Battle of the Brothers: Which Harbaugh will bring home the Lombardi Trophy?
The month of February is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing. Football season is coming to a close. NFL fans everywhere are reluctantly preparing themselves for the grueling seven-month depression that is the off-season. From botched calls to last second touchdowns, this year has had it all and more. Now, these moments are nothing more than a memory. Yet, in the midst of the oncoming darkness there is a glimmer of light. This haven has one name: Super Bowl XLVII.The elements surrounding the game can only lead to an exciting matchup. On Feb. 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will face off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both teams have overcome enormous adversity to reach this pinnacle of football events. The 49ers, one of the favorites to win it all last year, made the bold decision to replace quarterback Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick halfway through the season. The Ravens have triumphed over numerous injuries, including the absence of defensive stars Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs for several games. Despite relatively equal hardships, the biggest connection would have to be between head coaches Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh.For the first time in Super Bowl history, the opposing head coaches are brothers. However, this isn’t the first time the Harbaughs have had a taste of the other team’s talent. Last season, Baltimore and San Francisco battled in a defensive bout, which resulted in a 16-6 victory for the Ravens. With that being said, who shall be the victor of the second Harbaugh Bowl?In spite of the 49ers being the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Ravens are certain to pull off another upset. Coming off of a dominating 28-13 win over the New England Patriots, Baltimore has nothing but momentum coming into this game. Yes, the 49ers have also proven themselves during the playoffs. But barely beating an Atlanta Falcons team, whose twenty-fourth ranked defense had San Francisco on their heels much of the first half is not exactly impressive. Besides, John Harbaugh and his Ravens defense appear to be more than ready with a game plan. “We’re going to have to tackle him. We’re going to have to keep him inside of our defense,” Harbaugh said at an ESPN press conference. “He’s not just an integral part of their passing game, he’s a huge part of their run game. We’ll have a plan for it.”Even with the Ravens post-season performance overshadowing that of the 49ers, that’s only a small portion of the game. A strong passion for the sport is one of the deciding factors in winning, and the Ravens shine in that category. Ray Lewis is the chain that unifies this team and his faith in their success has brought the team together. Even Ravens’ long snapper Morgan Cox stated, “to have such a big personality, be so passionate about his faith, it certainly helps us all bring it out.” Being the motivational genius that he is, Lewis decided to announce his retirement only days before the playoffs began. This could be called many things but “coincidence” is not one of them.Fueled by the inspiration to win one more ring for Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens will defeat the San Francisco 49ers in what is sure to be a game heatedly discussed at the Harbaugh family dinner table for years to come
By: Evans SparksContributing writer