Lewis: 47 things we’ve learned heading into the Super Bowl

The Vince Lombardi trophy (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The Vince Lombardi trophy (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

1. The head coaches are both named Harbaugh, and they happen to be brothers.

2. Brothers do fight, even ones approaching middle age. According to Judy Battista of the New York Times, John Harbaugh told an associate that the brothers and their families recently vacationed together. They were “goofing off” in the water, and things became so heated that Jim held John under the surface until bubbles started coming out of his nose. And you thought Jim only got intense at the refs.

3. The over/under on the brothers’ postgame hug/handshake is 7.5 seconds. Take the over.

4. Randy Moss thinks he’s the greatest receiver in the history of the NFL. Jerry Rice and the rest of the world would beg to differ.

5. San Francisco opened as a five-point favorite, but heavy action on Baltimore has moved the line to 31/2. The over/under is 471/2.

6. The classiest person on either team is benched 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

7. Ray Lewis was credited with 44 tackles in the Ravens’ first three playoff games. That sounded a little high to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, who went through the game tapes and discovered that Lewis should have gotten credit for only 33 and that the average gain on his 28 solo tackles was 6.3 yards. Interesting, since two of Baltimore’s three games were on the road, meaning the inflated totals came from opposing stat crews.

8. Motorcycle cops escorting the media bus is super cool.

9. Super Bowls didn’t acquire Roman numerals until SB V, the one after the first played in New Orleans. Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who also coined the name “Super Bowl,” came up with the idea because the season ran over into the new calendar year.

10. Best bets for the Thursday night season opener: New England at Baltimore or Atlanta at San Francisco, both rematches of this season’s conference title games but in the winner’s city.

11. The 49ers’ red jerseys with gold helmets are the best uniform in the NFL. Discuss.

12. For Clevelanders, the only thing worse than seeing the Ravens win their second Super Bowl since leaving the city in 1995 would be late Browns owner Art Modell, the man who did the moving, being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Modell, who died last year, is a finalist for the first time since 2001, which could be a good sign for him. Meanwhile, the current version of the Browns have one playoff appearance in their 14 years of existence and are 7-21 against the Ravens.

13. Also among the finalists is former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. DeBartolo lost control of the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, after he pleaded guilty in 1999 for failing to report a bribe to Edwin Edwards and his son, Stephen, when DeBartolo was trying to win a casino license. DeBartolo, who now raises Clydesdales in Whitefish, Mont., presented the George Halas Trophy to his sister after the Niners’ NFC Championship Game victory against Atlanta. Presumably DeBartolo will be on hand for Sunday’s game. No word if plans to drop in on his old friend the ex-governor and maybe appear in an episode of EWE’s upcoming reality show.

14. Saturday is Groundhog Day. The Weather Channel will provide coverage from Punxsutawney, Pa., starting at 4 a.m.

15. Saturday is Groundhog Day. The Weather Channel will provide coverage form Punxsutawney, Pa., starting at 4 a.m.

16. Joe Flacco will be the second quarterback from Delaware to start in the Super Bowl. Rich Gannon, with the Raiders in 2002, was the other.

17. President Obama says if he had a son, he’s not sure he would want him playing football. Wonder if he had said that before the election if he’d still have won.

18. Deion Sanders’ daughter plays in the Bikini Basketball League.

19. Extra food prepared for SB XLVII events is being collected for donation to Second Harvest food bank. That’s going to be one heck of a gumbo.

20. Roger Goodell has not been wearing a bulletproof vest during his time in New Orleans. But he did bring a food taster to his Thursday night dinner at Tom Benson’s house.

21. The Saints’ bounty program supposedly included targeting opposing coaches on the sideline. But does that explain why Jimmy Graham took out Sean Payton?

22. An NBC News investigation uncovered tons of counterfeit NFL merchandise for sale in the city this week, much of it Saints apparel. Maybe there’s a fake “New Orleans — SB XLVII Champions” T-shirt out there.

23. Speaking of scams, a group of 49ers fans paid $5,900 for four tickets through an ad they saw on Craigslist. Instead, they received a package with a promo picture plus a note that said, “Enjoy the game!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL”

24. No statistics are available for how many visitors lost a bet because they didn’t know where they got them shoes.

25. The Ravens are best known for their defense. But the unit has been on the field for 1,342 snaps, most of any team in the league since 2001. On the other hand, the Giants were on the field for more than 1,300 snaps last year and still won the Super Bowl.

