I know I haven’t posted much lately. Some of that was the demoralizing beating Purdue took the other day. The other part is getting a new puppy. I’ll post some pictures further down.
It’s Friday, though, and there’s only one game that really matters after tonight’s Pacers-Heat game.* That, of course, is the Super Bowl. There are an awful lot of storylines here, and I’m sure you’ve heard them all. I’m personally more excited about the little party we’re going to throw and the first time my folks will get to meet the new dog. But, this is a sports blog, so let’s try to focus on the sports.**
*I sure hope the Pacers win again. They beat the Heat surprisingly easy in their matchup this year.
**Let me assure you that was directed at myself, not you, dear reader.
I’ve been picking against the Ravens this entire playoff, and I don’t see why I should stop now. That said, I fully expect this to be a close game. Joe Flacco has always shown flashes of having top-shelf talent, but he’s always lacked top-shelf consistency. It seems he has figured that out in these playoffs. I’m sure a lot of that resurgence has to do with the rediscovery of Anquan Boldin. I think a lot of people forgot just how good he was in Arizona because Larry Fitzgerald was more well-spoken and more of a media darling. No doubt helped by having a sportswriter dad.* But, as good as Fitzgerald is, Boldin is just as good. I’m pretty sure he’s stronger, given the evidence throughout these playoffs. I’m sure every quarterback in the league would take Boldin in a heartbeat if given the chance.
*This is very clearly not to say that Fitzgerald isn’t a top-notch receiver. Talent-wise, he’s certainly in the top five, if not top three, in the league. It’s just that the Cardinals don’t have anything resembling a quarterback.
The Ravens defense has also reawakened to a degree, though I do wonder how much of that has to do with Ray Lewis. I just have a hard time buying into him as a real leader. I don’t typically go for guys with the whole “Look at me!” thing going on, and Lewis has raised that quality to a whole new level. Also, the whole being-involved-in-some-manner murder thing taints a lot of that. You would think somebody with that history would want to keep his head down a little bit. Clearly not Lewis. It’s a shame.
All of that said, I just think the 49ers are a better team. They have a higher ceiling, anyway. I would probably feel that way even with Alex Smith at quarterback. I’ve always been a Smith defender. I don’t think he’s ever gotten a real fair shake with the talent San Francisco put around him early in his career. When he was given some real weapons, you saw what happened last year and the start of this year. He is no doubt a high-level NFL quarterback. Problem is, as much as I like Smith, Colin Kaepernick is just one heck of an athlete. I would rate his arm just slightly below Smith’s, but his mobility if off the charts, RGIII good. If Kaepernick had gone to a bigger school, I think he would have been a top three draft pick. Instead, he went to Nevada, which landed him in round two. I’m sure a lot of teams feel silly passing on him right now. That mobility gives you a lot of flexibility on offense, which unfortunately just wasn’t available with Smith.
On the other side of the ball, with a couple exceptions, the 49er defense seems to be just as tough as the Ravens defense. They’ve been a bit banged up, too, but that hasn’t seemed to slow them down too much in the playoffs. So, because of basically the very slight edge in quarterback, I’m going to pick San Francisco here. But, I sure wouldn’t put many confidence points behind it. Let’s call the score, I dunno, 28-24.
All right, enough of that. On with the puppy pictures!