Super Bowl XLVII

It's brother versus brother in the first ever sibling Super Bowl

It’s brother versus brother in the first ever sibling Super Bowl

It’s finally here!!!! After the long journey that began in August 32 teams began the season, but only 2 remain. However, football is like Highlander in that there can be only one! This Super Bowl has been anointed the Harbowl as we see the classic sibling rivalry of whose is better. I know one thing it’s sure going to be awkward at the dinner table in the Harbaugh house after this one. Maybe Mrs. Harbaugh should ask Archie Manning how he deals with his boys. Getting back on track the Ravens have ridden the inspirational words of Tim Tebow, whoops I meant Ray Lewis on a magical playoff run. Sorry Ravens fans I love Ray Lewis but I think he’s going a little overboard with the religious references since he decided this would be his last playoff ride. The question remains can Lewis inspire his team to overcome the 49ers in his last game? The 49ers, on the other hand, have ridden the tattooed cannon arm of Colin Kaepernick since he took over for Alex Smith midway through the season. Remember when there was a supposed quarterback controversy only a few weeks ago? He’s been an unstoppable ground and aerial assault throughout the postseason and is looking to cap off his amazing season with the 49ers sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. Both teams have taken very different paths to get top New Orleans, but surprisingly they are similarly constructed. Both have very good defenses, quarterbacks that can make the big play, and great running backs. Here’s my preview of why I believe both teams could win the Superbowl.

Why the Ravens will win

The Ravens will need to ride their emotional leader

The Ravens will need to ride their emotional leader

The Ravens success this postseason is because of the strong quarterback play out of Joe Flacco and their resurgent defense with the return of Lewis. Baltimore has been flying high since Lewis announced that this will be his last season with the team. The win one for the gipper attitude has spread throughout the Ravens locker room as they try to give number 52 one more ring as he walks into the sunset. One of the biggest reasons that the Ravens are in this position is because of their leader under center. Joe Flacco has thrown 8 touchdowns with no interceptions this postseason and while the offense is usually the achilles hill for the Ravens, it has been their strength this postseason. Don’t forget these Ravens have beaten both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in their respective buildings. Last time I checked they were two of the best quarterbacks in the game. While the defense has been good it hasn’t been anywhere near the dominant defense we’ve come to expect from the purple and black. This two-week layoff benefits this banged up unit and will allow them to get some much-needed rest. The keys to for the Ravens to win is they must have a big game on the ground with Ray Rice. This is a battle of defenses and the best way to beat a great defense is to keep them on the field. If the Ravens can wear down the formidable 49ers defense it will not only wear them down but give them more favorable deep ball match ups. This is where the Ravens need to make play is down the field and use Flaccos big arm. They need Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin to stretch the field. I believe that the Ravens have the better special teams entering this game while also having the major x factor of Ray Lewis’ retirement for added motivation. You can’t tell me they’re not going to give everything they have for their leader so he can go out a champion. On the defensive side of the ball the Ravens need to figure out how to slow the read option. This will be a test, but the Ravens have one of the most seasoned defenses in the NFL and aren’t fooled easily or for long. They need to play Raven defense which is to play physical and break the will of the 49ers. If the Ravens continue to play at the level they’ve been playing, especially Joe Flacco, it could be an easy win in the Big Easy.

Why the 49ers will win

My the difference a year can make. A year ago the 49ers were kicking themselves because of the butter fingers their special teams had. This team feels that they should have been in the Super Bowl over the Giants and that this should be a repeat year. However, this season they have made it but not in the way that most 49ers fans, and football fans in general, expected.

Running and passing Kaepernick leads the multi-dimensional 49ers attack

The multi-dimensional Kaepernick leads the 49ers offensive attack

Ever since the glory days of Montana and Young the quarterback position for the 49ers has been a question mark. It still is but today it’s a riddle that gives defensive coordinators headaches. Coming into this season the 49ers were highly favored to be in this Super Bowl and that Alex Smith would finally get the monkey off his back, much like Steve Young, and get ride of his “Bust” tag that has haunted him since being the number one draft choice. However, Alex Smith is riding the pine pony as his replacement Colin Kaerpernick looks to win the 49ers sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. Even coming into this postseason there was a “quarterback controversy” about who would lead this team. However, Kaerpernick has run away with this job much like he had all season. The read option has added a new dimension to the dominant running game that the 49ers have built since Jim Harbaugh took over. Run the ball and play great defense a memo that both the Ravens and 49ers have flourished with. However, the Ravens do not have a dominating offensive line or a stable of running backs that have the first ranked rushing attack in the postseason. They also don’t have the dynamic quarterback that can shred defense with both his legs and his arm. Add in the top overall ranked defense and you have the recipe for the 49ers success. San Francisco can win this game if they just continue to do what they do best. Play fast and physical defense and force the opponent to make mistakes. On offense run the ball!!!!!! Use the dynamic rushing attack to wear the Ravens older defense down and keep their offense off the field. By running the ball you give Kaepernick more big plays by opening the field with both rushing and passing lanes. If Vernon Davis can match the performance he gave against the Falcons that will really open up the middle of the field and give Kapernick a great target in the seam. While they might not have the same explosiveness on the outside like the Ravens, they do have the advantage in the TE position and can control the middle of the field.  Don’t forget the Raven defense is old, wearing them down and keeping them on the field is crucial for the 49ers to be successful. If the 49ers play like they have all postseason they could bring back the sixth Lombardi trophy back to San Francisco.