26. Division II Washburn College of Topeka, Kan., is the first non-Division I school to have two players in the Super Bowl since 2001 — linebacker Michael Wilhoite of the 49ers and Ravens cornerback Cary Williams.

27. Extract from deer antler velvet is bad for you. Or good for you. Nobody’s quite sure. It can’t be good for Bambi, though.

28. San Francisco is the 10th NFC franchise in the Super Bowl in the past 11 years. And that number does not include the Cowboys, whose eight appearances are the most by any other team.

29. Katherine Webb, girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and the reigning Miss Alabama, has been here as a correspondent for Inside Edition. She also will be in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition. Looks like Brent Musberger was right after all. That is, if Ms. Webb is a real person.

30. Baltimore offensive tackle Michael Oher may have been the subject of “The Blind Side,” but he’s no fan of the movie based on the book by Newman grad Michael Lewis, which Sandra Bullock turned into an Oscar-winning vanity project, because of the way he’s portrayed in it. “I’m tired of it,” Oher said. Regardless, Sean and Leann Tuohy will be at Sunday’s game.

31. The 49ers are 20-11 all-time in the Superdome, 19-11 vs. the Saints plus their 55-10 rout of Denver in SB XXIV. The Ravens are 1-0 in the Dome (35-22 over the Saints in 2006).

32. Inflated by the 49ers/Broncos game, the average margin of victory in the first eight Super Bowls played in New Orleans was 21.9 points. But starting with New England’s 20-17 victory against St. Louis in the most recent Super Bowl here, the average difference has been 8.2 points.

33. Seeing Steve Gleason is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

34. NFL Network Executive Producer Eric Weinberger was once the producer of Keith Olbermann’s show on Fox Sports. That must have been fun.

35. Ex-Saints center Jonathan Goodwin, now with the 49ers, has his Super Bowl ring “locked up” back in his hometown of Columbia, S.C.

36. Warren Sapp never had beignets until this week. “That’s the last thing a fat guy like me needs to eat,” he said. Agreed.

37. Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs won rings with the Giants a year ago and are now with the 49ers. But Manningham is on injured reserve and Jacobs, who prepped at Assumption, is suspended after tweeting “I’m on this team rotting away” late in the season.

38. San Francisco defensive stars Aldon and Justin Smith are not related. And neither are Ray Lewis and I.

39. But Aldon sure needs Justin. According to ESPN Stats and Info, all but one of Aldon’s 35.5 career sacks came with Justin on the field. When Justin missed four games with a torn triceps, Aldon went sackless.

40. Colin Kaepernick has quarterbacked the 49ers to the Super Bowl, but he won’t be getting a raise for doing so. Under the collective bargaining agreement that ended the 2011 lockout, all initial contracts cannot be upgraded until after the third year; Kaepernick is a second-year man.

41. CBS coordinating producer Lance Barrow on doing the Super Bowl from the Superdome: “I can’t think of any negatives. There is so much space around the sidelines, which is great for us because we have a lot of equipment. ... The other thing is the noise and excitement in that stadium. It always feels like there is so much activity in the stands.”

42. According to a survey, 27 percent of Americans believe God has a hand in determining the outcome of sporting events. If that’s so, the Bible verses on Kaepernick’s arms should give the edge to the 49ers. Maybe the Ravens should consider signing Tim Tebow to even things up.

43. Remembering the victims of the Newtown shootings the Sunday after it happened was appropriate. Bringing the Sandy Hook school chorus to New Orleans to sing “America the Beautiful” is exploitative.

44. The over/under on Alicia Keys’ time singing the National Anthem is 2 minutes, 15 seconds. No line on whether she’ll be lip-syncing or not.

45. BeyoncĂ©: “Any questions?” Yeah. How about a date for tonight?

46. SB XLVIII will be played in New York — or actually North Jersey, Tony Soprano country. Here’s hoping the weather’s better than it is there Saturday (high of 33, low of 29 with snow or freezing rain) and that the media party is at the Bada Bing.

47. New Orleans remains the No. 1 Super Bowl venue. Multiple SB vets rate San Diego and Tampa as the only challengers. Congrats all around to a job well done. The efficiency and friendliness of both the paid workers and the volunteers has been outstanding. If we don’t get it back in 2018, then Roger Goodell really did have it in for the Saints.