bombs for touchdowns.

I’ve noticed that everyone is focusing on the 49ers front line stopping Ray Rice, with predictions of shutting him down completely and taking him out of the game.  The fact that he gains at least a third of his yardage in the short pass plays seems to have been forgotten.

Ray Rice

While the Ravens offensive line looked suspect during the first two-thirds of the regular season, they have been monsters over the past six weeks, allowing only 1.3 sacks per game.  Giving Joe Flacco that kind of protection can only result in good things.

While Frank Gore is a monster of a running back, gaining 5 yards per carry in the playoffs, Kaepernick’s running ability is what can break the Raven’s back if he is not contained.

I was going to discuss the fact that the 49ers have no confidence in their kicker, former Pro Bowler David Akers, who seems to have missed more field goals this season than during his entire career.  If the game comes down to a forty yarder with no time left, they could be in big trouble.

However, not being an expert, I guess I was just spinning my wheels, wasting time on those meaningless things while completely ignoring the important issues like deer antler spray!  Don’t you just love saying that?

So let’s cut to the chase.  Who is going to win this game.  After careful analysis of news conference attire, weird accusations and stupid remarks, it has become clear.  It’s anybody’s game.  It will be neck and neck and will most likely be decided with a last second change of clothing by one of the brothers.

Okay, forget about that last statement.  I apologize if I offended anyone by those comments.  I really don’t feel that way in my heart and the statement made was done so as a joke.  I’m really a nice guy.  What other men choose to wear as a reflection of their lifestyles is none of my concern, and I should be more understanding.

Here is what I really think.  The game will start out slow, with the defenses rising to the occasion.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see single digit scoring mid-way through the second period.  Halftime score will be something like 13-10.

Then the game will take a drastic turn.  The offenses will make halftime adjustments and the game will turn into a shootout.  The final score will be in the thirties, possibly the forties.  Yet, the game will not be decided until the final five minutes.

And the winner?  That depends.  If the 49ers can stop Torrey Smith and contain Ray Rice, they win the game.  If not, the Ravens have a legitimate chance to pull it out, as long as they don’t let Kaepernick get on a roll.

What does that all mean?  San Francisco will put up a good fight, but the Ravens will complete their playoff run of destiny with an upset victory.  (C’mon, I picked Baltimore over San Francisco before the season started – see NFL Predictions – the Road to Super Bowl XLVII, dated 9/2/12.  Did you really think I’d change my mind now?!)

Baltimore wins 41-37.

Lombardi Trophy

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