NFL Super Bowl open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on February 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Are you ready forone last bit of football?  The 2012 season comes down to two teams, two brothers, one party town, and about a billion viewers.  Neither San Francisco nor Baltimore were favored to reach Super Bowl XLVII, but they scratched and clawed their way past every other NFL team to vie for the Lombardi Trophy — and to ride out the biggest hype in the biggest event in sports.

Before we get to the pick, let’s catch up on a couple of related stories to today’s game.  First, deer across North America can breathe easier today, because it turns out Ray Lewis isn’t snorting their antlers after all … or at least no one saw him do it:

The man who reportedly supplied Ray Lewis with deer-antler spray can’t confirm the Baltimore Ravens linebacker ever used the stuff.

Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that Lewis sought help from a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS), which says its deer-antler spray and pills contain a naturally occurring banned product connected to human growth hormone.

Mitch Ross spoke for nearly an hour outside the Super Bowl media center Friday in a bizarre session that revealed very little about his connection with Lewis. The linebacker has denied ever using the substance.

Asked if Lewis ever tried deer-antler spray, Ross said, “I never saw him put it in his mouth.”

Meanwhile, the players have been hanging out in New Orleans all week long, notorious as a party town.  But NFL players are disciplined, focused professionals who eschew the night life … all right, I didn’t type that with a straight face.  It’s not just the night life that can trip you up, but also boneheaded and weirdly intolerant comments:

But there will be distractions. History says so. For every Justin Smith, a 49ers defensive end who packed just a duffel bag for his eight-day stay and rarely leaves the hotel, there is a Super Bowl cautionary tale about a football player, fueled by testosterone, curiosity and boredom, who ventured out of the team bubble and onto the police blotter.

It’s human nature. And distractions don’t come only in the form of a rabble-rousing football player. It can be a grandma who is locked out of her hotel room, a screaming toddler or a young player who says something regrettable in one of the hundreds of media interviews during Super Bowl week.

It happened Tuesday, when 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver told a shock jock that he wouldn’t accept an openly gay man on his football team. Within hours, the interview went viral and the 49ers went into damage-control mode. Culliver apologized, but it never ends there during Super Bowl week. His teammates were soon peppered with questions about homophobia.

“I didn’t sleep that much,” Culliver said. “I tossed and turned thinking about it.

“We are trying not to have any distractions to the team.”

It was only Thursday morning.

Say, don’t the 49ers play in San Francisco?  And shouldn’t Culliver be more concerned with on-field skill than off-field lifestyles?

So both teams have had their distractions this week.  Who’s going to … y’know … actually win the game?

I’m picking the 49ers, although I don’t think it will be easy.  Statistically, the Ravens are a mediocre team, who happen to be peaking at the right moment.  A two-week gap won’t benefit that kind of a team; a bye benefits a team with mild injuries who play more consistently well, not the team riding on week-to-week momentum.  The Ravens D is only 17th against the pass and 20th against the run, and they’re older.  That will allow Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore to get the most out of their read-option offense, and it’s going to tire out the defensive backers of the Ravens by the second half.

On the other side of the ball, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco has picked up confidence in his deep passing game — but he’s going up against the 4th-ranked defense against both the pass and the run.  The Ravens are only 15th in passing and 11th in rushing — not bad, but not elite.  If the 49ers break into the lead early, the Ravens are not going to be able to play comeback as easily as they did against the Broncos, especially with San Francisco watching that game film for the last two weeks.

The 49ers will outlast the Ravens in this one.  San Francisco 31-23 over Baltimore.

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Great Farmer ad………

…..but ditch the Dodge product placement.

PappyD61 on February 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM

But…it was a Dodge ad.

HiJack on February 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Pass interference FINALLY called. SF has been doing it all game.

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Tide commercial was pretty good.

predator on February 3, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Ooooo that was nasty. Tide commercial sneaks in a winner.

conservative pilgrim on February 3, 2013 at 10:15 PM

That tide ad. Missed opportunity to use the parents of the teams coaches.

nobar on February 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Good tide ad

rbj on February 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM

But…it was a Dodge ad.

HiJack on February 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Yeah. Product placement is kinda what ads are all about, right?

predator on February 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Super Bowl City Leads on Energy Efficient Forefront

http://energy.gov/articles/super-bowl-city-leads-energy-efficient-forefront

Yeah, baby! That’s energy.GOV!

Resist We Much on February 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

That tide ad. Missed opportunity to use the parents of the teams coaches.

nobar on February 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Never thought of that. Good idea.

predator on February 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Ed Reed already made 1 int. Now it’s Cory Graham’s turn for his int.

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:26 PM

dude. Colin Kapernick throws friggin’ heat.

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Jeebus Davis, that was a touchdown.

rbj on February 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

i betcha that kid throws so damn hard that some of those balls are almost uncatchable

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

dude!!!!

RED ZONE

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Haloti Nada, we miss you!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

This has turned out to be a helluva game.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

i betcha that kid throws so damn hard that some of those balls are almost uncatchable

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

MLB wanted him as a pitcher, so he’s got one hell of an arm.

predator on February 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

C’mon. Almost there.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM

…this may be one of those endings!

