It’s safe to say that Super Bowl Sunday has become a holiday of sorts across the nation, if not the world.
And there’s no more important aspect of the holidays than spending time with family.
Obviously, the National Football League agrees with that theory. Hence, on Thanksgiving night at Baltimore in 2011, the Ravens hosted the San Francisco 49ers in a meeting of head coaching brothers in the Ravens' John Harbaugh and the Niners' Jim Harbaugh.
Later last season, there was the possibility of seeing a “We Are Family” Super Bowl at Indianapolis. But Baltimore lost a 23-20 heartbreaker to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game, and hours later, San Francisco fell to the New York Giants in overtime, 20-17, in the NFC Championship Game.
Of course, it’s obviously a different story this time around as both teams would have to post road wins to get to New Orleans. And there are some interesting similarities between these current squads.
The Ravens scored 398 points during the regular season, while the 49ers were right behind them with 397. Baltimore and San Francisco each forced 25 turnovers and gave up the football just 16 times in 16 outings, giving both teams a plus-nine turnover differential.
Both Harbaugh and Harbaugh Part Deux stress physical football in all three phases of the game. And in the playoffs to date, both quarterbacks have made been a part of big-yardage plays, Joe Flacco with his deep passes and Colin Kaepernick with his long runs.
So here’s a scenario: The Ravens and 49ers are tied on Super Sunday. The Niners are mounting a drive that takes them to the Baltimore 33-yard line with three seconds to play in regulation. With kicker David Akers having already missed two field goals, Jim Harbaugh turns to veteran and former Ravens’ specialist Billy Cundiff for the game-winner.
You can’t make this stuff up.