JOE COOL

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Ray Lewis has gone out a champion. But that’s not the image we’ll be seeing on sportscenter. Joe Flacco has lead his team to a super bowl win. He’s graduated from the quarterback who just couldn’t take his team all the way. The game was an incredible one with the power outage bringing the 49ers back to life, but somehow the Ravens held on.

The Ravens have had a long and winding road to this one. It’s been tough with lots of criticism, injuries and wondering. But now that it’s over, you now have to start asking questions – how did Joe Flacco manage to do this? Just a little while ago, he was that quarterback who simply couldn’t finish. Now he ended up with an MVP trophy. He has become more and more confident, helping his game improve.

I’ll admit, I got the pick wrong. But that is the beauty of sports. It’s unpredictable and you can’t call anything until it happens. There are miracles. The 49ers were a better team all season, and the Ravens simply got hot.

They plowed through the 49ers during the first half, leaving them at 28-6 before the power outage before the 49ers rallied to bring it within 2 points. But Joe Flacco crossed the line from good to great to elite. He stayed cool and collected and took them down the field to put them 5 points up. The end came soon for the Niners.

Congratulations, Joe.

Welcome to the club.

The pregame hype was all about Lewis. But the game was all Flacco.

The pregame hype was all about Lewis. But the game was all Flacco.

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Super Selection, Quarter by Quarter

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I promised I would do it! And with a mere five hours left in my time span, I have done it. So without any further ado, my Super Bowl pick.

QUARTER 1:
After a 3 and 1/2 hour long pre game dance and 4 and 1/2 hours crying on the field after the star spangled banner, Ray Lewis finally agrees to walk off the field to start the game with a kickoff to the 49ers. They get off to a fast start, hitting two or three long passes, but failure in the red zone leaves them with a field goal – 3-0 49ers. The Ravens get the ball for the first time, and it’s clear what their game plan is – Ray Rice. Rice continues to smash through the hole and Flacco hits Boldin for less than five yards for the touchdown, putting the Ravens up at 7-3. Colin Kapernick adds a whole other dimension to this game, and starts proving it in a no-huddle, run, pass or QB draw drive only taking two minutes to reach the end zone with a 15 yard Kapernick throw to Vernon Davis, in which he does the famous bible kiss. The Ravens will get it back but end up punting, giving the 49ers the first possession of…

QUARTER 2:
The 49ers, however fall to a three and out with a Lewis sack of Kapernick, which will be his only sack of the night. The Ravens will get 2 first downs, but not enough to extend the drive. The 49ers will take a long, methodical drive down the field, mostly with Frank Gore runs, ending in a field goal, putting the game score at 13-7. Flacco takes the Ravens to the 50 or so, but throws a pick and the 49ers take possesion at the Ravens’ 40. Akers takes a 55 yard try, but misses. The Ravens, however, do not squander their chance and put the game within 3 points, at 13-10 right before halftime.

During halftime, Beyonce will freeze up and break down – never to sing again, and the medics will prove she was a robot all along. A last gasp attempt of replacing her with Justin Bieber also doesn’t work, because he breaks down too.

QUARTER 3:

The Ravens receive the ball with a touchback. Flacco decides he needs to pick up the pace, and after three fifteen yard games, he bombs the ball to Smith for a 45 yard touchdown reception. 17-13 becomes the score. The 49ers pick up the ball at their own 30, but do literally nothing. The same happens for the rest of the quarter. Let’s hope there are some good ads that quarter.

QUARTER 4: The Ravens can’t squeeze out a touchdown or a field goal after going wide left from a 49 yard try. The 49ers end up punting. The Ravens punt, which looks hopeful for San Fran. But, coming up a yard short forces them to do the exact same thing. All the Ravens have to do is get one score, but they can’t. The 49ers get the ball with 2:30 to go. Kapernick fires one pass, then another, then Kapernick runs it through for the touchdown with 15 seconds to go. For the first time in Super Bowl history, there is

OVERTIME: The Ravens get the ball first and manage to put in a field goal. It’s just one defensive stop. Don’t let them score and they win. The Ravens force the 49ers to 4th and 6 at their own 30 yard line. Nobody is open. So after a miracle block from Frank Gore, Kapernick runs 35 yards for a first down and possession in Ravens territory. After Frank Gore runs for 2 first downs, it’s 1st and 10 at the Ravens 22. A 22 yard pass to Vernon Davis seals the deal.

