This is the day every red-blooded football fan in America has been waiting for - the Super Bowl.
It's a day where super serious and casual fans alike will camp in front of the TV set for hours, watching most or all of the pre-game stuff, the commercials and of course the game. It's the one day out of the season where somebody who doesn't like football will watch the game, probably because they have been invited to a party. It's a day where chips and dip, and of course alcohol, are consumed in huge quantities.
I assume the ratings will be through the roof for everything Super Bowl related, especially with Colin Kaepernick playing. One thing is certain, his presence gives the game a lot more flavor in Northern Nevada.
I'm a 49er fan and a Colin Kaepernick fan. I couldn't be more happier to see Kaepernick get his chance and excel, and it couldn't happen to a nicer young man. Kaepernick is a stand-up guy at all times. When Nevada lost, no matter how well he played, he would always accepts responsibility for the loss, telling us in the media he didn't do enough. He would never throw the defense, and it was bad while he was there, under the bus. He never dodged interviews. He knew, even as a freshman, that it came with the responsibility of playing quarterback.
How all the hoopla of this week will affect him is what everybody is waiting to see. Super Bowl week is unlike any other in sports, so I wouldn't be stunned if Kap wasn't on the top of his game, especially early. The media attention is 100 times more than he gets for a regular-season game. It's why I hate a two-week break. Way too much media hype.
It will be interesting to see what the Ravens try to do defensively.
The Packers were killed by the read option, and the Falcons took that away. Kaepernick then showed what a tremendous passer he's become by picking apart the Atlanta secondary.
The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare, though I'm sure the coaches have been looking at things a lot longer than that.
One of the talking heads at ESPN said that the Ravens would attack the read option. We'll see. Certainly they don't want Kaepernick running loose in their secondary.
Who do I like? 49ers 28, Ravens 20.
I've been lucky enough in my career to cover four Super Bowls - Steelers-Rams in Pasadena, Eagles-Raiders in New Orleans, 49ers-Dolphins in Palo Alto and 49ers-Broncos in New Orleans. They were a lot of fun, but a lot of work, too.
I remember the Raiders-Eagles game the most because the Raiders were my beat. I traveled on the team charter and stayed at the same hotel, a tiny place in Metairie, away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. It was nice because I saw the players during the week of the game after the official interviews were done from the day.
The 49ers-Broncos Super Bowl was memorable, too. The Niners had Tim McKyer, a brash cornerback. He would say some pretty outlandish things. The orders from the boss were that somebody needed to stay with McKyer the entire time, and since I was low man on the totem pole I had the assignment. Do you know what it's like to essentially stand in the same spot for three hours and listen to one guy? Yikes.
I know I'll never cover another Super Bowl, but four is more than a lot of journalists will ever get to do.