Super waves, super 49ers win
After rising early enough on Sunday to watch the Mavericks surfing spectacle’s start on the web, it was an enjoyable ride through the morning, which gave way at high noon to a tense NFL three-plus-hours of watching the San Francisco 49ers chase the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game.
But the ride with the Niners had a triumphant end with a come-from-behind 28-24 victory that earned San Francisco its sixth Super Bowl appearance, with the first five ending with the Lombardi trophy sitting proudly by the Bay.
Making this Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens even more, super – besides the fact that it’s the Niners’ first trip to the NFL title game in 18 years – is the fact that it’ll be the highly anticipated “Super head-coaching-brother Bowl,” which will be the second-ever brother-versus-brother game, with the first involving the same brothers.
I’m not mentioning their names because if you’re reading this sports column, you’ve got sports interest and knowledge about what’s happening in the sports world, and the Super Bowl ranks right up there near, or for many at, the top of that wide world of sports.
The other reason I’m not mentioning the 49er and Ravens brother-coaches’ names, or the names of the players, the coaching staffs, the general managers, the owners or anyone involved with the two teams is the fact that you’ll be hearing so much about the cast of characters involved in this massively followed production over the next two weeks, you might thank me later.
It’s definitely going to be a media blitz that’ll rival the real-game blitzes the physically and top-rated NFC and AFC champions’ defenses will be employing to stop the offenses that have been working at very efficient and prolific levels on their journeys to the Super Bowl.
For San Francisco, and most of the Bay Area, this has already been a dream year when it comes to our professional sports teams, with the baseball Giants again reigning as World Series champs – their second time in three seasons, which still requires some “pinch-me moments” – and, now, the 49er gridders on the cusp of being Super Bowl champs.
Yes, that definitely deserves a “city (or urban area) of champions” label, which gained luster when the Oakland A’s won the AL West title and nearly made the World Series, and is being further enhanced in basketball, with the Golden State Warriors on their way to reaching the NBA playoffs and possibly pulling off some surprises.
Actually, they might be shockers that could even take you farther beyond your wildest hoops dreams, which would be winning the NBA title.
OK, call me an unrealistic optimist and I will show you a realistic photo of the 1975 Warriors, who provided one of pro basketball’s biggest-ever shockers by beating all odds and winning the NBA title.
In pro soccer, the San Jose Earthquakes were the top regular-season MLS team and came ever-so close to winning the playoff crown.
Then there’s ice hockey and the San Jose Sharks, who can almost taste that elusive Stanley Cup, and with the shortened ice season because of the recent long work-stoppage, the South Bay skaters could become the NHL champs.
Alright, I’ll stop with my optimistic rants, even though they have a realistic ring to them, and come back to the present, which is preparing for two – too many, one would do – weeks of hype leading up to the Super Bowl, with a title trophy to be won and used with the World Series trophy as bookends for all of the recent Bay Area sports accomplishments.
Oh, I do have two final football praises to give out to tight-end and quarterback greats Tony Gonzalez and Tom Brady of the NFC- and AFC-losing Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, respectively.
Both are legendary Bay Area athletes – Gonzalez, a football and basketball star at UC, Berkeley, and Brady, a grid standout from Serra High School on the Peninsula – who are locks for the football hall of fame.
Oh, again. As for surfing and the mind-boggling Maverick big wave competitors, this year’s champion is Peter Mel from the south end of the Bay Area, Santa Cruz.
With my wife and me totally into the sport of surfing, and having been around some of the big names in Santa Cruz surfing with our three daughters living in that area and a son-in-law involved in the skateboard/surfing world and a friend of Mel and other famed Santa Cruz surfers, Sunday sure was one beautiful (weather-wise, too) and exciting day.