The Bee's Matt Kawahara looks ahead to what you need to know about the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
You might hear something about this over the next two weeks. Jim and John Harbaugh, the first head-coaching brothers to meet in an NFL game (John's Ravens won 16-6 in Baltimore on Thanksgiving 2011), will set the same precedent on the biggest stage in football. It's the first Super Bowl appearance as head coach for John Harbaugh, who's in his fifth season in Baltimore, and for Jim, who's in his second season in San Francisco. It should be a proud moment for their father, Jack, a longtime high school and college coach. But he and his wife, Jackie, may just want to go into hiding until Feb. 4.
2. FINAL FLIGHT
The Ray Lewis farewell tour has reached its last stop. Lewis, 37, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and member of the Mount Rushmore of middle linebackers, says he intends to retire after the season. Playing with a brace on his right arm after tearing his triceps earlier this season, Lewis still has been a factor in the postseason for Baltimore. It's somewhat fitting his finale should come against another No. 52 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis, who has great respect for Lewis, once calling him "for my (position), one of the best to play this game."
3. GROWING LEGEND
The list of 49ers quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl is short and luminous: Joe Montana (four) and Steve Young (one). Colin Kaepernick, the 25-year-old whiz kid from Turlock who challenges the concept of pressure and conventions of quarterbacking, will try to join them in his 10th career start. By comparison, Baltimore's Joe Flacco just made his 12th playoff start. After his historic rushing performance against the Packers, Kaepernick kept his cool in leading the 49ers back from 17 points down in Atlanta and further validating Jim Harbaugh's decision to switch quarterbacks in midseason. One more win, and they can start etching Kaepernick's place in 49ers lore.
4. KICKING CONUNDRUM
The 49ers may be back to square one with their kicking issues after David Akers missed his lone field-goal attempt, a 38-yarder, against Atlanta. This came after Akers won an open practice competition to keep his job before the first playoff round after a dismal season in which he converted just 69 percent of his field-goal attempts. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers have seen enough to make a change. Billy Cundiff, the kicker they cut last week, missed a potential game- tying field goal for the Ravens at the end of last year's AFC title game.
5. LESS THAN PERFECT
One of these teams will lose a Super Bowl for the first time. The Ravens won their only previous Super Bowl following the 2000 season. The 49ers have won all five of their appearances and will try to equal the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most titles in NFL history with six. It's been 18 years since their last. One of those Super Bowls was played at the Louisiana Superdome, the site of this year's game. On Jan. 28, 1990, the 49ers routed the Denver Broncos 55-10.