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM

If they score, they should go for 2 again.

22044 on February 3, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Don’t know how effective the Samsung ad is, but it is clever.

rbj on February 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Samsung ad. FAIL!

HiJack on February 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Game over! CAW!! CAWW! CAWWWW!!!!!!

Ugly on February 3, 2013 at 10:35 PM

That’s ballgame.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:35 PM

DEFENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:35 PM

came down to that play.

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Great game.

Ugly on February 3, 2013 at 10:36 PM

That looked like holding to me.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

BALTIMORE RAVENS SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EAT CROW ED and all you Raven haters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

That looked like holding to me.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

It was definitely holding. He had his jersey while the ball was in the air.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

DumbBear drunk yet?…and is he running around the San Fran streets in just his socks again?

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

That looked like holding to me.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

It’s allowed within five, but that went more, don’t ya think?

I don’t care. I have no dog in this hunt. Just speculating.

predator on February 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

It was holding. But bad play calls. Good Raven D.

conservative pilgrim on February 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Congrats to the Ravens.

rbj on February 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

wth?

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

He wastes 7 seconds taking a safety.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

looks like the lights going out helped turn this game into a game. The lights came back on and the 9ers showed up….

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

came down to that play.

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:36 PM

There was a no call earlier in the game that went Frisco’s way.

CW on February 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Well, the Niners had first and goal just inside the ten. Couldn’t get it done. The fourth down no-call was controversial – but oh well.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

…why didn’t he take a fair catch?

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 10:45 PM

A grudging congratulations…to the Ravens.

22044 on February 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

Thanks, Niniers, for showing up in the second half and making it a game. Great try at the comeback. Congrats to the Ravens, though I don’t like saying it. Good for Oher.

HiJack on February 3, 2013 at 10:47 PM

ROFL at the Niners, that last offensive play call was terrible.

Great game though, really great game.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:47 PM

…why didn’t he take a fair catch?

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 10:45 PM

return was more likely to succeed than a hail mary from own 30.

forest on February 3, 2013 at 10:47 PM

*does the Ray Lewis dance*

OH Yeah, BABY!

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

He wastes 7 seconds taking a safety.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Yeh kinda the idea.

CW on February 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Now we get to lionize Ray Lewis some more. Hooray.

Sacramento on February 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

gotta hand it to the 9ers. Who would’ve thought that Kapernick could’ve gotten them this far? Helluva season.

ted c on February 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Congrats to the Ravens,Kudos to the 49ers also for making a most memorable SB!!

jeffinsjvca on February 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Well, the Niners had first and goal just inside the ten. Couldn’t get it done. The fourth down no-call was controversial – but oh well.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Agreed.

Got back just in time to see last few minutes of game.

Weird end to this game, eh?

Jvette on February 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

BALTIMORE RAVENS SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EAT CROW ED and all you Raven haters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

What he said!

*dances some more*

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Now we get to lionize Ray Lewis some more. Hooray.

Sacramento on February 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

15 more minutes….unless he unretires.

CW on February 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Well done Ravens. A nail biter in the end but too far for the 49ers to ever take the lead in a game where they failed to launch at the kick-off (again).

lexhamfox on February 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM

They said the Baltimore Ravens could never beat Andrew Luck and the Colts. They could never beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. No way could the Ravens win against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Lastly they tried to say the Ravens would NEVER beat the more talented Kaepernick and the S.F. 49′ers.

That being said, never under estimate the underdogs. Baltimore Ravens SB CHAMPIONS!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM

…why didn’t he take a fair catch?

KOOLAID2 on February 3, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Touchdown on a punt return easier than an 80-yard Hail Mary.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

I’ll trade the delay for a game that eventually became competitive. Not bad overall.

22044 on February 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Now we get to lionize Ray Lewis some more. Hooray.

Sacramento on February 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

I’m pretty sick of Ray Lewis at this point.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

ROFL at the Niners, that last offensive play call was terrible.

Great game though, really great game.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Yeah, but the 2 previous rollouts failed because the QB kept drifting passively backward and to the sideline. The kid had a great game, but rollouts are easy to defend unless the defense thinks the QB might run. Bummer.

Both QBs had ggod games, but the inexperience showed up on that last set of downs.

forest on February 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Ravens win take that u lib retardation San Fran weaning tots

losarkos on February 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

EAT CROW ED and all you Raven haters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Ed and I are counting total team Super Bowl rings.

Let’s see…1..2..3…4…5…uh…oh yeah…6…for our team.

How many you got?

But congrats to the Ravens, great game and way to keep the Niners from getting their 6th ring.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Ray Lewis:

17 years
2 Superbowls rings
1 awesome team
1 incredible career

*does the Ray Lewis dance again*

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

I have to conclude…Flacco raised his game in the playoffs. Maybe it helped that the Ravens changed OCs.

22044 on February 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Well… I hope those who watched most of it enjoyed it.

Mostly I saw a few minutes here and there with the huge delay after that halftime show which probably should be titled:

“Mustang Ranch: The Musical.”

viking01 on February 3, 2013 at 10:55 PM

I’m pretty sick of Ray Lewis at this point.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Somehow, I doubt he givs a sh!t
Move over, Laura, I’m a dancin’too! Can you high kick?

