Fix Opinion Sports

Super Bowl Caps Rough Year For NFL

By Aiman
Jarrar
Junior
Reporter
GRAND
RAPIDS, Michigan, U.S.A – Despite a season filled with controversy, the hype
over Super Bowl XLVII grows ever larger as game day approaches.
When
the actual game begins in New Orleans on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens will face
the San Francisco 49ers in a battle that pits 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh against
his brother, John Harbaugh, who coaches the Ravens.
These
two have faced off once before, on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, becoming the first
pair of brothers to ever serve as head coaches on opposing teams. Baltimore won
that game 16-6.
Perhaps
this year’s Super Bowl will provide a game worthy of all the hoopla.
Certainly,
it’s been a rocky year in the National Football League.
Before
the season even began, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended
for the year for his role in the team’s bounty program. The Saints were found
to have paid their defensive players bonuses to injure specific players of the
opposing team.
For
all four weeks of the pre-season, and the first three of the regular season, replacement
referees tarnished the league’s image. Almost everyone remembers the debacle in
Seattle on the third week of Monday Night Football. Some call it the worst
blown call in the history of the NFL.
But
some good came out of the first referee lockout in 11 years. Shannon Eastin
became the first woman to referee an NFL game on Sept. 9 when Detroit and St.
Louis faced off.
But
these scandals are in the past, and it’s Super Bowl week in New Orleans, so how
about the quarterback controversy in San Francisco?
Colin
Kaepernick, a second-year quarterback out of Nevada, has been leading the
charge for the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco 49’ers ever since Alex Smith went
out with a concussion in week 10. Smith wouldn’t see the field for the rest of
the season – and has asked for his release from the team after the season ends
That’s
controversy.
How
about the Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens? There is sure to be some turmoil
there right? Of course.
Ravens
linebacker Ray Lewis will play in his last game on Sunday before officially
retiring. Sidelined for most of the season with a triceps tear, he returned in
time to propel his team to New Orleans to play for his second Super Bowl ring.
But
wait, that’s just a feel-good story.
Just
in time for the big game, a story from 2000 has reared its ugly head again.
Lewis and two of his colleagues were charged with the Atlanta murders of
Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
Even
with the overwhelming evidence against Lewis, charges were dismissed in a plea
agreement with the district attorney in exchange for Lewis’ testimony. Some say
Lewis got away with murder.
As if
that wasn’t enough, Sports Illustrated
reported recently that Lewis used performance enhancing drugs during his rehab
this season to speed up his recovery.  At
Media Day on Tuesday, Lewis denied using the banned substance.
But
there’s still football to play – and the game looks promising.
The
Ravens defense has been stellar, holding opponents to an average of just 14.3
points per game in the postseason. They’re also only the second team to beat
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the same postseason.
But do
they have an answer for dual-threat quarterback Kaepernick? And what about Pro
Bowl running back Frank Gore?
The
49ers have been successful this postseason thanks to their running game.
Kaepernick
is tall, quick, agile and has the ability to make defenses shudder.
Add
the fact that he has an arm that can throw the ball accurately and efficiently,
so defenses never know what he’s going to do, toss in Gore as well and the
49ers arguably have the most feared running game in the league.
While Lewis
is looking to go out on top, Kaepernick is trying to make his case as an elite
quarterback.
The Harbaugh
family rivalry can’t be overlooked either, and history will be made on Sunday
in Super Bowl XLVII.
It’s
going to be a fun week in New Orleans.