Howard Herman: Breakdown of the Bays: Super cities

Sunday February 3, 2013

It's Super Bowl Sunday. By the end of the day, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will hoist another Lombardi oops, just a minute.

That's right, the Patriots didn't get to New Orleans. Neither did the Giants, the Packers, the Steelers, the Broncos -- all teams expected to be here before the 49ers and Ravens. That being said, analyzing this game was more difficult than normal.

Small-college quarterback: San Fran's Colin Kaepernick played at Division I Nevada. Baltimore's Joe Flacco played at Delaware, but Pitt and other BCS schools recruited him. He transferred because he didn't have enough playing time. Think they regret that in Pittsburgh? Advantage: 49ers.

Best dressed: There are a handful of NFL teams with iconic uniforms. You've got your Bears, Packers, Cowboys and Steelers -- and the Niners. Advantage: 49ers.

Jerry Bruckheimer Factor: The big-time producer made a movie in each site -- "The Rock" in San Francisco and "Enemy of the State" in Baltimore. Advantage: Push.

Team theft factor: The San Francisco Giants used to be the New York Giants. The Golden State Warriors were the Philadelphia Warriors. The Ravens used to be the Cleveland Browns. The Baltimore Orioles were the St. Louis Browns. The Baltimore Colts, who became the Indianapolis Colts, were once the Dallas Texans (1953). Advantage: Ravens.

TV factor: I'm told "The Wire," based in Baltimore, might be the best TV show ever. Never saw it, but the Baltimore-based "Homicide: Life on the Street" is one of my favorite cop shows. San Francisco had "Nash Bridges," "Streets of San Francisco," among others. San Fran also had "Full House" and the Olsen twins. Advantage: Ravens.

Johnny Weissmuller factor: No, the most famous Tarzan and Jungle Jim wasn't from Baltimore or San Francisco. But I bet you didn't know that the Edgar Rice Burroughs character Jane Porter -- yes, the Jane that fell in love with Tarzan -- was written as a Baltimore native. Advantage: Ravens.

Radio airplay factor: The Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Tupac, Jefferson Airplane, Huey Lewis and the News. All hail from the Bay Area. Mama Cass Elliot was from Baltimore, as was Cab Calloway. Advantage: 49ers.

Baby Boomer Touchstone factor: The original Gomez Addams, John Astin, comes from Baltimore. But some guy named Mel Blanc -- the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, et al -- is from San Francisco. You can throw in Baltimore native David Hasselhoff and it still doesn't add up. Advantage: 49ers.

Literary factor: San Francisco has Jack London and Robert Frost. Baltimore has H.L. Mencken. But the 49ers weren't named for any writer, and the Ravens were named for the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. That's a gift for headline writers everywhere. Advantage: Ravens.

By my count, that makes it 4-4, with a push. I admit that by this scientific formula, this game is going to end in a tie. But the NFL doesn't allow ties.

Since I can't break it scientifically, I have to do it emotionally. As a Steelers fan, I can't root for the Ravens. Yankee fans can't root for the Red Sox in a World Series. It's wrong.

That's why the 49ers will be your Super Bowl champions.

To reach Howard Herman:,
or (413) 496-6253.
On Twitter: @howardherman.


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