From sibling rivalry to deer antlers to lip-syncing, there’s plenty of news coming out of New Orleans this week in advance of Super Bowl XLVII. CBS Sports national columnist Gregg Doyel has a front-row seat, and he joined Bill Littlefield to talk about the pre-game atmosphere in the Big Easy… and a little football, too.
“I gotta tell you, I love this stuff,” Doyel said. “I love the Chris Culliver story. You know, I don’t love the nuts and bolts of it, but I love being able to talk about and write about things beyond whose secondary is good, because I don’t care whose secondary is good — and even if I did care, I don’t know who’s secondary is good right now, nobody does. We’ll find out Sunday who’s is better. But Chris Culliver, that’s a great story. The antlers? Great story. Colin Kaepernick’s birth mom wants to meet him — that’s a great story. There’s a lot of people here [who] probably think I’m an idiot for saying this stuff, but I’d rather talk about that ‘nonsense’ than talk about the actual football. I’m sick of football.”
On game day, viewers will find out how Kaepernick matches up against the Ravens’ potent defense. Doyle said the rookie 49ers quarterback has proven himself a double threat.
“I’ve seen his last two playoff games,” Doyel said. “In the first one, against Green Bay, he ran for almost 200 yards. In the second one, against the Falcons, he barely ran at all. So he beat one team with his legs, he beat the other team with his arm, and now the Ravens have to figure out which way he’s going to try and beat them — and can they get it done?”
“One big issue here is Ray Lewis,” Doyel continued. “He’s got some nice tackle numbers, but he’s definitely slowed down. He’s jumped on a lot of piles and gotten a lot of credit for tackles he didn’t really make. And the question is, is he young enough to follow Colin Kaepernick sideline to sideline like he needs to be? And I don’t think he is.”
Sunday will also be a battle of two strong running backs: Baltimore’s Ray Rice and San Francisco’s Frank Gore. Doyel said Gore was more likely to have a big game, but that wouldn’t necessarily translate to a 49ers win.
As far as the non-athletic entertainment is concerned, Doyel said Beyonce’s rendition of the National Anthem for the press on Thursday was the best performance he expects to hear this weekend — and likely, the only one that will be actually live.
So which team will take home the Lombardi Trophy? Doyel predicted that Baltimore should clear some space in its trophy case.
“The Ravens are going to win, because the game’s going to be close,” Doyel said. “A Harbaugh doesn’t get blown out, certainly not by another Harbaugh. It’s going to come down to a couple points, which means it’s going to come down to a kick. The Raven’s kicker [Justin Tucker] is money in the bank. The 49ers kicker is counterfeit, and that’s what’s going to lose it for them — David Akers.”