You would be hard pressed to find a Super Bowl that has as many interesting storylines and gossip tit-bits as the Forty Seventh Edition coming this Sunday 3 February. This year the NFL has spoiled both the media and fans with numerous subjects discuss and analyze until kick off time. Its not just about the two teams either with the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens preparing to do battle: the host city of New Orleans will make history too.
You may have heard that the two head coaches are brothers. Since John Harbaugh's Ravens beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, the American media has gone crazy over his match up with younger brother, 49ers coach Jim, in the title decider. This has led to various nicknames for the Super Bowl such as the Harbaugh Bowl, HarBowl, SuperBaugh, Brother Bowl, Super Bro, Bro Bowl and many more. The two have faced each other before, on Thanksgiving last season with John's Ravens winning 16-6.
There is one storyline that could be a rival. Legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, announced that he will retire at the end of this season, and galvanised by this news his team have beat tough opposition to get to the 'promised land' of the Super Bowl. Lewis has waited a long time to get back to the Super Bowl after winning it in 2001 and is the only current Ravens player to have won a Super Bowl ring. Just to spice things up further the first quarterback Ray Lewis sacked was then Indianapolis Colt's quarterback Jim Harbaugh.
But he's not the only one, two other players are also approaching retirement. The 49ers Randy Moss has dazzled the NFL ever since he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. He has made it to many Championship games but only one Super Bowl before Sunday, which he lost as a Patriot to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. On the other team there is Ed Reed. Since he was drafted he has made nine Pro Bowls, three AFC Championship games and in 2004 was named Defensive Player of the Year. Both these players have glittering careers that deserve to have 'NFL Champion' written on their Wikipedia page. Many fans will watch eagerly to see which one it will be.
How about the two quarterbacks playing in this game? Ravens QB Joe Flacco is a typical passer who has broke all kinds of NFL records with his play-off wins since he was drafted in 2008. He has a big arm and has made the defensive heavy Ravens more balanced with his offense skill. One thing that will be guaranteed if the Ravens win is a summer of below par quarterbacks proclaiming they are one of the league's best. Last season Giants QB Eli Manning said he was an elite quarterback. Flacco said before this season he was the best in the business. Both made it to the Super Bowl.
Onto the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Although Flacco doesn't have Super Bowl experience he has been in the league longer and played many more play-off games - this second year QB will be starting only his 10th game on Sunday. Only two players have started less games going into the Super Bowl. Jeff Hostetler, the last to do so, with only four games started, but he led the Giants to victory. Kaepernick came into the team after original starter, Alex Smith, was concussed in Week 10 of the season. Despite him coming back a few weeks later Kaepernick kept the starting job and lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Like Flacco he can throw the ball extremely well, thanks in part to his baseball background, but can also run when needed. He could well become the poster boy for a new type of NFL quarterback if he is part of the winning team on Sunday.
Lastly, the scapegoats for most losses, the kickers. David Akers of the 49ers has a vast amount of experience and has been one of the best kickers in the league until recently. He is coming out of a poor season and missed a field goal in the NFC Championship game. Most 49ers fans will not want the game to come down to Akers, whereas most Ravens fans would put their trust in rookie Justin Tucker after an impressive season.
In addition, a record will nevertheless be broken as both teams are famously unbeaten in Super Bowl hostory. The Ravens have only been there once but the 49ers are unbeaten in five trips.
Finally the host city, New Orleans will host its tenth Super Bowl, joint most with Miami, seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. The Super Dome became refuge for many citizens during the storm and will now host yet another Super Bowl which many see as the return of the city to its former glory.
A Super Bowl always brings story lines, but Super Bowl XLVII could be one everybody talks about for many years to come.
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