(OK, so I guess that’s three words and a cloud of acronym…)
Remember how you and your little bro would face off in the Super Bowl on NFL QB Club for Super NES, and the rivalry was so intense that someone inevitably got smacked upside the head with a controller? Well, you might wanna keep a close eye on the coaches’ headsets tomorrow, because Super Bowl XLVII is kinda like that–’cept instead of getting first dibs on the Cheetos, the winner gets to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Two sons of Harbaughs will appear on opposite sidelines in the big game, as the first pair of brothers to not only be NFL head coaches at the same time, but to meet each other for the championship. Things could get a little testy!
Of course, no one really had Baltimore and San Fran in their playoff pool. (Personally, I picked Denver over Atlanta. Whoops!) While the Niners won the NFC West, they sorta limped into the playoffs with an ugly loss to Seattle and a less-than-convincing win over the crap-bodacious Arizona Cardinals. But that’s nothing compared to the Ravens, who lost four of their last five regular season games to unconvincingly clinch the AFC North crown. People like to say that Baltimore firing its offensive co-ordinator really turned the team around, but it sure doesn’t show on the scoreboard. Take away their win over the Giants–the one in 1-4–and they only averaged 18.5 points per game over the last six weeks. Then again, they have put up 30 per in the postseason.
But as the old adage goes, “Defense wins championships,” and it’s on that note which both these teams belong in the Big Easy. San Fran had one of the stingiest Ds in the league, giving up the second-fewest points (17.1) and third-fewest yards (294.4) per game all season. And while Baltimore’s defensive dynasty might have dropped off a bit (12th in points, 17th in yards), they still allowed three-and-a-half fewer points than their 10th-ranked offense scored. Not to mention that they were without their secret weapon for most of the regular season…
Deer-antler spray! As Sports with Alternatives to Steroids spokesman Christopher Key reportedly told a room of Alabama Crimson Tide, “We have deer that we harvest out of New Zealand. Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth . . . because of the high concentration of IGF-1. We’ve been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake for 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue.” Magic! Not only did it help Alabama win a national title, but, as Sports Illustrated reports, “S.W.A.T.S.’s most famous client, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, enters Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday after speaking with Ross in October to request items that would speed his recovery from a torn right triceps.” Dun dun dun…
Since Lewis made his healthy return, just in time for the playoffs, he’s racked up 44 tackles in three games. Not bad for a 37-year-old. Alas, when he announced he’d be retiring after the Super Bowl, you just knew he’d need all the deer-antler spray he could get his tongue on in order to take his team all the way. Of course, the perennial Pro-Bowl linebacker denies he deer-doped, calling it “the trick of the devil,” but methinks the proof’s in the photo above.
Mind you, the Niners have a secret weapon of their own in Colin Kaepernick. Now, I’m not suggesting he’s deer-doping too, but the second-year player, first-time starter must have deer tendons in his legs, cuz he runs like Bambi when the forest’s on fire. In fact, as San Fran knocked off Green Bay in the NFC semis, Kaepernick ran for more yards than any other quarterback has ever gained on the ground in a game in NFL history. And not only did he run for 181 and two TDs, he also threw for 263 and another two scores. That’s 444 yards of offense, yo! Alas, while Atlanta kept his legs in check in the conference championship, he simply handed the ball off for 128 yards, while completing 76 per cent of his passes in a come-from-behind win. All that, and he’s got some pretty sweet tats, too!
But does he have what it takes to take his team to the title in his first season as a starter? Big Ray and this (currently sold-out) bottle of dear-antler spray say nay! Ravens 17, Niners 14. (This also happens to be Wayne Gretzky’s prediction. Can’t argue with The Great One, eh?)