The Super Bowl is just a few days away, and when you consider that the Super Bowl is the most-watched program on television for going on three consecutive years, no one can honestly say they don’t watch or they don’t care, because the Nielson ratings don’t lie. America cares.
So now that we’ve established that you’re watching, the next order of business is who to root for.
Unfortunately, the sad reality is that only two teams make it to the big dance and for many football fans, that means their favorite team isn’t one of them, and they’re looking for a team to call home. Many people have a more casual relationship with the game, really haven’t been paying attention to the happenings in the National Football League and are in need a team to get excited about, while others really just don’t care that much about football and only need to establish a minor rooting interest to better occupy time in between commercial breaks (Because a whopping 91% of people watch FOR the commercials).
No matter the scenario, you’ve come to the right place. Part One of the Super Bowl Edition of “Who To Root For” offers 12 reasons why you should root for the San Francisco 49ers. Part Two will take a closer look at why you should root for the Baltimore Ravens.
Part One: Who To Root For? The San Francisco 49ers
1. Colin Kaepernick: Girls want to date him (and some guys too, I’m sure), guys want to be him and football analysts everywhere can’t stop talking about him.
Not only is Kaepernick a highly skilled football player with a super strong arm, rare athleticism and an almost unflappable mentality, Kaepernick also represents a sort of counterculture QB, a deviation from the textbook NFL starting quarterback, and that in and of itself makes him easy to root for. Kaepernick is also known as a real stand-up guy who is highly devoted to his family and his religious beliefs, represented by his many tattoos.
2. That pistol offense they run is so hot right now. Here’s a really great All-22 breakdown of the pistol offense if you’re not familiar with it or have no idea what I’m talking about.
3. Jim Harbaugh is crazy. In a good way. Sure, he’s way super intense but he’s also a really good football coach. And that little bit of crazy thing he’s got going on is highly entertaining.
Bonus: You can quote this video every time you see him jump up and down on the sideline, which of course, is bound to be pretty often. Also, this video NEVER gets old.
4. The Smith brothers or “The Sack Brothers”: DE Aldon Smith and OLB Justin Smith – not actual brothers, BTW, so don’t make that mistake, though they did both attend Mizzou – have joined forces to make one of the most menacing 1-2 punches in the NFL.
Justin, who has played both end and tackle, has been called “one of the greatest players ever to play in the National Football League” by his head coach Jim Harbaugh, while 2012 team MVP Aldon lead the NFL with an impressive 19 1/2 sacks last season (he has combined for 33.5 in his first two seasons in the NFL).
5. The Niners the 49ers featured a league-high nine Pro Bowlers in 2012. Nine players, or 41% of the Niners 22 offensive and defensive starters were named to the Pro Bowl, with 17 total named the team as starters or alternates. Pro Bowl nominations aren’t everything, but they certainly tell you a lot about the talent level on the roster.
6. Someone needs to shut up all the Steelers fans talking about how their team has the most rings (6). Root for the Niners to do this for the sake of football fans everywhere.
7. You’re a Patriots, Broncos or Colts fan and you can’t bring yourself to root for the Ravens. It’s okay to be spiteful for one day. No, really..that’s sports, folks.
(This also applies to Steelers fans because reasons).
8. The Narrative! The San Francisco Giants won the World Series so obviously it would be kind of awesome if the Niners won, too. Duh.
9. Ray Lewis: But uh, Kristine, Ray Lewis is a Raven? Yes, I know, but hear me out, okay?
A lot of people are sick of the narrative surrounding Lewis, his forthcoming retirement and the common belief that he literally got away with murder (and cheating with that deer-antler velvet extract stuff, if you believe some reports). A 49ers win would mean a Ray Lewis loss in the eyes of many, and for those people, that’s enough of a reason. I know this logic seems crazy but it’s an actual real thing, according to my Twitter timeline. And Amani Toomer.
10. The Niners have a 100% record in the Super Bowl. They don’t show up and not win. And we all want to root for winners, right?
11. When in doubt, go with the mascot. In a mascot battle, a dude with a pick axe would so beat a Raven. Right?
12. The Economy: Studios show that the S&P 500 has seen an average market gain of 23.7% in years when the San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl champions. (Conversely, The S&P 500 dropped by 11.9% following the Ravens lone Super Bowl win). Also according to Forbes, NFC victories have been correlated with greater market growth.
Kristine Reese is the NFL editor and lead New York Jets writer for Aerys Sports. You can follow her on Twitter @KristineReese.