I’ll be as brief as I can today, as I recognize that most of Baltimore is getting ready for the Super Bowl. For the record, I’ll be serving pasta al forno at my Super Bowl party this evening, which is better known in the United States as baked zitti. Normally I call out for pizza for the Super Bowl, however with a local team in the big game this year I thought it would be prudent to step up my game a bit!
Baltimore’s a city that’s seen it’s share of suffering when it comes to sports. The Ravens have been “good” for the past few seasons, yet they haven’t been able to make it over the hump. The Baltimore Orioles have…well, we all know that story. And even before the Ravens, the city was without an NFL franchise for 12 years after the beloved Colts left town. Yet in the 2012 season, the city of Baltimore is guaranteed to be more than just a footnote given the performances of it’s teams. The Orioles made the playoffs (and had a winning season) for the first time in 14 years, and now the Ravens are competing tonight for pro football’s ultimate prize.
One thing that struck many fans back in September and October was how the Ravens seemed to embrace the Orioles’ run at the playoffs. Oriole players were seen frequently at Ravens’ games, and if I recall they played “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” at the season opener against Cleveland. In turn, Orioles’ centerfielder Adam Jones has been well documented as traveling around the country to attend games throughout the Ravens’ playoff push. This all makes for good civic pride in Baltimore, and ultimately it helps the people to feel good about their teams and their city.
So what do I think about tonight’s game? Ultimately both teams (and of course both coaches) are well matched. However I’m not a fan of how the 49ers handle their business; Kapernick and his move to kiss his bicep after a touchdown doesn’t rub me the right way. I think that a veteran team with playoff experience such as the Ravens will expose that overt brashness for what it is. San Francisco is going to be a team to be dealt with for quite some time. However this is the Ravens’ and Ray Lewis’ year: Ravens 28, 49ers: 27.