The last name of their head coach, Harbaugh. That is where the similarities stop for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The two teams who will play against each other in Super Bowl XLVII have very little in common from the top down. San Francisco has a history with the Super Bowl. As an organization they have a 5-0 record in the big game and will be seeking their sixth on Sunday. Baltimore is the opposite, they will seek their second championship.
Exactly what is the difference?
Many people see this Super Bowl as a game of sexy versus dull and it starts at the quarterback position. Colin Kaepernick can throw, run and has tattoos. He is clearly the sexier of the two quarterbacks. Joe Flacco has a strong arm, puts up borderline numbers in the regular season and is not much of a talker. He is the dull one.
In a lot of ways Flacco matches the personality of his head coach. John Harbaugh and quite different then younger brother Jim. John was already into coaching when his younger brother was having an NFL career. His personality is more laid back, joking and at times silent. By contrast Jim Harbaugh has never been one to keep quiet. His works with former Bears coach Mike Ditka, his confrontation with Jim Kelly and his chest bump of Jim Schwartz to name a few.
From wide receiver to running back to offensive line the 49ers have the intriguing, attention getting, sexy players.
Baltimore has two players who have made numerous headlines this week, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Lewis is set to retire and Reed will likely leave Baltimore after Sunday’s game. They will both be gone, it will be gone.
San Francisco has Aldon Smith who chased a sack record, Justin Smith who one of the leagues best defensive ends even with one triceps. The 49ers have perhaps the NFL’s two best inside linebackers in Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. They have it.
There is something to be said about being boring or consistent though. Under John Harbaugh, Baltimore has been been one of the best teams in the NFL reaching the playoffs for five straight years including back-to-back division titles. The first step to getting something is being there.