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

not fair considering the Ravens haven’t been around very long

who’s the team with the perfect Super Bowl record with multiple wins now?

Slade73 on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Ravens win take that u lib retardation San Fran weaning tots

losarkos on February 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

SF is a big lib city – but their sports teams are mostly conservatives. The Giants won the World Series and 90% of them donated to Republicans. I wouldn’t be surprised if 49ers were the same.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Ray Lewis:

17 years
2 Superbowls rings
1 awesome team
1 incredible career

*does the Ray Lewis dance again*

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:54 PM

2 dead bodies.

1 obstruction of justice charge.

Oh relax, you knew someone was going to say it.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Hey Katy! Nice moves.

*does a high-kick in Ben’s direction*

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Still four minutes left in the Puppy Bowl!

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

How did the 49ers get their last 2 points?

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

How did the 49ers get their last 2 points?

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Instead of punting from the end zone, the Ravens’ punter ran around and took a safety.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Oh relax, you knew someone was going to say it.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

I can’t see your post through the glare of the Tropy!

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

49ers got their last two points because the Baltimare kicker kept in it the end zone.

And there was no hold. If anything the 49er was doing the holding.

MrX on February 3, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Ravens win take that u lib retardation San Fran weaning tots

losarkos on February 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

DU is down the hall-4 Doors to the left (Jim Morrison, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek)

Del Dolemonte on February 3, 2013 at 10:59 PM

not fair considering the Ravens haven’t been around very long

who’s the team with the perfect Super Bowl record with multiple wins now?

Slade73 on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Granted. So I will default to 4 Super Bowl victories in a 6-year span.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM

I’d be worried about revelers trashing Baltimore, if it weren’t already a pile of garbage next to the Chesapeake Bay.

Congratulations, Brawltimore.

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM

2 dead bodies.

1 obstruction of justice charge.

Oh relax, you knew someone was going to say it.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Nobody’s perfect.

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Who is the OJ man in the wheelchair?

Jackalope on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Ben – turn the TV back on. Ray’s talkin’.

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Did Ray Lewis just say he won because “If God is for you, who can be against you?”

JimLennon on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

I can’t see your post through the glare of the Tropy!

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

That tropy will look good in the team locker room in the tropy case.

Settle down, settle down, just giving you shiite. Victory is sweet, enjoy it, revel in it…for tomorrow you will still wake up in Maryland.

-_-

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Joe Flacco SuperBowl MVP. Now maybe at least for a day or 2 the sportscasters will say something good about Cool Joe. But I doubt it.

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Nobody’s perfect.

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Are you saying even Obama is human?

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Did Ray Lewis just say he won because “If God is for you, who can be against you?”

JimLennon on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

He did sayeth that, and it was good.

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

2 dead bodies.

1 obstruction of justice charge.

Oh relax, you knew someone was going to say it.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Plus the deer testicle salve or whatever it was he’s been using to get back in shape.

forest on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

I can’t see your post through the glare of the Tropy!

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

I’m rady for a tap dance, followed by a Charleston. Ready?

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

-_-

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Ouch! That left a mark;)

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Granted. So I will default to 4 Super Bowl victories in a 6-year span.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Sounds like someone needs a little cheese to go with that WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Are you saying even Obama is human?

steebo77 on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

That would be the “to err” part.

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I’m rady for a tap dance, followed by a Charleston. Ready?

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

and a one-ah, and a two-ah…

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Ben – turn the TV back on. Ray’s talkin’.

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

No thanks. BTW, did Ray Lewis make any plays during that game? I don’t recall any.

TarheelBen on February 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

You’re welcome.

I shouldn’t be talking anyway, Pennsylvania went for Barky last election and I live in Minnesota; I wake up to hell myself.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

He did sayeth that, and it was good.

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Don’t they kick people out of blue states for saying stuff like that in public?

Has Brendan Ayanbadejo apologized yet for Ray Lewis forcing his Christian intolerance down the throats of the Super Bowl audience?

/sarcasm

JimLennon on February 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Did Ray Lewis just say he won because “If God is for you, who can be against you?”

JimLennon on February 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Yes, he did.

22044 on February 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Congrats to Ray Lewis.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer murderer.

gumbyandpokey on February 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM

So, by taking that safety, the ravens then were able to do a normal kickoff instead of punting where the 49ers would be closer to the goal line?

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Hilariously funny Jello Pudding commercial Hahahahahahahaha

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Granted. So I will default to 4 Super Bowl victories in a 6-year span.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Sounds like someone needs a little cheese to go with that WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE

WV. Paul on February 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Hey, give Bishop a break. He’s in Minnesota where they’ve won all those Lombardi Trophies.

chewmeister on February 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

2 dead bodies.

1 obstruction of justice charge.

Oh relax, you knew someone was going to say it.

Bishop on February 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

…not that there’s anything wrong with that….

viking01 on February 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Katy –

I think we look pretty good…and it was nice of Bishop to join us. He looks pretty good in purple.

Laura in Maryland on February 3, 2013 at 11:13 PM

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