Super Bowl actually intrigues me

For once, the NFL’s motto of “Any Given Sunday” actually has paid off when it comes to the Super Bowl as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will battle it out in New Orleans this Sunday.
While there’s been the occasional oddball team, like the Arizona Cardinals, who have made an appearance in the biggest game of the gridiron season, the past few seasons have seen the usual gang of suspects such as the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers among the last two teams standing.
But this time around, we have a team in the Ravens who haven’t been to the Super Bowl since Trent Dilfer led the franchise to the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2001.
On the other side, the 49ers haven’t played in the title game since all the way back in 1995, when Steve Young made the San Diego Chargers’ secondary look absolutely silly.
So with two different teams squaring off this Sunday, I have to say that this easily-jaded pro football consumer actually is interested in watching this year’s Super Bowl.
Now granted, both of these teams have been close in the past, with both the Ravens and 49ers losing in their respective conference title games just 12 months ago.
But with so many different storylines going on at the moment, it’s hard not to be a little bit curious about what is to transpire.
There’s the very rare instance of two brothers going head-to-head on the sidelines, as Jim and John Harbaugh will be controlling the sidelines of the 49ers and Ravens, respectively.
Then there’s the rise of 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took control of the offence in the middle of the season over incumbent starter Alex Smith and has been nearly unstoppable ever since.
Being a massive college football fan, I was familiar with Kaepernick’s skills, both through the air and on the ground, as I saw him lead Nevada to a huge upset of Boise State two years ago.
But I never could have imagined he would become a near-household name in the NFL as quickly as he has.
And of course, there’s Ray Lewis, the Ravens’ star linebacker and team leader will retire following Sunday’s affair.
Lewis has his detractors, especially with the questions that have followed him about his involvement in the murder of two men in Atlanta back in 2000 and now with allegations of him using a banned substance in order to heal from a torn triceps injury earlier this season.
But the man has become one of the top defensive players of his generation for a reason. And while his antics of pumping his team may seem over the top, Lewis’ impact on the game—and in the role of a linebacker—will be felt for years to come.
So all in all, it should be one heck of a game on Sunday in New Orleans, and one that more than likely will go right down to the bitter end.
And even if it doesn’t come down to a last-second play, it still should be a better contest than Alabama’s utter beating of Notre Dame in college football’s national title game earlier this month.