OK Baltimore Ravens fans, I told you last week that I would let you know my take on this Sunday's Super Bowl, pitting your beloved Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
First, let's get rid of the obvious. People are calling it the Harbaugh Bowl, Harbowl and probably a few other things that I've missed, but seriously, it's just another Super Bowl for most of us.
The people this Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh match matters most to is the Harbaughs themselves. How would you like to be Mom or Dad Harbaugh this week? Sure, very proud and likely not siding with one son over the other, but can any of us really not have a inkling of sway in any athletic contest we choose to know about? Sure, even I can tell you that the outcome of Sunday's big game makes no difference to me, but somewhere deep inside, that's probably not true.
I really don't care who wins Sunday. If it's the Ravens, so be it. That means a whole lot more happy people around here for the next few months. Baseball will get started and if the Orioles are hot from the start, then the Ravens will be put on simmer until the training camps get into swing.
That said, if the 49ers win, then the Pittsburgh Steelers will be joined as a team with six Super Bowl titles. I have already heard that some Steelers fans are rooting for a Ravens win so the 49ers won't get the sixth ring.
I'm not going there. A quick look at the 49ers you'll see title number six, seven and even eight may come over the next five or so years.
Does that mean number six is in the cards this Sunday? You tell me.
There's the Ray Lewis story we've been watching and hearing since his retirement announcement. There's Randy Moss, one of the game's best wide receivers in his time, still looking to hold the trophy. Neither Harbaugh has been part of a Super Bowl championship team. That will change Sunday.
On the field the game appears to be a fairly solid matchup. The 49ers have a solid offense and defense, while the Ravens do too, but the edge has to go to the 49ers.
The Ravens had some trouble with RG III in the loss to the Washington Redskins and in Colin Kaepernick, they'll be facing another tough test.
The Ravens, though, have had their share of solid moments from Joe Flacco in the playoffs. If Flacco is solid in Sunday's game, look out 49ers. If he's not, look out Ravens.
The 49ers defensive line is no joke. If the Ravens can't keep Justin Smith and Aldon Smith out of their own backfield, it might be long day.
The kicking game has to favor the Ravens and special teams too, but slightly.
So, what's the call? My official prediction is 49ers 24, Ravens 20. Enjoy the game and act responsibly.