Colin Kapernick and the 49ers walk off gloriously. The final score: 49ers, 27. Ravens, 23. Your super bowl MVP is Colin Kapernick.

And so begins the baseball waiting.

2 painful legacies, and only one victory

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It’s looked promising for the past two or three years. The promised land was close. The ship was sailing, and others recognized the threat. Last year, only a last second blow from an eastern force kept them from destiny. Now the only thing lying between them and destiny – is the brother.

This isn’t a story of David and Goliath. There is no “Real” favorite. While one team looks a bit stronger then the other, you can’t pick this game right away.

Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh grew up competitors. But I don’t think they ever got to this level of competition in the backyard. The parents will be watching, that’s for sure. I don’t think they’ll be picking sides.

Both the Ravens and 49ers came painfully close last year. And now, one is going to come even more painfully close – and fall.

I am very excited for the super bowl, even though my Patriots aren’t there. Kapernick will add a second dimension to it – the first non “Power arm” quarterback in the super bowl for quite a while.

For Ray Lewis, this is his swansong. A loss here would mean eternal pain for him later on – to come so close in that final season only to lose. This isn’t just his battle though – he’s a general in the battle of the defenses.

It will be a slugfest, no doubt. But this game will mean even more than usual for the coaches – they could win, but send their brother home with pain. However, I think they both don’t care about that yet. Last year hurt too much to be sympathizing for the other. Right now, I think all they care about – and maybe all they will ever care about – is replacing those 2012 memories with 2013 victories.

Sidenote: I will do more pieces on the Harbowl, and will be doing the same thing with my super bowl prediction as last year, 4 quarters, 4 posts, 4 days, all ending on Super Bowl Sunday.

Best and Worst: Athletes true to their fan bases

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So, it’s that time of year again – the time where the once all-mighty Wizards, Cavaliers and Raptors are in a battle – for the number one lottery spot. After so much love given to their all-star  – well, stars, the stars couldn’t show love to them. Gilbert Arenas was using guns, LeBron took his”talents” to south beach (Not 7, not 8, not 9, not – uh – eleventeen) and Chris Bosh also took his “talent” to south beach. And let’s also not forget these guys – Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Johnny Damon, Jose Reyes, Cristiano Ronaldo, and of course… Alex Rodriguez! These are examples of athletes not true to fan bases.

Many teams have wooed these players with money, talent, and winning. But, take a look here – none of these guys won a championship for at least another 2 years. They come to prominent talent, now. But, as I said in the LINSANITY post, you need chemistry. I think the teams with that have more of a chance of winning than a team that randomly takes talent.

I love the Sox and Nats and all, but I feel like you’re talking about leaving your fans, the people who love you – and then you leave to be booed by them later on that same season (well, most of the time, that is)

So without further ado, here they are – the top 10 athletes true to their fan base – and not true.

TRUE                                                        NOT TRUE

10. David Ortiz                                   10. Fernando Torres

9. Steven Gerrard                                9. C.J Wilson

8. Dwayne Wade                                8. Carl Crawford

7. Lionel Messi                                    7. Terrell Owens

6. Tom Brady                                        6. Cristiano Ronaldo

5. Chris Cooley                                     5. Johnny Damon

4. Andre’ Johnson                              4. Alex Rodriguez

3. Ryan Zimmerman                          3. Jose Reyes

2. Ryan Howard                                  2. Prince Fielder

1.  Kobe Bryant                                     1.(Tie) LeBron James and Ablert Pujols

NOT MENTIONED:                          NOT MENTIONED:

Vernon Davis                                     Chris Bosh

Steve Nash                                           Gilbert Arenas

Who dat! Are the Saints going back to the Super Bowl?

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In 2010, the Saints proved that they didn’t need paper bags as their trademark. But, will they go further and get their second NFC Championship in three years? Very likely. Now before you shut me up, and tell me that the Pack will win, let me tell you three things.

1. The Packers don’t have enough defense to get through the NFC with the Falcons, Saints, and 49ers in the competition.

2. They haven’t had a true offensive test. If and when they play the 49ers, we’ll see what happens.

3. The Saints have lost to the Packers, but let’s face it – that was week one, and only by 8 points, A.K.A one possession.

So, if you pick the Pack, and they lose the NFC, don’t blame me!