NFL Baltimore RavensSan Francisco 49ers

2013 NFL Playoffs: HarBowl I Has Already Worn Out Its Welcome

(Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

When it comes right down to it, NFL fans are smart. No, they don’t always show it, but when it comes right down to it, you cannot fool them. So in this HarBowl I, aka Super Bowl XLVII what should be about the greatest football game of the year, will instead be about the last names of the head coaches. It’s about football. And football fans want great games, not great story lines.

So, will this game bring in NFL fans, or is Harbowl I going to end up more gimmick than football game? Personally, this is the least exciting potential matchup of all the possible scenarios going into this weekend but still a great matchup nonetheless. I honestly wanted to see evolution of the quarterback position of on one team going against the traditional and future Hall of Fame quarterback on the other side, running a high powered, high IQ passing offense. Instead we get two really great football teams who are going to be overshadowed for the next two weeks by all the storylines and sub-plots surrounding the relationships between the head coaches; brothers Jim and John Harbaugh. For casual and non-fans, this will be great. It’ll be an interesting talking point and it’ll show up in mainstream media over anything about what should really matter in this game. People will watch and they will be curious.

This game could be about two young quarterbacks who both have a chance to make a name for themselves in different ways. For Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco it’s a chance to get the monkey off his back about being able to win the big game, and for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick it’s a chance to set the groundwork to be the next great 49ers quarterback.

Or, this matchup could be about what could be a huge changing of the guard as Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis prepares to retire and hand off the crown of best inside linebacker in the NFL to 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis is the new age of linebacker in the league, and can use this game as a sort of passing of the torch. But instead we will be treated to multiple interviews with Jack Harbaugh and more Chicago Bears highlights than I would ever care to watch.

But alas both those story lines will take a back seat to what Christmas dinner at the Harbaugh house must be like or which hate will Jack Harbaugh wear on gameday. Fascinating.

Once the game hits, real NFL fans will bear down and watch the game and enjoy it for what it is. The two teams that survived the season all the way to the end, and a champion will be crowned. But a game that is wrapped in novelty like HarBowl I is going to make the two-week wait even longer and more tedious than usual, and for hardcore NFL fans, that can’t be a good thing.

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