The Super Bowl is the Greatest Show on Earth!
This year's Super Bowl will be watched by a worldwide audience of approximately 200,000,000 people. Nothing else in the world seems to be as important as this game. While it is being played, there will likely be little if any traffic, and almost no crime.
The setup seems to be perfect; the Baltimore Ravens from the East Coast will compete against the San Francisco 49ers from the West Coast. At this moment, there does not seem to be any major worldwide crisis. In addition, the game will be played in a lull between Hurricanes and Tornadoes. It will be played in the New Orleans Superdome, so the playing conditions will be predictably perfect.
The Ravens and the 49ers are both excellent teams, and unbelievably, each is coached by a Harbaugh. The chances of that happening are one in a zillion. Each team has enough storylines to overwhelm any Hollywood Movie Maker.
Let's start with the Ravens. They are a great team, but they are somewhat lacking in the glamour department. Their biggest star is an injured 37-year-old linebacker, who has announced his first retirement. His name is Ray Lewis, and he is the glue that holds his team together. He really motivates them before and during the games. I think that one of the reasons that they play so hard is that they are all afraid of him. I know that I would be. Their quarterback Joe Flacco is much better than advertised, and he has led his team into the Playoffs in each his first five years in the NFL. One of their big assets is Ray Rice, a tough running back from Rutgers. He never gets tired, and he has avoided any significant injuries. The team is well-balanced, offensively and defensively, so they should give a good account of themselves.
The 49ers, on the other hand, have football's most exciting new star on their team. His name is Colin Kaepernick, and he may have come from some unknown planet. At the beginning of the year, he was riding the bench, and very few people knew anything about him. Then, seven games before the end of the season; he got his first start. To say that he was sensational would be an understatement. The world, and his opponents, had never seen anything like him. He is about 6'4" tall, and he weighs 220 pounds. He can run faster than any other quarterback, and it takes him only three steps to accelerate to full speed. When he is moving at warp speed, his opponents appear to be stuck in molasses.
In addition to being big and fast, he has an arm like a cannon with a laser to guide the ball. To make things worse for his opponents, he seems to be as comfortable on the field, as a shark is in the ocean. He is analytical, cool and unflappable. The fans in the San Francisco area have gone absolutely nuts over him. I was in the Bay Area Sunday before last. I went to a restaurant to have breakfast, and they had the 'Kaepernick Scramble' on the Menu. Nearly everyone is wearing some item made by the 49ers. It may be a Jersey, a Cap, Gloves, Pants, Shoes; or all of the above. It is clear that they have lost their hearts to the team.
I am predicting that the 49ers will win the Super Bowl. I certainly hope that I am right. However, if I am wrong, then I suggest that they close all the bridges for a period of at least 24 hours.
While it is not what they set out to do, the Lakers have become a reality show. Their fans never know what they're going to get from them. The beginning of their present problem is Andrew Bynum. They signed the young phenom out of high school, and by this time they had hoped that he would have become a major star. It was a reasonable approach, since no one could have projected his knee injuries, and his perpetual state of immaturity. The team was stuck with him, and as bad as things were, they could only get worse. So, in their desperation, they traded him, and they received Dwight Howard. They were hoping that he would be "The Answer", but now they are not so sure. He does not seem to know what he wants to do, or where he wants to do it.
Their new coach Mike D'Antoni appears to be wedded to a fast-break system. This is the equivalent of the military assigning a Cavalry Officer to the Infantry. His troops simply cannot run that fast, even if they wanted to. A better approach, in my opinion, would be to evaluate his personnel, and then to devise a plan that best utilizes their talents. Regrettably, for the coach, there is no one style that fits every situation.
Tiger Woods won again in La Jolla. I am happy for him, but I am not the big Fan that I used to be. I know that this does not bother him, but it is the way that I feel.