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I’ll admit it.
I’ve been back and forth on this a hundred times. I’ve checked the injury report. I’ve compared stats. I busted out the divining rod and poked some goat entrails with it.
In fact, as I sat down to write this, I very nearly talked myself out of this pick.
But, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I won’t back down.
Ladies and germs, the Baltimore Ravens will win today’s game.
In case you hadn’t heard, Super Bowl Some Roman Numeral is today. It’s kind of a big deal.
This one has been a tough one to call for me. I literally couldn’t even decide what I wanted to eat for the game, let alone decide who I thought was going to win. Of course, the food associated with the game is just as important as the game itself but that’s another issue.
My dilemma boils down to this: my head says the San Francisco 49ers should win. My gut says the Baltimore Ravens.
And, since my gut is bigger than my head, I have to go with Baltimore. Just kidding. That was just one factor in my decision.
Actually, my thought process was more along these lines: I generally like the team that seems to have its mojo working heading into the playoffs. By that standard, the 49ers should be a shoo-in.
However, in recent Super Bowls, that hasn’t been the case. Green Bay had a mediocre December two years ago. Ditto for the New York Giants last year. Things turned out OK for them.
This year, no team heading into the playoffs was hotter than Denver. The Broncos honked out early, although that gives Peyton Manning a chance to get settled into his new career as a dough chef.
New England seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Tom Brady must now watch the Super Bowl in some cold, lonely corridor of his castle (yes, it’s a castle, complete with a moat…no word if there are crocodiles in the moat) in Southern California while Gisele Bundchen mutters about the loss last week being all Wes Welker’s fault.
What do these two teams have in common, other than the fact they’re not playing in the Super Bowl? They were both defeated by the Ravens.
I’m not taking anything away from the 49ers, mind you. They will have their day to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, quite possibly next year if they can keep everyone healthy in 2013.
But going to Denver and topping the Broncos — yes, that was thanks in large part to the single worst defensive play I’ve ever seen in my life — then going to Foxboro and smacking the Patriots around. If you accomplish those two things, you’ve shown me something.
The Ravens showed me something.
Baltimore 27, San Francisco 23.