And the Winner is ……………..

49ers 27 Ravens 24

This is why I’m picking the 49ers. I think that while Joe Flacco has played great this postseason he is a quarterback known for mistakes and I think he is well overdue. The Ravens defense this postseason has played great this postseason they have played against passing offenses. They’re great against stopping the past and have been mediocre at stopping the run. They haven’t played a physical team like the 49ers and while I think the Ravens can stop the run early as the game wears on they will wear down. I understand that the field goal kicking unit has been shaky for the 49ers but I think overall they have a better defense then the Ravens. While the Ravens have the better passing game the 49ers have a slight edge in the ground game with their dynamic offense and these new looks will catch the Ravens off guard. Overall I do think this will be a close Super Bowl and has the potential to be one of the best ones ever. Do you agree or disagree? Take the poll at the the bottom and vote for who you think the Super Bowl champion will be.

49ers and Ravens who will be the last one standing??

49ers and Ravens who will be the last one standing??

Move over Boston there’s a new home for college hockey

Quinnipiac is now #2 in the nation

Quinnipiac is now #2 in the nation

Yale is # 8 in the nation

Yale is # 8 in the nation

If Detroit is known as hockey town for the NHL, there is no question that Boston has been known as the college hockey town. Four college teams have dominated the bean pot region and the kings of this hockey kingdom are the Boston College Eagles and the Boston University Terriers. Both programs are perennial contenders with the Eagles winning three of the past five National Championships and the Terriers winning it all in 2009. While these two superpowers of college hockey have dominated for years Boston is also home to the Harvard Crimson and NorthEastern which have also had a major impact on college hockey. But hang on, because the power maybe shifting south and more specifically to Whitney Avenue. Only seven miles apart are two of the hottest teams in college hockey and what is fast becoming one of, if not the biggest rivalry in college hockey. The Yale Bulldogs and Quinnipiac Bobcats have always made noise in the ECAC Division but now they have roared into the national spotlight. In the most recent USCHO national poll both teams have cracked the top 10. While both have been in the top 10 before this is the first time that both schools have been in the top 10 at the same time. Both teams are riding major winning streaks and have been forces in the college hockey landscape. The Yale Bulldogs are currently riding a five game win streak and  defeated both Harvard and Dartmouth this past weekend. The Quinnipiac Bobcats have remained unbeaten in their last sixteen games and have achieved the highest ranking in the University’s history as the second best team in the nation. Both Yale and Quinnipiac have dominated the national field with a combined 13-0-2 record against ranked opponents this season. This will only add fuel to an already heated rivalry as both teams still have to play each other for their annual meetings at both Ingalls Rink, and TD Bank Center. Not only are these two teams pushing Connecticut into the national picture but another college team could soon enter the race. Just by saying Uconn or Connecticut the first thing people think of is basketball. Maybe a few people might think of the Huskies football team but when asked about the hockey program most people say wait, Uconn has a hockey team? Indeed they do and the so called forgotten child in the Uconn athletic department is now making a major splash. This past weekend the Huskies played tough against the Bobcats and lost 2-1 in

Uconn is joining Hockey East in 2014

Uconn is joining Hockey East in 2014

 the inagural meeting between the two. Uconn made  headlines this summer when it was announced that the hockey program would be getting a major overhaul. Not only would the program be joining the prestigious Hockey East conference but it would also be adding 18 scholarships for the program. Another major announcement was that for the Hockey East conference games is that the Huskies would move from the Mark Edwards Freitas Ice Forum to the XL center in Hartford. While the basketball program has the proper facilities the Hockey team doesn’t and is now exploring new options which include building a new ice rink on the Storrs campus. For the short term this is great news for the XL Center whose contract with the Connecticut Whale will expire at the end of the upcoming season and whose future is up in the air. However, the XL Center may not be the the longterm solution for the program because of it’s age and size. Uconn can just look at the blueprint Quinnipiac used for their success. The key cog in building the Quinnipiac machine came with the construction of the TD Bank Center in 2007 for 52 million dollars. The arena has been a major tool in recruitment and one of if not the major reason behind the success of the Bobcats over the past few seasons. While Connecticut has been known for the success of it’s college basketball teams, it is also famously known for losing it’s NHL franchise the Hartford Whalers in 1997, the only professional franchise the state has had. Connecticut hasn’t had the same identity since the Whalers departed for Carolina but now thee college hockey teams could put Connecticut back on the national hockey map. Now if the Huskies continue building in the right direction while Yale and Quinnipiac continue to dominate in the national field Connecticut may soon well dethrone Boston as the mecca for college hockey. Even though these hockey teams have a long way to go before the national tournament the buzz they’ve been creating cannot be ignored. Before we know it Yale or Quinnipiac may not only be in the Frozen Four, but they also may bring back the states first national championship in ice hockey.

