The most popular unofficial holiday in the United States is this Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday.
In Super Bowl XLVII, the 13-4-1 National Football Conference Champion San Francisco 49ers will take on the 13-6 American Football Conference Champion Baltimore Ravens.
A Super Bowl is never short of drama, but this one seems to have more than usual.
These two teams’ journeys began on January 22, 2011. The Ravens missed and opportunity to go to Super Bowl XLVI when tight end Dennis Pitta dropped the go-ahead touchdown and when kicker Billy Cundiff missed the game tying field goal on the very next play. San Francisco lost their opportunity after punt returner Kyle Williams fumbled the ball in over time. The Giants recovered and kicked the game winning field goal.
The next weekend at the Pro Bowl, Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis said “No more Pro Bowls!” He wanted to make it back to the Super Bowl, which would make him ineligible for the Pro Bowl.
On October 14, 2012, Ray Lewis tore his triceps and was sidelined indefinitely due to surgery. After a week 14 loss to the Washington Redskins, the Ravens made a controversial decision to fire then offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and promote quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell to replace him.
The decision paid off as the Ravens clinched their second straight AFC North Division Championship and made the playoffs.
On November 11, 2012, 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh made the controversial decision to keep Kaepernick as the starter and bench Alex Smith who almost led them to the Super Bowl the year prior. The decision paid off and the 49ers won their second straight NFC West Division Championship.
Ravens’ Linebacker Ray Lewis announced that he would play in the playoffs and that he intends to retire after the post-season. Lewis led the Ravens through the playoffs as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. His final game in his historic career will be in Super Bowl XLVII. He kept his vow from 2012 of, “no more Pro Bowls.” This future NFL Hall Of Famer will be remembered of one of the greatest linebackers of all-time.
Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to victory over the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons.
As if this game didn’t already have enough drama, Super Bowl XLVII features a sibling rivalry. For the first time in NFL history, the two opposing Super Bowl head coaches are brothers, Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens.
Neither coach has managed a losing season in the NFL.
San Francisco is the home team and has opted to wear their read jerseys as they did in Super Bowls XIX, XXIV and XXIX. This will mark their sixth appearance in the Super Bowl and they are a perfect 5-0. A win would tie them with the Pittsburgh Steelers with 6, more than any other team.
Baltimore is the away team and they will wear white jerseys just as they did in Super Bowl XXXV. This will mark the second appearance in the Super Bowl and they are also undefeated in Super Bowls.