Super Bowls used to be super bores. Do you remember that? They were decided by scores like 55-10, 52-17 and 46-10. By the second half, the announcers had about given up pretending the team down by four touchdowns could come back and the commercials were about the only thing left worth watching.
But starting with the Panthers’ thrilling 32-29 loss to New England nine years ago, there was a sea change in the NFL’s biggest game and it was for the better. Parity struck. Six of the past nine Super Bowls have been decided by less than a touchdown, and it now feels like they all come down to the fourth quarter. I hope and believe it will be that way Sunday, too.
• I think it’s cool that Ray Lewis’s first career sack was on current San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh.
• Remember 345-pound Ma’ake Kemoeatu? The defensive tackle from Tonga started 26 games for Carolina from 2006-09 and now stuffs the middle for the Ravens.
• That Joe Flacco beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in their home stadiums in these playoffs still boggles my mind a little. Especially that Denver win. I imagine John Fox has got to be watching this game going, “We should be playing today.”
• Given Ryan Kalil’s incorrect and very public prediction of the Panthers winning the Super Bowl that will be played Sunday, I asked readers of the online “Scott Says” blog to give me ideas for what Kalil should predict next. These three were my favorite (the comments in parentheses are my own):
1. That in 2014, the Charlotte Observer comment posters will find peace and harmony among one another. (A Panthers Super Bowl win is more likely).
2. Six more weeks of winter. (I liked this one because Kalil, with that enormous beard, looks a little like a groundhog).
3. That a Harbaugh coach will hold up the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night. (Kalil might want to make a few picks like these to get his groove back).
• My Super Bowl pick: Baltimore 27, San Francisco 21.