By Sean de Ganon
There are many things that will stand out in Sunday’s Super Bowl: Baltimore Ravens’ star player Ray Lewis’ walk-off (final game before retiring), the emergence of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and the upsets that the teams pulled off to get in.
But the main thing that will be known is that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will be facing his brother John Harbaugh, the Ravens coach in Super Bowl XLVII (47)!
This is the first time that two brothers, as head coaches, are facing off against each other on football’s biggest stage. It also takes the meaning of sibling rivalry to a whole new level (unless, of course, you have siblings of your own).
Jim Harbaugh (the 49ers coach) also played for the Ravens, which makes it even more interesting.
The Harbaughs each got their team to the Super Bowl/Harbowl/Super Baugh in very different ways. They needed to rely on the players to perform well, and luck to guide them. They had to overcome injuries, losses, meltdowns, and even social media.
Road to the Super Bowl
Let’s take a look at the San Francisco 49ers’ journey to the Super Bowl: A new season, a new year, a bunch of new players, the 49ers were looking like the premier contender in the National Football Conference (NFC) — the league they had to win to get to the Super Bowl.
They started off with a win against the Green Bay Packers, in which kicker David Akers tied an NFL record 63-yard field goal, with a little help from the crossbar. After a 3 -1 start, the 49ers were beaten up by the Giants 26-3, which really brought them down. Following back-to-back wins, which in the second one quarterback Alex Smith went 19 for 20 in passes.
The 49ers, also sometimes known as the Niners, tied with the Rams in Week 10. The problem was Smith suffered a concussion, which derailed his season and his future in San Fran. That my friends, was the start of the Colin Kaepernick phenomenon that overtook the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick, replacing Alex Smith against the Rams, went on to beat the Bears badly, before Jim made the best decision of his career: he named Colin Kaepernick starting quarterback for the game. Now critics were hounding Kaepernick for his tattoos, his beliefs, and his “Kaepernicking” (Tebowing, without the knee). But they were wrong. The Kaepernick era was 4-2, and then they bested Green Bay and Atlanta for the NFC title.
John Harbaugh’s and the Ravens’ season in the American Football Conference (AFC) went a little bit rougher.
In week 6, he lost star players Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb for the regular season to injuries (Lewis would return for the playoffs, his final games) and had a really tough schedule. But they performed and made to the playoffs as the number 4 seed. That’s when Ray Lewis decided to call it quits after the playoffs.
The whole reason to go to the Super Bowl now became for Ray to win it all again. This man is the face of the franchise, and was the most loved of everybody on the team. They steamrolled the Colts, squeezed past the Broncos in a double OT thriller, and then blew out New England to face Jim and the 49ers.
My pick is nobody, because this is a close matchup. Let the battle of the Harbaughs begin!
Sean de Ganon is a 12-year old budding sports journalist, who mainly writes about football. He’s also HTE’s Kids’ News only football expert! You can read his blog at www.nflataglance.blogspot.com . Thanks, Sean!