The last Super Bowl I remember feeling legitimately excited about was the New Orleans/Indianapolis affair. With the Saints pulling off just the perfect second half, I’d say the game lived up to the hype. It wasn’t the best game ever, but it was a matchup of two teams, neither of which I hated. Indeed, both were teams with high-powered offenses that I actually enjoyed!
Ever since, there’s been at least one team I can’t stand in each Super Bowl. For some reason, I must have mentally blocked out the fact that it was the Steelers who lost to the Packers the very next season. And, as for New England/New York Part II last year, I know everyone was sick of the Patriots, but I was equally as sick of seeing Eli fucking Manning and those jackass Giants. I went into the last Super Bowl thinking, yeah, we’d probably have a good game, but having absolutely no rooting interest whatsoever.
The worst Super Bowl in this regard was the year Arizona played Pittsburgh. As a Seahawks fan, I had absolutely no leg to stand on when it came to rooting for the Steelers, but it’s a completely different animal when one of your divisional rivals is in the Big Game. Not only is Arizona a hated foe we have to face twice a year, but they’re a team that has yet to win a Super Bowl; I couldn’t, in good conscience, root for the Cards to win it all before we did.
It’s not exactly the same with the 49ers playing the Ravens tomorrow, but it’s damn close. I hate both of these teams, but truth be told, I hate the Ravens a fraction of a hair less than I do the Patriots. So, in that sense, I guess I have a rooting interest and this is an open-and-shut case. I’m also more-or-less of the opinion that this matchup is a solid one and we will likely be treated to a good game. But, I dunno. It’s hard to get hard about this game! My emotional impotence has me wondering if I even want to watch this game at all!
I know there’s a shitload of money on the Ravens, that a lot of national pundits are picking them to narrowly edge the 49ers, but I don’t know if I see it. Personally, it scares me when everyone in Vegas is going one way. And it seems the main argument of anyone picking the Ravens to win boils down to: Kaepernick being inexperienced. He’s BOUND to have a bad game, right? Yeah, except they’ve been saying that every fucking week since he took over the starting job. Outside of a semi-debacle in Seattle at night in front of a national audience (where the Seahawks were so on fire, they would’ve trounced the ’85 Bears by the exact same score), Kaepernick has looked like the real deal.
Remember, Tom Brady was “inexperienced” when he won his first Super Bowl too.
Do I think Baltimore CAN win? Yeah, sure, but if they do, it’ll be by a narrow margin. I think the sky is the limit for this 49ers team, that they can win by ANY margin. I think the 49ers’ defense is leaps and bounds more talented than Baltimore’s, I think they’re solidly in their prime, with a great D-Line and some of the best linebackers in the NFL. I think they rattle Joe Flacco early and often. I think they make him look absolutely miserable and he goes into his Contract Offseason with a real monkey on his back. The Baltimore brass will still re-sign him, but they’ll wonder if they’re making the biggest mistake of their careers. The Baltimore fans will secretly dread the next half-decade as one where they compete, but never again reach the Super Bowl.
As for Baltimore’s D, they might be able to keep Frank Gore in check, but I don’t think they have the horses, or the lateral speed, to stop Kaepernick on the edge. I think he’s able to motor for big chunks of yards, which is going to open up the middle of the field for 20-yard seam passes to the tight end (over Ray Lewis’ sluggish, cheating old man body).
This sucks. Fuck the 49ers. Enjoy it while you can, because the Seahawks are going to be your worst nightmare for the next decade.