The gameday spread is on the table, the pre-game warm-ups are all but over and the marathon pre-game coverage is wrapping up. What’s left is the game itself. The John vs. Jim game. The “Harbaugh Bowl“. The Super Bowl. Predictions seem to put this game at a complete push. It could go either way. If any Super Bowl had the makings of an overtime, this is it.
But as a Miami Dolphins fan what get’s you interested? Here are five things to look at this evening when the game kicks-off.
5: The “U” factor - The University of Miami will be well represented tonight. In addition to the aforementioned Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens nest a total of five former Hurricanes. Tommy Streeter and Damien Berry are on the IR list but Lewis, Ed Reed, and Bryant McKinnie will be on the field come kick-off. If the Raven win, they all get rings. San Francisco on the other hand have two. RB Frank Gore and LB Tavares Gooden. Who are your favorite ex-Canes?
4: Cam Cameron couldn’t do squat in his one year with the Dolphins and now the Ravens sit atop the perch of the AFC. Ironically, the biggest move they made this season was firing Cameron mid-way through the season. The Ravens became a different team once Cameron was taken out of the picture. Many in the media point specifically to that incident as the turning point for the Ravens. For what it’s worth, Cameron will get a Super Bowl ring if the Ravens win.
3: Sandy Hook – Grab a box of tissue because a million eyes will be shedding more tears than Ray Lewis if he wins. The NFL will have 26 students of the Sandy Hook Elementary School sing “America the Beautiful” prior to the singing of the National Anthem. The NFL held a league wide moment of silence two days after the shooting in Newton, Conn. The students, all sixth graders will represent a community, classmates, fallen teachers, a state, and a nation. An anonymous donor paid for the students to go to New Orleans. Some in the mainstream media believe it will be the must watch moment of the Super Bowl.
2: Stephen Ross – You can argue that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made a massive blunder by courting Jim Harbaugh while still holding then HC Tony Sparano in limbo. You could argue that Harbaugh would have joined Miami if Ross had played the hand differently. You could also argue that given the talent on the Dolphins at that time, the change in HC would have made little difference. What you can’t argue is that Ross had the right idea and the right person in mind when he courted Harbaugh. In some ways rooting for the younger sibling makes Ross look at least a little better. Or for those fans who stand on the other side of that fence more irate that he couldn’t close the deal. To them I say, “root for the Ravens”.
1: Ted Ginn, Jr. – The Dolphins saw fit to send Ginn packing a short three years after his surprising first round selection by Cam Cameron. Statistically, Ginn has done nothing special in San Francisco. His numbers in Miami as a receiver are better and on special teams he has improved somewhat since joining the 49’ers. Despite all that, Ginn will be lining up to take kick-offs and punts for the 49’ers on the big stage. While we can all assume that the “entire Ginn family” will be in attendance, Ginn has the opportunity to either be a hero or the goat. Ginn had four fumbles this season and no returns for TD’s. He still has the speed to break huge gains and change the pace of a game with one stellar run. The problem for Ginn is those types of runs come too far and few. He still tends to run to the sidelines and will step out before taking a hit. Still, a win by the 49’ers and Ted Ginn, Jr. has a Super Bowl ring. A loss and the man who drafted him will. Oh the irony.