Whether or not your team is playing Sunday shouldn’t matter, as there are plenty of reasons to watch the final important football game for the next seven months. Aside from the obvious brotherly battle (between San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and his brother, Baltimore head coach John) featured in this year’s Super Bowl, there are plenty of great stories about to play out in the Big Easy. From a certain Hall of Famer’s final game, to a quarterback trying to do what seems practically impossible, there’s going to be a lot to take in while spending four or five hours in front of your television this weekend (and I’m not even going to mention the commercials, which are usually quite fantastic).
The one player who seems to be getting as much attention as the Harbaugh brothers in the days leading up to the NFL’s championship game, is Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis. He announced before this year’s playoffs started that this would be it for his storied, and sometimes messy, career. Then he went out and helped his team extend his end-of-career tour for as long as it could possibly go. I’m going to go on record here and say I’m not a huge Lewis fan. I think, at one point, he was a great player. After that, and for the better part of the past 5-10 years, he’s been a good player, who is great at telling everyone how dominant he is. Perhaps, luckily, if you’re Lewis or one of his fans, this game will not be the end of him running his mouth on television as he already has signed a deal to work Sundays for ESPN…. where he can continue to talk about football (and probably a little about himself as well).
A story I find far more interesting, is that of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The young signal caller is in just his second season in the league, and hasn’t even been a starter for an entire year. But, there he is, lining up (mostly) a few yards behind his center, and certainly the key to the 49ers’ offense. I think you have to root for Kaepernick. He is the adopted kid of two seemingly fun-loving parents (if you don’t believe me, check out the picture of them posing in front of a statue of their son getting a wedgie in Atlanta, at last week’s NFC championship game). He is also a second-round draft pick, not a lot of people knew about coming out of college, and he is trying to do something a lot of quarterbacks with far more impressive pedigrees have never done – win the big game. I am certainly pulling for Kaepernick, although that probably has more to do with my love for Jim Harbaugh. I think it would be great story if he could complete his improbable season with a championship.
And finally, if all the action on the actual field is not enough, I read today there’s a good chance Destiny’s Child will reunite at halftime! Okay, so you’re probably asking yourself, how is it an 1990’s era girls’ R&B group ended up in your sports column? Well, that’s easy, Destiny’s Child’s Beyonce is providing this year’s halftime entertainment at the big game, and I read this afternoon that there’s a good chance her former bandmates in Destiny’s Child will be joining her onstage. I know, I know, I don’t really care either, but I’m betting you know someone who does, so when you share this newfound knowledge with them, they will probably be impressed. (You’re welcome – I am glad to provide this public service for you.)
Well folks, there you go. I certainly will be tuned in, with a plate of hot wings and a few frosty beverages, anxious to see how it all plays out. Hopefully these stories give you something to pay attention to, if just watching the game isn’t your cup of tea. If not, don’t forget, there are always the commercials!