Here it is Ravens fans. Super Bowl time! Finally, Baltimore fans have a reason to be interested in things like media day, and other special things leading up to the big game on February 3rd. The biggest story lines are obviously the brothers Harbaugh going to head to head. Of course, it will also be the final game in a storied 17-year career for Ray Lewis. The final charter member of the Ravens franchise will step down.
But here’s a few other stories worth pointing out as Super Sunday from New Orleans nears.
Future Hall of Famers (and other notable veterans) seeking their first rings: Ed Reed, Matt Birk, and Terrell Suggs all want to add “Super Bowl Champion” to their already pristine resumes. Some other players with 10+ years of service are also going for their first title including Brendan Ayanbedejo (10) who played in SB XLI with the Chicago Bears. Anquan Boldin (10) who played in SB XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals. Ma’ake Kemoeatu (10), Bryant McKinnie (11), and Bobbie Williams (12). On the 49ers end, 14-year veteran Randy Moss could finally get that ring that has eluded him several times. He has been a part of some good Vikings teams that have fallen short, and the 18-1 Patriots team in SB XLII. Other notable players include David Akers (14), Leonard Davis (11) Brian Jennings (13) and Justin Smith (12).
SB History in New Orleans: The city of New Orleans has hosted the game 10 times, tied for the most with the Miami area. The first three Super Bowls in New Orleans (IV, VI, IX) were played at Tulane Stadium. Super Bowl XII was the first one to be held in the Superdome. The AFC is 2-4 in the dome, and 4-5 overall, counting the AFL’s KC Chiefs in SB IV. The 49ers beat the Denver Broncos 55-10 in SB XXIV in the Superdome. The Ravens have never lost a game in the Superdome. Well, they are 1-0, with that one win coming in 2006. Since 1996, the 49ers are 5-6 in “The Big Easy”. This will mark a record 7th time that the Superdome has hosted the Super Bowl.
The best make it to the end: The two QB’s with the highest QB ratings this postseason meet in the Super Bowl. Joe Flacco (114.7) and Colin Kaepernkick (105.9).
Maryland Terps go head to head: Torrey Smith and Vernon Davis square off, looking to make their Alma maters proud. Both were first team All-ACC stars in their tenure at Maryland. This season, Vernon Davis has caught 41 balls for 548 yards and 5 TDs. Also six catches for 150 and a TD in the postseason. Torrey Smith has 49 catches for 855 and 8 TDs. Nine catches for 198 and two TD’s in the playoffs.
Miami Hurricanes alums: Ed Reed, Bryant McKinnie, and Frank Gore all played on the 2001 Hurricanes Nat’l Championship team, regarded as the best college football team ever. The team consisted of 39 players who would eventually be drafted, 17 of which would be first rounders. The Running game consisted of Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore. Andre Johnson was left alone at wideout when Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne graduated in 2000. But he did have Kellen Winslow and Jeremy Shockey at TE. It’s not even fair if you’re a college defense, is it? Ed Reed, Phillip Bucchanon, Mike Rumph (former 49er), Sean Taylor, Antrell Rolle, Vince Wilfork, Jonathan Vilma were defensive standouts. Not even fair for opposing offenses, is it? Former Hurricane and Baltimore Raven, Tavares Gooden, is on the Niners roster, though doesn’t see much playing time.
City of Baltimore goes for it’s seventh football title: The Baltimore Colts won back to back titles in 1958 and 59′. They won Super Bowl V. The USFL’s Baltimore Stars won in 1985. 10 years later the CFL’s Baltimore Stallions won the Grey Cup in 1995. Of course the Ravens won their first in 2000.
Steelers fans might as well not tune in: Either the 49ers will match them their 6th Super Bowl in franchise history, or their bitter rivals will bring the title back to Baltimore. The fans will throw the “Six titles” argument in Ravens fans faces. I’d like to think the Ravens would eclipse six titles when they get to 80 years in the NFL too. If Steerlers fans want to get technical, see the above example. Baltimore has six, going for seven rings.
Other deep statistics: The designated away team, which is the AFC in odd numbered Super Bowls, like this one, are 26-20 (.565).
Teams that wear white (usually the away team, but not always, i.e. Cowboys, Redskins) are 28-18 (.609). The Ravens are away and will likely wear white, although it is the 49ers choice.
CBS is airing the Super Bowl for the record 18th time. In the previous 17 games, the AFC team is 7-10 (.411).
The Ravens and 49ers have both never lost a Super Bowl.