Superbowl Storylines: The Bluffer’s Guide to Sunday night’s action

SAM_0493Need some Cliff Notes for the upcoming climax to the NFL season? Here is a summary of the major plot lines so you can avoid displaying your ignorance at the dinner table.

The forty-seventh edition of the Superbowl will be hosted in New Orleans on Sunday and features the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Amazingly – for the first time in the history of all American sports playoff games – the two teams are coached by brothers. Only one year apart in age, John and Jim Harbaugh will be playing for their parents’ love. No really I suppose their parents Jack and Jackie (Seriously? Jim, John, Jack and Jackie?) are proud as punch etc…

The star of Superbowl 47 is Raven’s defensive linebacker Ray Lewis. Known as much for his over-the-top pre-game dance routines as he is for his inspirational leadership qualities, 37 year old Lewis epitomises many of the contradictions of the modern NFL star. An outstanding talent, his past has raised more than a few eyebrows. Since 2000 Lewis’ career has been in the shadow of a murder case in which he plead guilty to obstruction of justice and testified against his friends. He was in the news once again this week for allegedly using deer antler spray (a banned product which includes insulin-like growth hormone) to help his recovery from torn triceps earlier in the season. Love him or hate him, the Superbowl will be Lewis’ last game before retiremnet and he’ll hope to end his career at the very top.

If Ray Lewis is the star of Superbowl 47 then Colin Kaepernick leads the supporting cast. The 49ers’ quarterback was been a sensational success since he was controversially made the first team starter after regular quarterback Alex Smith missed a mid-season game due to a concussion. By permanently giving Kaepernick the number one role at quarterback in place of Smith (who had been enjoying a stellar year), Coach Harbaugh divided San Francisco fans down the middle: the Smith faithful vs the Kaepernick usurpers. However Kaepernick has overcome the hullaballoo and led the 49ers to the Superbowl by using his quick feet to outpace defensive backs and his arm to out distance secondary defences. Unless his inexperience catches up with him, Kaepernick should bring a sixth Lombardi Trophy back to San Fran.

There’ll be plenty of off field action too: Beyonce is scheduled to perform the half-time show (ooh will she sing live or will she lip-sync as she did for Obama etc), Alicia Keys will sing the US National Anthem (ooh will she sing live or etc), and if this is anything to go by the much hyped all-American-consumerist Superbowl ads will be even lamer than usual.

It promises to be a hell of a show!