“Super Bowl Sunday” is not an official holiday in the United States, but you’d never know it looking in from the outside. Today lucky jerseys are being donned, meat is marinating, drinks are chilling, and the crackling sounds of hands reaching into bags of chips can be heard in living rooms all across the America.
Much like our country, the Super bowl’s meager beginnings have morphed into something spectacular over its 47 year history. Once a simple championship game garnering less attention than college bowls, to an event so big nosebleed tickets sell for $1,100 and premium seats can run into the $10,000s. Music’s most popular performers dazzle us with pyrotechnic filled halftime shows. 30 seconds of airtime during a commercial break costs $3.7-3.8 million!
It all makes sense, tho. According to Nielson, last year’s game was watched by more people than any television event in history — over 111 million people tuned in.
With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Super bowl, it can be easy to forget that somewhere in the middle of it all there is an actual game being played. However, this year’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) and the Baltimore Ravens (13-6) appears to have all of the right pieces needed to make both the hype and the game worth watching.
The obvious headline and ensuing drama comes from the fact that the head coaches for both teams are brothers. This is the first time in the history of the NFL two brothers have coached against each other in the Super bowl. The two have only played once before during a game in 2011 where the Ravens won 16-6. With the 49ers going after their sixth super bowl ring and the Ravens seeking their second, the stakes have never been higher.
The Harbaughs’ success should come as no surprise to this family; coaching is in their blood. Both Jim and John Harbaugh spent their formative years watching their father Jack Harbaugh, coach football at several universities.
This game also pits youthful exuberance against old age and tenacity. Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, once one of the most terrifying linebackers in the NFL, will be playing the final game of his 17-year career on Sunday. He faces off against Colin Kaepernick, the second year backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, who took advantage of a mid-season start and has never looked back.
The icing on the cake is of course the location — New Orleans. Is there a city more appropriate to host such an event? If America is a cultural melting pot, New Orleans is the melting pot of melting pots. It’s 24-hour party atmosphere, storied superstitions, great music and cuisine, not to mention it’s a week before Mardi Gras, guarantees every ticket holder will be getting their money’s worth both inside and outside the Superdome.
Is there anything more American? This is what we’re about – a nation of people joining together, pulling out all the stops to celebrate and witness excellence and success. Here’s hoping for a good game with [insert your favorite here] as the winner. I’ll leave that up to you.
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- Bob Glauber: Why the Ravens will win the Super Bowl (newsday.com)
- Episode 17: Super Bowl XLVII – Niners, Ravens and Harbaugh? (offsidecanada.wordpress.com)
- Veteran-laden Ravens take on 49ers team that is dynasty in making (miamiherald.com)
- Ravens Nation Flocks To ‘Baltimore South’ For The Big Game (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Harbaugh parents could become Super Bowl TV stars (sacbee.com)
- Fox Sports to air NFL Super Bowl XLVII live in PH Monday (sports.inquirer.net)
- 49ers’ Head Coach Jim Harbaugh Also Face’s Son In Super Bowl XLVII (ninernoise.com)
- Super Bowl 2013: Harbaughs’ parents enthusiastically neutral for 49ers-Ravens showdown involving their sons (mercurynews.com)
- Super Bowl 2013: Contrasting the Harbaugh brothers approaches this week (ninersnation.com)
- Super Bowl XLVII: A Super Sized Sunday (vividseats.com)