Super Sunday: A Family Affair

John Madeira, Staff Writer

New Orleans is the place to be this weekend as the 2012 NFL season comes to a climax in a showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

This year, the biggest game of the year has a different feel to it, it’s a family affair. The biggest story since Championship Sunday is the Harbaugh Family, as the two brothers will be coaching in the game – from opposite sidelines.

Baltimore Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh, is in his fifth year as the boss in Baltimore and has posted a career record of 62-30, including an 8-4 record in the playoffs.

Before his career in Baltimore, he served for 11 years as Special Teams Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.

During Harbaugh’s tenure in Baltimore, the ravens have been among the most successful teams in the NFL, despite this being the coaches Super Bowl debut. The last five seasons the Ravens have won two divison titles (2011, 2012) and have made it to the playoffs all five years, including two losses in the AFC Championship game.

53.3 yards across the field, brother Jim Harbaugh will be roaming the sidelines as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Prior to being hired in San Fran’ Jim served as the head coach of the Stanford Cardinal from 2007-2010 and quickly developed the academic powerhouse into a powerhouse on the gridiron as well.  After the 2010 season, Jim accepted the offer to become the head coach of the 49ers.

The Ravens come into the game with a chip on their shoulder as they will try and send legendary linebacker Ray Lewis into his retirement a Super Bowl champion, which would be the second of his career (2000) and the second in Ravens franchise history.

The 49ers fly down to New Orleans riding the arm of a hot, young quarterback in Collin Kaepernick. Kaepernick won the starting job earlier in the year after Alex Smith went down with a concussion, and managed to keep it even after the veteran was able to play.

The game will feature a matchup of strength vs. strength, the Ravens offense against the 49ers Defense.  The Raven offense features some of footballs most impressive players in Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, and Marshal Yanda. The ‘niner defense matches them in terms of star power, led by the likes of Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, and Justin Smith.

The other side of the matchup will feature the Ravens Defense, led by veterans Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs against a dynamic 49ers offense that has its own arsenal of weapons.

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the game, and pop culture celebs offered their opinion. Musical group Lady Antebellum predicted the Ravens would win 30-27, Matt Bomer (star of USA’s White Collar) predicted the 49ers would join the Steelers as the only team with six Lombardi Trophies.

Even the incoming Secretary of State, John Kerry, found time to weigh in as he predicts the 49ers will win 27-21.

The famed halftime show will feature Beyonce this year.