Not in Cleveland

Browns fans continue to wonder what could have been?
Cleveland is still waiting for their championship

Cleveland is still waiting for their championship

For the city of Baltimore it is an exciting time as the Ravens will go for their second Lombardi trophy in their brief history. However, for the city of Cleveland it is a recurring nightmare that still haunts the ill-fated franchise. Before 1995 the Browns were known for their infuriating streak of bad luck. From Red Right 88, The Drive, and The Fumble were all constant reminders to the Cleveland faithful about their misfortune. This frustration boiled over after the 1995 season when owner Art Modell announced that the team would be moving to Baltimore. Despite their best efforts the team would leave town to become the Ravens and five years later were Super Bowl XXXV Champions. Even though the Browns were reborn as an  expansion team in 1999, they have been perennial cellar dwellers as opposed to contenders. Meanwhile the former franchise has been a model of consistency reaching the postseason for the past five years. What’s even worse is that the Browns coach in 1995 who was fired at the end of the season was Bill Bellichick. Not only has Baltimore won a championship, but Bellichick is the mad scientist behind the three Lombardi trophies that now reside in Foxboro. While I am not from the city of Cleveland I can only imagine what the city has had to endure. It is a city starving for a championship since no team in Cleveland has won a championship in over sixty years. A great pieces that illustrates this is A Football Life: Cleveland 95  which I highly recommend and  can be viewed by clicking on the link. Cleveland has been burned on numerous occasions from the Browns move to more recently Lebron James’ decision to take his talents to south beach. While the city still desperately tries to build a contending team it only adds insult to injury when the former Browns left town they were able to win a Super Bowl. Browns fans still cannot fathom how the football gods would give a super bowl to the Ravens before the Browns. I know one thing for sure, and that is on February 3rd the city of Cleveland will all be wearing 49ers jerseys. 

Rex Ryan trimmed his fat now it’s time for the Jets to do the same

The frat party is over for Ryan and the Jets now it’s time for change

Well my fellow Jet fans the hope for the 2012 season disappeared faster than snacks in front of Rex Ryan.  In a season that can be summed up in one glorious word, “Buttfumble,” the Jets moving forward toward 2013 have to make significant changes. While  Mike Tannenbaum has been removed from his position of power, the circus that is the New York Jets continues. We can talk about the quarterback situation until I’m blue in the face, but I’ll save that for draft time. The biggest problem for the Jets is that they can’t find a GM and the reason for this is Rex Ryan. Despite two AFC championship games on his belt, Ryan’s bravado and loudmouth tendencies have worn the media and fans thinner then the club’s depth at wide receiver last season. While I do believe Rex is a great coach and deserves at least one more season to prove his worth, if it’s preventing a good general manager from coming in then Rex must go. Even if the Jets do get a good GM Ryan could be a dummy coach like Lovie Smith was for the Chicago Bears this past season. GM’s want to hire their own head coach and coaching staff, not be told this is your staff. Bottom line is the Jets have to be focused on winning, but on the football field not the back pages of the paper. This team needs an overhaul from top to bottom and the correct attitude. If not the Jet fans will leave this team faster than Patriots scored those three touchdowns the last time they visited Metlife.

Behind every Manti theres a great mystery woman

Manti Te'o like most of the country don't know what to say about the hoax

Manti Te’o like most of America is speechless about his “fake” girlfriend

My how the luck of the Irish has soured over the past few weeks. After getting embarrassed in the national championship game against Alabama the Irish are in the middle of one of the most confusing sagas I have every seen. Star linebacker Manti Te’o must have been worried that all those missed tackles against Alabama would hurt his draft stock but now he has a whole new set of troubles off the field. We’re still getting new information but this is what we know. The story began a few months again when hours after the passing of Teo’s grandmother he tweeted about the death of his 22-year-old girlfriend Lennay Kekua. While these deaths inspired the linebacker and the rest of the fighting Irish to get to a national championship there was just one problem, she didn’t exist. While it is unclear if Te’o is the victim of a sick joke or is somehow the mastermind behind the plan in order to promote himself for the upcoming draft. While we will not know all the details for a while one thing is clear and that is it will have an impact on the draft. Now teams how were coveting the linebacker who has been compared to Ray Lewis will now have to question his character and if they want to bring in a distraction of this magnitude into their locker room. Check out my poll in the link provided to tell me what you think this scandal will do to the star linebackers draft stock?