Super Bowl XLVII will be between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. But beyond the game itself, there are some incredibly interesting storylines to watch during the biggest day of the NFL season.
Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh are set to duel in a battle of the brothers for the league's ultimate glory. In addition, future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis will be playing his final game in the NFL after a phenomenal career.
And don't forget that each team is led by a rising star at the quarterback position, both of whom have had dominant postseasons.
Let's take a closer look at the most intriguing storylines from this year's game.
Once it was decided that the 49ers and Ravens would square off in this year's Super Bowl, the first thing people pointed to was the fact that two brothers would be pitted against one another.
Of course, John Harbaugh is the coach of the Ravens, while his younger brother Jim Harbaugh roams the sideline for the 49ers.
The most common name given to this brother versus brother battle has been, "HarBowl." But other interesting names such as "Super Baugh" and "Bro Bowl" have also been used to describe the upcoming battle.
No matter what you call it, the fact that two brothers are in the Super Bowl as opposing coaches for the first time in NFL history will make for a great story, especially around the Harbaugh family dinner table.
Despite the overwhelming focus on the brother angle, the Harbaugh brother who coaches the 49ers (Jim) has done his best to talk it down, instead trying to make the focus of the Super Bowl about the players, per Jorge Ortiz of USA Today Sports:
"I think it's a blessing and a curse. A blessing because that is my brother's team," Harbaugh said Monday. "The curse part would be that the talk of two brothers playing in the Super Bowl and what that takes away from the players that are in the game. I just feel like the fighters are first."
Win or lose, both brothers will handle the result with class, as they always have in their respective careers as coaches. That's good to know because the last thing any of us would want is for the Harbaugh family Christmas to be ruined.
When Lewis announced he'd be retiring at the end of the season, the entirety of the NFL playoffs became about him. As his squad has moved further into the playoffs, Lewis' name has become more and more prevalent in the media.
Rightfully so, Lewis is one of the greatest linebackers ever to play the game. His departure is big news for the sport, and it would be a fairytale ending to his career should Lewis and the Ravens emerge victorious in Super Bowl XLVII.
But after a recent report linking Lewis to the alleged use of banned substances while he was recovering from injury, a new storyline has reared its ugly head in the final week leading up to the big game.
Here's the gist of the report, per David Epstein and George Dohrmann of Sports Illustrated:
Ross says he provided the products free of charge...All Ross wanted in return, he told Lewis, is for the future Hall of Famer to tell the truth—that he used S.W.A.T.S. products—when he returned to the field.
Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will "rebuild your brain via your small intestines" (and which Lewis said he hadn't been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.
"Two years ago, it was the same report. I wouldn't give that report or him any of my press. He's not worthy of that. Next question."
Since there are no positive tests to prove Lewis used anything illegal, we have no choice but to believe what the Hall of Fame linebacker says. However, if it is ever proven to be true, let's just hope it happens after the Super Bowl is over as it could potentially overshadow the game itself.
There are several intriguing stories that are birthed from Kaepernick's simple presence behind center for the Niners.
Kaepernick has the opportunity to be the second African American quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, with the first being Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins back in Super Bowl XXII, who also won MVP honors in that game.
On top of that, Kaepernick is a dual-threat quarterback, the likes of which have been taking the league by storm in the past few seasons. With guys like Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton also terrorizing opposing defenses, Kaepernick could be the first of his kind to win the big game.
Kaepernick's successful use of the read-option, as well as his overall abilities, would give much more credence to future quarterbacks coming out of college with a similar skill set. If the Niners quarterback can be successful, he will single-handedly change what coaches in the NFL consider to be the prototypical quarterback.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!